The Lowdown, Down There
So, did you know you have muscles down there??? They are called pelvic floor muscles.
The floor of the pelvis is made up of layers of muscle and other tissues. These layers stretch like a hammock from the tailbone at the back, to the pubic bone in front. Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel in men, and the bladder, bowel and uterus in women. They also help maintain bladder and bowel control and play an important role in sexual sensation and function… yea don’t wanna mess with all that right? It is vital to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong and properly toned.
Pelvic floor muscles can be made weaker by:
· not keeping them active;
· being pregnant and having babies;
· being overweight;
· heavy lifting;
· coughing that goes on for a long time
· (such as smoker’s cough, bronchitis or asthma); and
· growing older.
Kegels and core strengthening is a great way to keep these muscles in shape , BUT Kegels are not for everyone, it could actually make some pelvic pain conditions worse.
Where are my pelvic floor muscles?
The first thing to do is to find out which muscles you need to train.
· Sit or lie down with the muscles of your thighs, buttocks and stomach relaxed.
· Squeeze the ring of muscle around the back passage as if you are trying to stop passing wind. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your buttocks.
· When sitting on the toilet to empty your bladder, try to stop the stream of urine, then start it again. Do this to learn which muscles are the right ones to use – but only once a week. Your bladder may not empty the way it should if you stop and start your stream more often than that.
If you don’t feel a distinct “squeeze and lift” of your pelvic floor muscles, or if you can’t slow your stream of urine as talked about in Point 3, ask for help from your doctor, physiotherapist, or continence nurse. They will help you to get your pelvic floor muscles working right. Women with very weak pelvic floor muscles can benefit from pelvic floor muscle training.
How do I do my pelvic floor muscle training?
Each training program is direct and individualized. After doing a proper physical therapy assessment we can develop a training program tailored to you needs.
To learn more schedule a consultation