In this episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast, Hilary Erickson dives into her personal experience with pelvic floor physical therapy. She shares her journey, the challenges she faced, and the unconventional methods that ultimately helped her. Stay tuned as she delves into the lessons learned and the importance of being patient with yourself.
Big thanks to our sponsor Family Routines — if you’re looking for margins that allow you to fix things like incontinence or pelvic floor issues, you need to get your home life in order so come join me!
Links for You:
The Workout Witch: https://www.tiktok.com/@theworkoutwitch
00:00 Language barrier made medical visits unbearable. Improved with shots.
05:18 Patience with bladder, routine, calm actions key.
06:20 Mixing up bathroom cues for better control.
10:55 Join me on Instagram, share your experience.
- Hilary discusses her experience with pelvic floor physical therapy after experiencing pelvic and tailbone pain post-pregnancy.
- She shares her challenges with understanding the therapist’s heavy accent and lack of improvement in her condition despite multiple sessions.
- Hilary tried Deroit shots and chiropractic treatment, but found no relief from her symptoms, including urge incontinence.
- After seeking help from a well-known pelvic floor therapist on Instagram, she found that the focused core and pelvic floor exercises did not alleviate her urge incontinence issues.
- Hilary reflects on the importance of learning patience and managing the urge to pee, attributing calmness and a set routine to her improvement.
- She found that reducing her water intake lessened her urge incontinence symptoms, contrary to conventional advice to stay hydrated.
- While focusing on pelvic floor training, Hilary experienced worsening hip pain, which she addressed through somatic exercises with The Workout Witch, leading to relief and highlighting the interconnectedness of the body.
- Hilary emphasizes the need to explore different therapies and practitioners when faced with unresolved issues, with patience and individualized solutions being key.
- The episode ends with a teaser for upcoming episodes on charting in labor and delivery and valuable Disneyland tips.
- Hilary encourages engagement with her audience on Instagram to share their experiences with pelvic floor physical therapy and alternative treatments.
Producer: Drew Erickson
[00:00:00.000] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls podcast. Today on episode 221, we are talking about pelvic floor physical therapy. Might be a little too TMI for some of you, but let’s untangle it.
[00:00:11.980] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary, a serial overcomplicator. I’m also a nurse, mom to three, and the curly head behind Pulling Curls and the pregnancy nurse. This podcast aims to help us stop overcomplicating things and remember how much easier it is to keep things simple. Let’s smooth out those snarls with Pregnancy and Parenting Untangled: The Pulling Curls podcast.
[00:00:41.030] – Hilary Erickson
Today’s episode is sponsored by Family Routines. If you are looking to make margins in your life to do things like pelvic floor physical therapy, come join family routines where I can help you get into a routine and make more margins in your life and help your family to help out more.
[00:00:55.550] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, so pregnant with last baby, intense tailbone pain. I had lightning crotch as well, said it was going to be to a TMI. So if this is too much, just stop. You can come join me on my next episode. But I had that the whole time. And after I had my baby, the tailbone pain continued to be really intense. Sitting in meetings for work or church were just excruciating. So they sent me to a pelvic floor physical therapist, and I went to her probably six times, and it never was getting better. Nothing was helping. And she was like, Oh, it’ll help next time. Also, big language barrier. She spoke English, but a real heavy accent. And in the area that we were talking about and the things she was doing, I didn’t understand what she was doing. And I was pretty good at speaking accent and the area of anatomy that she was working in.
[00:01:47.230] – Hilary Erickson
So the fact that I couldn’t understand her, it just wasn’t working. And I dreaded every trip. So I just decided to quit that. So I did get some steroid shots in my tailbone. One really helped. And when I noticed the one helped, also took away my plantar fasciitis, which I had as well. And it started to make me think, are these two related? I also went to a chiropractor. No luck with him either. I tried the things, didn’t help. And honestly, my doctor and everyone else was just like, that is how it is. It’ll take a while to heal, right? And I think it was probably maybe two and a half years later before I could sit in the car without just to die the whole time. So magical, yeah.
[00:02:33.210] – Hilary Erickson
So I’d worked on my pelvic floor and my core, and that seemed to help. But I did notice that I still had issues where when I decided I was going to pee, my body was like, “Great, let’s do it. Let’s do it right now.” And I would have a hard time then. So some people call it, I think they call it, a keyhole urinary incontinence or urge incontinence, I think is what a lot of people call it.
