Trauma and the Pelvic Floor Part 2


Manage episode 291633584 series 2874284
By Dr. Allyson Sunderman. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

“We get caught in this idea that it’s going to pass…..and it doesn’t necessarily just pass.”

-Renee Groenemann

Big T and little t traumas affect our mental health AND our physical health. Our body remembers these traumatic events and often holds onto a trigger that will stimulate our sympathetic nervous system into the fight, flight, or freeze cascade. In other words, these triggers can cause not only nervousness and anxiety, but also muscular tightness and pain.

Much like as we go throughout our days and the stress builds we often tense our shoulders, as we experience any type of trauma our bodies respond by tensing our muscles. Later in life, our triggers then bring back this muscular memory and tense those same muscles.

Think back to your own personal birth experience. As you go through the events in detail do you notice anything about your body? Do you feel….

…the pain in your back from contractions?

…your incision from the c-section you needed?

or maybe you can feel your pelvic floor tighten thinking about the pain from tearing?

These are just a few examples of things you may feel physically alongside your emotions when remembering your birth story.

So often, women who are in pelvic floor PT will need to see a mental health practitioner to help work through the emotions that are associated with their specific pain or problems and vice versa. That’s why it’s so important to find an integrative professional who works cohesively with other professionals to fully address all their patients/clients needs.


Again, this is also where EMDR can be so effective. *If you missed Part 1 with Renee, go back and listen to it first.

When you have a trigger point, one of the most common treatments to start is to first apply a consistent pressure to it to fatigue the muscle until it releases. This is sort of how EMDR works, by fatiguing out the memory of something traumatic to lessen the bodies response to it.

Pelvic floor issues are a prime example of how physical therapy and mental health can work closely together. Pelvic floor issues can sometimes arise from a traumatic birth and until you fully process your birth story, it’s difficult if not impossible to physically recover.

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10 episodes