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How to Lift Heavy Luggage (And Protect Your Pelvic Floor Muscles)

Hi friends! We are all enjoying the warmer weather and kids are starting summer break. This means we are ready for a vacation! While vacations are often fun and exciting, if we are having pelvic floor dysfunction, the thought of vacation may be worrying because of more symptoms. Will I have leakage? Will I have more pain? Will I get constipated? There are so many worries you may have.

Vacation often includes more walking and standing than usual and heavy lifting (like our luggage). We all want to look good on vacation, but we don’t want to lift very heavy suitcases and in turn make our symptoms worse. The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence can often be aggravated by lifting heavy objects—you may have leakage or may notice more heaviness and bulging. That’s why this week we are going to talk about how to lift luggage without straining your pelvic floor muscles!

Try to roll and pull luggage whenever possible instead of lifting it. As the old saying goes, “Work smarter, not harder.” Use the wheels on your suitcase to make transporting your luggage from one place to another easier.

Be sure to clear a space for your luggage wherever you are going to put it. Trying to hold and maneuver luggage while it is in the air can put strain on our pelvic floor muscles (and our backs!)

Test the weight. If it feels to heavy, ask for help. (It’s okay to ask for help from time to time).

Once you are at your final spot, bring the luggage as close to you as possible. Lifting away from our bodies increases the amount of strain exponentially.

Then bend at the hips and knees to maintain good posture. Try to avoid rounding the back as you lift. You can imagine a pole running along your back. While lifting try to keep your back against the imaginary pole the entire time.

Now you’ve bent at the hips and your ready to lift your luggage up. Take a deep breath in. Then breath out while engaging the core and pelvic floor muscles to brace yourself. Breathing out helps to manage the pressure within our abdominal cavity to prevent leakage or strain on the pelvic organs and pelvic floor muscles.

Voila! Your luggage is now where it needs to be and you can enjoy your vacation!

For more pelvic floor travel trips, read our blog here.

To learn more about your pelvic floor muscles, check out these great resources:

For providers, check out our online courses to help your clients. Consider joining our Ambassador Program and most of our courses are included with your membership!

  • External Support: The Missing Link with Jeanice Mitchell PT, MPT, WCS, BCB-PMD

Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT

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