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The Pelvic Health Podcast with Lori Forner

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Getting the “It’s Not All About the Wand” message out there… Listen Here.

I was so excited to join Lori Forner on the Pelvic Health Podcast. For years it’s been a great source of evidence-based knowledge, clinical reasoning and access to inspiring minds withing our profession from all over the globe. Getting asked to take part was a huge honour! And I got to talk about my favourite topic…

Here’s Lori’s intro…

Jilly joins me in this episode to talk about how “the wand” can help with pelvic floor muscle tension and pain. More importantly, she discusses WHAT we are actually doing with it (spoiler alert – we are not releasing trigger points). I didn’t actually need to talk at all (and therefore I sat back in awe, loving the accent and amazing knowledge bombs). She so eloquently discusses why and how our bodies protect and guard us against threats to our nervous system and all the neat things we can do to...

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Welcoming in 2018

If you thought 2017 was great, 2018’s going to be bigger and better… On the day of the winter solstice I sat down with my colleague Gillian McCabe for our mini Christmas Party. It was meant to be a coffee and catch up, a moment to pause and reflect on an eventful year for us both. Maybe there really was magic in the air but we were still talking gone midnight with an audacious plan for 2018: how we’re going to shake up Pelvic Health for the women (and men!) of Wales. More for our patients, more for our clinicians. (And yes, you can read a sneaky preview below!)

We’ve known each other for years having worked concurrently in neighbouring NHS health boards and on the same national education and governance committees, we’ve been through the Bradford Masters together (the only Pelvic Health postgrad course in the UK currently) and began private practice at the same time. This last year has been extremely hard work and neither of us would change it one bit!...

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Its not about the wand

Watch the Vlog: It’s not about the wand… it’s about all the other marvellous things you do to heal pelvic pain

I’ve had a lot of great conversations since I put up my wand vlog,  and I find that I’m coming back to the same areas so I decided that it’s time we talk about the wand.

1 . It’s a great tool but it’s not for everyone

In my clinic I do use them regularly with patients with difficulties reaching their pelvic floor, problems with dexterity or force through their hands, or if they’re keen to try it but don’t like the idea of self-touch. They’re also great for people who really want to own their treatment and who get a great response from manual myofascial release with me. The rest of the time with people who are comfortable with self-touch I get them using their own thumbs with one leg up supported or when reclined. For those who aren’t comfortable with self-touch I start with a deep squat...

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World Congress on Abdo and Pelvic Pain: Part 2

Watch the part 2 vlog here.

There was such deluge of important research presented at the recent World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic pain that I’m taking time to digest it and translate it into practice. Here’s my second instalment.

If you didn’t see Part 1 click here.

There’s much more discussion in the vlog above, here are my brief notes. Starting with the end of the BPS cluster, Mr Kenneth Peters MD presented the role of peripheral nervous system on development and management of pelvic pain.

He believes there’s clearly two distinct populations in BPS: those with active Hunner’s Ulcers and those without. Those with Hunner’s Ulcers and pain/urgency symptoms (the more Type 3c, small stenotic bladder, passing small volumes at a high frequency) are the “active” Hunner’s ulcer phenotype, who tend to have less systemic pain, occur in post-menopausal women, and patients respond more readily to intensive surgical treatment....

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Knowledge Bombs from the World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain: Part 1

I had an absolutely inspiring time at the World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain in Washington recently. I was given the opportunity thanks to the Dame Josephine Barnes award from the POGP and the EPIC Scholarship from Entropy Physiotherapy in Chicago and Lorimer Moseley. I can’t thank them enough for supporting the education and development of clinicians who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend world-leading conferences such as this one. It truly was EPIC.

I’ve gone back through my notes and pulled together some of the things I think are important and have great clinical translation. It helped me to gather and retain the information and I really wanted to share what I learned. Better informed clinicians providing up to date evidence-based therapy are going to be the best for our patients, and at the end of the day this is why we do what we do. Apologies to any of the researchers for inaccuracies, these are just a few teeny pearls of wisdom I took/understood...

