Blogs are usually about words but today, on this the first (1st) day of winter, the 1st of June, this blog is about numbers because THIS is my 200th blog. Yes, that’s correct – 200 blogs (articles about the bladder, bowel, pelvic floor, pelvic pain, men’s health, travel and a few other things like Italian toilets). Goodness gracious (you may be saying) she’s got verbal diarrhea! How can you possibly continue to find things to write about the pelvic floor after this many years? But since I started the blog in July 2011 there has never been a time when I have thought ‘I’ve run out of things to say’.
Every day there are ideas that pop into my head from things patients say, from things I have learned and sometimes from things that have got me riled up. For me writing my blog is like knitting is, for people who are knitting fanatics (Elaine Miller) who would rather do knitting than perhaps the task at hand; or cooking for others who love to bake a cake, than fold the washing – they’ll always find time to knit or cook and the more mundane jobs go onto the backburner.
I am exactly the same with writing. It is a stress reliever and of course it gives me a chance to thumb my nose at my English teacher who desperately tried to make me fail Senior English! (You’ll read about her in my 100th blog). In fact it only seems like yesterday that I was writing my 100th blog and to think that here it is the 200th – well where have those years zoomed to?
Marietta and I at the CFA Core Foundations day workshop
As this blog is about numbers, I thought I’d start by talking about the 120 Fitpros (Fitness Professionals) who attended the Core Foundations lectures Marietta Mehanni and I presented at The Mecure Hotel on Thursday. Honestly they were a fantastic, enthusiastic, attentive audience who have already gone out and started conversations about pelvic floor safe exercising with their clients. I received an email from a wonderful attendee on Friday who said:
Hi Sue, I attended the pelvic floor first seminar yesterday and let me say it was a godsend!!!!Not only did I gather soooo much new information and was highly impressed with the day, but I have openly discussed the topic with all of my clients since then (7 women in total) and can’t believe the results!!!!! Almost every one of them has experienced LBL (Light Bladder Leakage) and some of those ladies haven’t had children, and 1 has had a prolapse after her 2nd child AND didn’t think I needed to know that info! I actually couldn’t believe what my ears were hearing, and have instantly changed her training program (not that there was anything of huge concern). I can’t thank the Continence Foundation of Australia for putting this free event on; thank you Sue and Marietta – I found you both so professional and inspiring to listen to, and would be interested in a lot more further study!
Well I can tell you that email warmed the cockles of my heart! Such an immediate result from just a day of education! And that’s what’s so important about a Continence and Women’s Health physiotherapist’s job- it’s really all about education. A few simple facts about what is right and what is wrong with the bladder, bowel and pelvic floor and lots of improvement can happen- and to be honest pelvic floor unsafe exercising has actually educated and fed my family for the past 25 years. But that is changing and those Fitness Professionals and their enthusiasm and desire to learn and change their practices was absolutely heartening.
And don’t get me wrong we need to exercise!! Why?? Well let’s look at the numbers:
Physical inactivity is now identified as the fourth (4th) leading risk factor for global mortality and in older adults worldwide, around 3.2 million deaths per year are being attributed to inactivity. (World Health Organization: 2013 Diet and physical activity factsheet. 2014 Secondary diet and physical activity factsheet) Let’s look at obesity: 50% of adults in OECD countries are overweight and 18% of the adult population classified as obese. (World Health Organization (2013) Nutrition: “Controlling the global obesity epidemic”) And what do we know about physical activity? It’s a key determinant of energy expenditure, fundamental to energy balance and weight control. (WHO, 2014)
So if we need to exercise, how prevalent is pelvic floor dysfunction with varying degrees of physical activity?
Let’s look at the statistics: What is the prevalence of Urinary Incontinence across female life-stages?
Nulliparous elite athletes: 51 .9% (Gymnastics main culprit 56% Aerobics 40% (Thyssen2014) Trampolinist 85% (Nygaard et al 1994) – What the……you are saying!!
Pregnancy related: Last trimester: Primips (first time mum) 48% Multips (had one or more babies) 85% (Morkved & Bo 2003) What the……you are again saying!!
Age related urinary incontinence: (Herschom et al 2003) 18-40: 25%; 48-54: 46% (Mishra et al 2010) Over 65: 55% Wow you could feel a bit out of it if you were dry (only joking).
So this incontinence thing is very prevalent! I could go on forever about prolapse prevalence, about pelvic pain prevalence but these are things for another blog.
Because in this, my 200th blog, I want to tell you about some other numbers. For all the 25 years I have been in private practice – it is only since last year that I have been computerized and we chose Cliniko to do our appointment system. Now the beauty of being computerized is that for the first time I now know exactly how many patients we see in any given time. So over the first twelve months of Cliniko, I have had a total of 1779 appointments of which 774 were new patients. I had to sit down after I delved into those stats because I felt a tad weary. 774 times in just 12 months I have told that beautiful bladder/bowel/prolapse/pelvic pain story ……… just as well I love talking!
And to just finish off this numbers blog -today the 1st of June was also my Father-in-law, Allan Croft’s birthday and today he would have turned 100 years old. He is still lovingly remembered by his children Dave, Helen, Greg and Bob and all his grandchildren and great grandchildren.