To Run or not to run??

By Lisa Few our Women’s Health Physio in the Claygate clinic.

What an amazing course I went on this weekend, challenging our beliefs as women’s health physiotherapists as to when to return our post natal mums to higher level exercise such as running or cross fit training. There are no official guidelines, unfortunately as to when it is safe to return to running after having a baby and this is probably the most frequently asked question that I get from my post natal mums. In general we advise that providing there are no pelvic floor problems such as urinary incontinence or a prolapse that is uncomfortable and that the patient has been following her strengthening programme then 6 months post natal is when we generally advise a return to higher impact exercise.

But is this correct? I have had all my beliefs and training questioned this weekend from a well know and respected physiotherapist, Anthony Lo, which has been fantastic for me and hopefully all my patients. Providing our pelvic floor muscle is doing what it should be and there are no problems why not start higher level impact exercise before the 6 month mark?

So things like box jumps, skipping, jumping and running are all possible to return to however, the over riding theme that came up time and time again this weekend is that it is imperative to know what your pelvic floor muscle is doing before you start this higher level exercise, so seeing a women’s health physiotherapist is key. They will be able to assess the strength and endurance of the muscle and then work with you to achieve your goals. If your pelvic floor is not strong enough and you do get some urinary incontinence it does not always mean that you have to stop the exercise but instead scale it down and then gradually increase the exercise.

I love learning and questioning as I believe it makes me a better clinician which in turn means better outcomes for my patients. If there is one thing that I took away from my training this weekend is do not be afraid to try and with some help you can achieve your exercise goals. Hey I managed to lift 55kg and that was all through doing something different!! Definitely a PB for me!!

To make an appointment with Lisa at our Claygate clinic, please call 01372 464968