When should you return to Jogging post pregnancy ?
Getting back into running after birth
A common question Niseko Chiropractic is often asked is ” when is it safe to return to running after birth ” . Of course this question is different for everybody but a great blog has just been published by experienced Pelvic floor physiotherapists by the British Medical Journal that addresses question.
The article in full can be found here
So what did they find ?
Firstly the damage that birth can do is highly variable but their research found that damage to the pelvic floor area is far higher than we probably imagine. They found that between 15-30% of new mums experience some level of urinary incontinence after birth (1) and a whopping 50% have some degree of organ prolaps with a 6 month follow up.
One pelvic floor muscle known as the levator hiatus takes up to 6 months to recover full strength. caesarean birth too should not be underestimated with studies showing that by 6 weeks only about 50% of abdominal muscle strength had returned ( 2).
In a nutshell it’s important that a recovering system is given the right time and rehab before increased demands are placed up on it. Whist jogging may seem gentle enough it’s thought to significantly increase the stresses on the body.
It has also been reported that ground reaction forces of between 1.6 and 2.5 times bodyweight can occur when running at a moderate speed of 11 Kilometers/hour. (2) There is some concern amongst experts that the stresses of jogging may be be enough to further damage recovering muscles and ligaments before they are fully healed.
So when should a women re start jogging ?
The cited blog recommends this handy diagram below. Essentially they are suggesting waiting 3 months or going through the flow chart if less than 3 months.
Something that seems to be missing from the above chart and the literature is previous activity levels.
If you are already an avoid jogger with great form and jogged right up to your pregnancy’s slowed you down you most likely will be weeks rather than months if no complicating factors are present.
Likewise if you have never jogged before but figure it might be a great time to start to lose those post pregnancy’s weight you are probably going to need to much slower start.
In short this article sheds some light that all stake holders are probably underestimating the stresses on the pelvic floor from pregnancy and there may be some merit in a considered approach to return to exercise.
Some risk factors to be aware of
Whilst Niseko Chiropractic would love to be part of your post partum management team we do not consider we have the necessary skillset in pelvic floor management and do suggest you find a good pelvic floor physiotherapist to assist with any specific complaints in this area.
If you would like to make an appointment in Sunabe Okinawa or Niseko with an english speaking chiropractor here is a link below
2.Milsom, I., Coyne, K., Nicholson, S., Kvasz, M., Chen, C. and Wein, A. (2014). Global Prevalence and Economic Burden of Urgency Urinary Incontinence: A Systematic Review. European Urology, 65(1), pp.79-95.
3 . Ceydeli, A., Rucinski, J. and Wise, L. (2005) Finding the best abdominal closure: an evidence-based review of the literature. Curr Surg 62, pp.220–5.