[00:02:57.850] – Hilary Erickson
And so I reached out to one of the big pelvic floor physical therapist that’s on Instagram. And I was like, Hey, this is my problem. I said, Urge Incontinence is my problem. Will your program help that? She was like, 100 %. It will totally help. Come join me. Paid cash out of my own pocket. I’m not going to say who it was. Did not help. It was a ton of core and pelvic floor, but honestly, I think my pelvic floor is okay. It’s my brain that’s not okay. So once again, I attended a physical therapist. I did it for 30 days straight, you guys. Like, Sundays, was it more than 30 days? I think it was longer than that. I think it was like 12 weeks. It was 12 weeks. Did it every day, every single day. I tried to speed it up, so that’s why I added Sunday. She was saying, Do it three times a week, and I added another day in there. Anyway, so didn’t help at all. I think I probably strengthened my core. It was just miserable. Strengthened my pelvic floor a little bit. She didn’t talk at all about any other type of incontinence.
[00:04:01.020] – Hilary Erickson
They act like the only type is where if you do jump on the trampoline or jumping jacks, then you wet yourself. And maybe that’s the more common kind, but it wasn’t the kind that I had. And again, I just felt like everyone was ignoring me. And I tagged her a few times in it. Also, her course, she doubled up on some videos, and I was like, did you realize that that week and that week are the same? And she was like, oh, didn’t notice. And I was like, “she’s like, oh, they should be different.” Anyway, that’s a story for another day. But anyway, it just didn’t work out.
[00:04:32.690] – Hilary Erickson
So then I decided it’s just a different incontinence. I shouldn’t have gone searching for something that fixes one type when my type is so different. So my brain, when it says, “yes, we’re going to pee,” my bladder is 100 % on board right then. It’s not like, okay, let me know when you’re on the toilet. It’s like, okay, let’s go now. Kind of like how I am. I’m extremely impatient, and so is my bladder, which is unfortunate. I feel like my bladder could be a little better than I am.
[00:05:00.190] – Hilary Erickson
So let me tell you what I think it came down to for me. First off, I had to learn how to be more patient with myself. I needed to learn to be patient. My bladder needed to learn to be patient because as soon as I would get that urge of you need to pee now, I would tense up, I would get stressed out. I was making it worse. So I wasn’t being patient. My bladder wasn’t being patient. And I had to learn to just take some deep breaths, clench all those muscles that I had worked so freaking hard on in that program that didn’t work. And And then slowly go instead of just running.
[00:05:33.930] – Hilary Erickson
Because it really is like your bladder is like a whiny toddler. And when you give it the attention it wants every time it whines, it’s going to keep doing that. So being patient with myself, making it not an emergency, which means I probably wore pads a lot, helped for sure. Also doing all the things calmly rather than rushing and trying to take care of the winy toddler bladder, right? Doing things more calmly really helped out. The other thing that really helped was I was in a very set routine.
[00:06:07.000] – Hilary Erickson
So I work from home. I was in a routine where I would work for 40 minutes, then go pee. And so my bladder would see that I was on minute 38 and be like, “Okay, we’re going to pee soon. That’s awesome. Let’s go. Let’s get going, right?” My impatient bladder. And so I started to mix up how I peed. And when I got home from the grocery store, I would try to not pee right away. I would try to not pee right before I took my shower. So I was just trying to mix things up so that my body didn’t have all these cues that it was time to pee. Because when I was out and about, I wouldn’t end up having issues because my body didn’t have those cues. When I’m at Disneyland, I can hold my pee forever because there aren’t set cues that are like, “We have to go to the bathroom right now,” if that makes sense.
[00:06:47.880] – Hilary Erickson
And then here’s the last one, which is going to be a real shock coming from me because I’m the pregnancy nurse. I’m all about hydration, all about hydration. You got to drink more, you got to drink more. But I drink less because I watched some videos that they were like, “If you have this issue, it may just be that you’re drinking too much.” Now, my urine was nice and clear, but I would just keep drinking tons of water because that’s what they say you’re supposed to do. So I started drinking less. Instead of a full glass right as soon as I woke up, I would drink half a glass. And I noticed that the problem lessened, which is a real shock. But still feeling very hydrated. I’m making sure to get it in frequently during the day rather than one giant glass and then waiting two hours. I’m having a half glass every hour or so, which actually evens out possibly even water.
