Thanks to social media influencers like Kim Kardashian, waist trainers have gained popularity in recent times. Waist trainers are hard, rigid, corset-like binders (not to be confused with a soft binder that is sometimes worn for a week or so after birth). The goal of a waist trainer is to cinch the waist and narrow the waist line through prolonged use.
With every single client, we discuss ways to best control their abdominal wall and protect their pelvic floor. We sometimes spend an entire treatment session (if not more!) working on coordinating breathing, controlling rib position and improving recruitment of the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor to allow a client to handle increased load without increasing symptoms. We discuss bowel habits, bladder habits, lifting mechanics and more, all so that we can help the abdomen and pelvic floor can manage force. Overtime, increased downward pressure on the pelvic floor through a poorly coordinated core can cause muscle tightness, weakness, pain and other symptoms such as incontinence and prolapse.
Waist trainers provide constant inward pressure into the abdominal wall, increasing the pressure in the abdomen. This does not allow the diaphragm and ribs to participate in breathing, slows motility of the GI system, and puts a constant downward force on the pelvic floor. All of these things can make symptoms worse, and with continual use, can bring symptoms that might be at bay, to light.
It is important for the abdominal wall to move in order to dissipate forces put on the body! Failure to have the abdominal wall, diaphragm and ribs move is detrimental to core stability and resiliency and can have serious implications to the pelvic floor! So, just say no to waist trainers!