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And breathe… relax your pelvic floor muscles to ease pelvic pain

Got pelvic pain? Watch this video about how to relax your pelvic floor.

You know those times when you’re super busy working away at the computer for hours on end – you get tight shoulders and a headache? Your shoulder muscles get tight when you’re typing for hours and the knots and muscle tension can cause aching and a muzzy headache.


It’s exactly the same in your pelvis. When the pelvic floor muscles are ‘on’ or tight all the time you can get an aching or pain in the pelvis. Sometimes it can be really severe with stabbing pains up in the middle or into the back passage, tenderness or acute burning soreness on the outside or at the genitals and things like sex or going to the toilet can also be painful.

If this is something you’ve been experiencing then it’s worth getting it checked out. See your doctor and get a referral to your local Pelvic Health physiotherapist.

Relaxing your pelvic floor – or learning how to – is...

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Let your tummy muscles go to ease your pelvic pain

Relaxing your tummy – it’s really important if you have pelvic pain! Watch my video about how to do it.

If you’re in any pain in your pelvis you’re probably bracing or holding in your tummy muscles as well as your pelvic floor. A lot of women also hold in their tummy muscles all day, something to do with society’s unhelpful idea of how women “should” look… but that’s a discussion for another day. Let it go!

Relaxing your tummy muscles is a really important first step to managing your pelvic pain better – they’re often the key to the pelvic floor. If they’re on so are the muscles between your legs (guys, yes you have a pelvic floor too) and if you can release your tummy then you’ve got a better chance of being able to relax your pelvic floor too.

Have a sit or stand with one hand on your chest and one on your tummy – feel where you’re breathing from. Most of the time the top hand moves more...

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How to heal your pelvic pain using a wand… it’s better than magic!

Head over to my YouTube Channel to hear all about how to use the Wand in Pelvic Pain.

Persistent pelvic pain can be devastating. Though not necessarily the cause of your symptoms, often the pelvic floor muscles at the base of the pelvis are in spasm and having them manually released or gently stretched by a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist can relieve symptoms.

If this is the case you can use a therapeutic wand (or your own thumbs!) to get the same relaxation in your pelvic floor by yourself at home. This is great for those moments when you have to take a long car journey or eat something that sets off your pain – use the wand and hey presto! You’re feeling a bit better again. Doing this regularly alongside physiotherapy can really help you to change your symptoms and to feel confidently in control of your own body again. It’s not for everyone, but if you feel this might help you, keep reading…

The secret is… It’s not about the wand....

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One story changed my life and led me into research

“It’s like having the worst urine infection, but all the time. I can’t work, I can’t sleep, my relationship is suffering because its too painful to have sex so I don’t want him near me, and I feel ratty all the time. I’m not being a good mum, I shout at the kids. I’ve had enough.”

I first came across Bladder Pain Syndrome (previously known as Interstitial Cystitis) 10 years ago when one woman’s story really hit home. A young mum who’d had to stop working as her trips to the toilet every 15 minutes were annoying her boss, and her colleagues made jokes about her bladder. It was initially something she handled well, but as she tried to hold off from going to the toilet her symptoms worsened and she retreated inside herself. Medications didn’t help the pain and quickly her world became smaller and smaller.

Her bladder was ruling her life and she was miserable. She was at the end of her tether and I was her last hope.

I...

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Do these exercises to quickly get rid of your pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy

Pregnancy isn’t meant to hurt. Period. A little discomfort, perhaps. But no true pain. It's common, but not normal.

About 30% of women get pain in and around the pelvis, hip, groin and back during pregnancy. This is probably as your pelvis ligaments get lax so you can deliver the baby, your posture changes as you get bigger and your abdominal muscles weaken. Women also tend to change how active they are, and how much they exercise. For more information about Pelvic Girdle Pain in pregnancy (previously called SPD) download this POGP leaflet.

It’s important to get any pain checked out – so make sure you have a chat with your midwife or GP. They can usually refer you to a physio locally. Getting a full assessment of your symptoms is important to get you on the road to recovery, and they may be able to do some other bits and bobs to make you feel better while you’re there.

Watch this video to see this series of exercises I’ve been using successfully for...

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