Muscles play a key role during exercise and daily life, but have you ever put a second thought into the muscles that stabilize your pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor muscles form the base of what we commonly call the core or inner unit. They work in unison with the deep abdominal muscles, the back muscles and the diaphragm (an important breathing muscle) to give us postural support and control pressure inside the abdomen. They also play an important role in supporting the pelvic organs, bladder and bowel control, and sexual function.
When these muscles are functioning well, we don’t realize they exist. If any of the muscles of the inner unit are weakened or impaired, the automatic function of regulating abdominal pressure can be altered and result in an overload of the pelvic floor. When this happens repeatedly, it can result in pelvic floor dysfunction.
Pelvic floor exercises can be beneficial for treating and preventing future problems. It is important to learn the exercises correctly, as studies have shown that as many as one in six women don’t know where their pelvic floor muscles are.
A specially trained pelvic health physiotherapist can help correctly identify these muscles and ensure you are performing the exercises correctly.
Common pelvic floor dysfunctions that pelvic health physiotherapy can help manage and treat include:
- Incontinence (stress or urge), urinary urgency/frequency
- Pelvic Pain (including vaginismus, vulvodynia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and pain with intercourse/dyspareunia)
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Low back, hip, groin, or tailbone pain
- Diastasis recti and other post-natal symptoms
If you think you might be a candidate, talk to your physio to find out!