[00:07:31.010] – Hilary Erickson
So I think if you have this problem, you could just be making it worse by how much you’re drinking water. And that isn’t to say that you should dehydrate yourself, but I don’t think you need to overhydrate yourself so that you end up having this issue even more. I did watch some videos on YouTube that were super, super helpful for urgent continence. So if you’re looking for stuff like that, there are some really helpful ones.
[00:07:53.250] – Hilary Erickson
The UK has a nice series about it. So the odd thing is while I was doing the pelvic floor training with the big time Instagrammer, I started to notice that I had this hip pain that was getting worse. So I had cured my plantar fasciitis through different things, hip mobility and stuff like that. But it felt like it had come to my hip, it just traveled right up to my hip. And doing all the pelvic floor stuff with her somehow made it worse. The hip pain was an eight out of 10 a lot of the times. If I would stand up from seated, really, really painful. And so I was actually looking around. I found this person called The Workout Witch. She does somatic exercises. And I’ve actually found that by working on my hips, I did her program where you do hips and then jaw, neck, and then abs. I’m in the abs section right now, but the jaw, neck portion really helped my hips. I don’t have the pain at all anymore. And it is literally just from pulling on your ears, working your neck and stuff like that. So it was the workout, which I actually asked her to come on the podcast to talk to us about it. It’s somatic exercise. I doubt that she’s the only one that you should do. Her program was okay priced. Luckily, the other thing I liked about it is it was a one-time purchase.
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[00:09:06.720] – Hilary Erickson
I think so often course creators want to do fairly high priced monthly payments. And that doesn’t work for everybody. And I just needed a one-time program that I want to be able to do several times if I need it. So it was nice that it was a one-time purchase. But the somatic exercises have really helped my hips. Again, I have no idea why, but I’ve seen a lot of information lately about how you’re jaw relates to your pelvis. And I think somehow in doing those things, it helped my hips to relax, which is absolutely insane.
[00:09:39.320] – Hilary Erickson
So a few lessons here because I’m always like, “go to physical therapy.” But a lot of time, physical therapy is just like a doctor. They don’t listen to you or they don’t have the knowledge, and they really aren’t able to help you in your situation. I have done that now three times, all of them pretty darn unhelpful. So I just want to let you guys know that sometimes you have to look around and search, and it takes a little bit of time.
[00:10:02.410] – Hilary Erickson
It doesn’t matter how committed I was to that pelvic floor workout, which I was. I muscled through that baby. It didn’t fix my problem. Even in my head, I thought, “the more I work out, the better I’m going to be.” Side note, see my podcast on letting go. That’s a good one for this one as well. And then the second thing is, try some different things. I saw this lady who just talked about releasing pain in your hips, and I was like, I have pain in my hips. I would like to release it. And it honestly, it seemed crazy. But I was like, “You know what? Let’s give it a whirl because it sure seems different than what I’m trying with these other people.” And it seems to have really helped. And also to be patient with yourself. So you can have a patient bladder and a patient life.
[00:10:41.060] – Hilary Erickson
Those are my thoughts on pelvic floor physical therapy. Still work in I’m going to be in progress over here. Learning to be patient is always a work in progress, but I feel like I’m doing better. And it’s a reminder that sometimes, no matter how hard you work on a problem, you can’t entirely fix it. It just takes time.
[00:10:56.020] – Hilary Erickson
So if you guys are taking pelvic floor physical therapy, I’d love to see you over in my Instagram. We’ll have a post about this, and I would love to know you guys’ experience or if you’ve tried anything else that has helped.
[00:11:07.760] – Hilary Erickson
Stay tuned. We are going to be talking about charting next week about why your nurse or your doctor spend so much time charting even more if they’re in labor and delivery. And then the week after that, I am sharing my best Disneyland tips with my best Disneyland buddies. So stay tuned for both of those.
[00:11:22.940] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks for joining us on the Pulling Curls podcast today. If you like today’s episode, please consider reviewing, sharing, subscribing. It really helps our podcast grow. Thank you.
Pelvic floor physical therapy, TMI, tailbone pain, lightning crotch, deroid shots, plantar fasciitis, chiropractor, urinary incontinence, urge incontinence, core strength, language barrier, anatomy, patient bladder, hydration, somatic exercises, hip pain, physical therapy, routine, pregnancy nurse, Instagram, charting, labor and delivery, Disneyland tips, patience, bladder health, anatomy, somatic exercises, water intake, pelvic floor workout, pain management.