Contributor: Dr. Jenny Wickford
PhD, PT Physiotherapist
Welcome to MTS fourth post on our Health & Wellness blog series.
In this issue, we pay tribute to the pelvis – an important but often neglected part of our overall health and wellness. The pelvis is perhaps of greater importance to women’s health and at MTS first women’s medical and wellness retreat in April 2018, we aim to dispel all myths and guide women on taking care of their pelvic health as well as leading a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Any burning questions? Send us an email at email@example.com and let us know what’s on your mind – we might feature your topic next month!
There is much we know about being healthy. But there is much that we don’t know. And what we know is very coloured by the context and culture where the knowledge has developed.
From having worked and lived in several very different countries, it seems to me that the pelvis is one area that we have often – and ironically – neglected in health care systems. In women’s health it is central, and there is a rise in interest for this field which is sorely needed. However, in women’s health the pelvis seems to be viewed in a certain way, and there are other ways to understand the pelvis. Also, we must not forget that not only women have a pelvis. Men can get pelvic problems, as well as LGBTQ persons. Children can have pelvic problems. The pelvis is commonly linked to pelvic dysfunctions such as incontinence, prolapse, sexual dysfunction and pain(1). But we need to understand the pelvis in a broader perspective. The pelvis is central to other functions in the body, and it is central to movement. For example, movements of the legs and arms are rooted in the lumbo-abdomino-pelvic region(2).
How we understand, view and talk about the pelvis is very coloured by the culture we have grown up with. The traditions in medicine and health care dictate the approach to pelvic dysfunction. Generally, there seems to be a lack of knowledge about the pelvis in medical and health care. When I studied to become a physiotherapist more than 15 years ago, the pelvis was barely mentioned. We learned about the sacro-iliac (SI) joint, but that was pretty much the extent of it. Talking to students and new graduates, there is some improvement, but it seems the pelvis is still largely kept backstage which is out of proportion considering the central role it plays in the body.
Many years and many different experiences later, this baffles me. When I started learning about and working with the pelvis, I worked in an outpatient practice. It became very clear that the pelvis was linked to other dysfunctions in the body (back, hips, knees, feet etc), and all of a sudden a missing piece of the puzzle started to fall into place. Now, I work only with the pelvis: I work with people who suffer from chronic pelvic pain. This is a very difficult condition, and poorly understood. And in many cases, these people would not have developed such severe and longstanding pain, if their condition had been caught at an earlier stage.
The pelvis is fascinating, and it is worth learning more about! And a healthy and well-functioning pelvis is absolutely essential for an overall healthy and functioning body.
1. Messelink B, Benson T, Berghmans B, Bo K, Corcos J, Fowler C, et al. Standardization of terminology of pelvic floor muscle function and dysfunction: report from the pelvic floor clinical assessment group of the International Continence Society. Neurourology and urodynamics. 2005;24(4):374-80.
2. Wickford J. The LumboAbdominoPelvis 2017 [cited 2018 January 29]. Available from: http://sitarawellbeing.com/en/lumboabdominopelvis/.
Getting to know yourself, inside and out…
When we are aware of how our body and mind works, we are empowered to keep ourselves in optimal health.This is especially true for the modern, busy woman / mum / working wonder women!
MTS is offering for the first time, a weekend women’s retreat on 20th & 21st April 2018, that combines medical knowledge and science and health and well being information by separating ‘old wives tales’ from the ‘golden truth’. With everything now being easily found on the internet, our aim is to dissect medical and wellness information relating to Women’s Health and to provide concise, accurate and scientific approach to holistic health and well being.
The weekend will be filled with women’s medical and wellness talks given by clinical and health experts as well as interactive sessions of physical activities like Pilates, Yoga & Function Fitness. It will take place at The Retreat Palm Dubai – MGallery by Sofitel, where women can relax and just be themselves!
Visit MTS website at www.movementtherapystudio.com for more information and book your spot before 20th March to stand a chance to win a consultation session with Joanne Enslin De Wet, Physiotherapy Specialist worth AED 500!
Jenny Wickford is a Swedish physiotherapist, educator and health enthusiast with an international heart, and a love of the outdoors, rock climbing, yoga, cycling and hiking. Her particular interest professionally is pelvic pain and dysfunction. Jenny is also very interested in intercultural collaboration and global health. She has a keen interest in providing, developing and promoting health services for people who do not have access to the help they need. In particular, this pertains to women’s health, and the education and support of those suffering from pelvic pain and dysfunction.Together with friends with similar interests, she has started the interest group Noora Wellbeing (http://www.noorawellbeing.com/) , which aims to support women’s wellbeing globally.
To find out more about Jenny’s work, visit www.sitarawellbeing.com
*Photo credit: Maria Åsén