What is it? What does it do?
The Pelvic Floor is a complicated bunch of muscles sort of set up like a sling in a sense that holds up all our organs in our body. They are also the muscles we use to go the bathroom and that hold our organs. In the case of a female body, the pelvic floor can hold up a placenta and fetus/baby and then also be able to birth that baby through the pelvic floor. So yea, the pelvic floor is pretty dang amazing. But because it is hidden and we can’t see it, we seem to forget it’s made of a lot of muscles. And you can train and strengthen those muscles!
What are Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions?
These are symptoms of a weak pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor is weak then you could have any of the following, urinary or bowel incontinence, diastasis recti (separated abs),symphysis pubis dysfunction, pain with sex, lack of orgasm, and/or pelvic organ prolapse. Let’s lightly touch on what each one of these are.
- Urinary incontinence is the most common we hear about. There are few types of incontinence. Stress incontinence is when there is leaking during a physical activity like coughing or sneezing as well as heavy lifting, jump roping or running. At no time is any of this normal, even though it may be common. This incontinence is due to the pelvic floor being not active enough or too active with too much tension. Another type is Urge incontinence. Urine leaks when you get the sudden urge to void. Bowel incontinence is when you have lost the control of the bowels and there can be leakage of fecal matter. This is typically associated with a rectal prolapse.
- Diastasis Recti – the separate of the ab muscles. See my previous blog to read all about it!
- Symphsis Pubis Dysfuncton is known as pain at the pubic bone when walking, turning over in bed, or climbing stairs. That means the pain is felt with the pelvis shifts or moves. So when weight shifts from two legs to one leg.
- Organ Prolapse is kind of what it sounds like. It is when the pelvic floor is weak and cannot support the surrounding organs. This again can be improved by working to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
With all of these dysfunctions, we want to find and schedule an appointment with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. Don’t forget that men have pelvic floor muscles too and they can have pelvic floor dysfunctions! That means that they can benefit from the same breath work and movements as well as see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. We can also work on our breath and be intentional with our movement, training, and recovery!! None of these are the end all be all of problems. We can work to improve any of them.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea about the pelvic floor! The pelvic floor is an important part of our core, our health and our well being. Don’t neglect it and make it a priority to work to make it better.