What is the Pelvic Floor?
You know about your arms, you know about your legs, but how much thought do you give to the muscles of your pelvic floor? The pelvic floor is the foundation of your core.
As the name implies, your pelvic floor muscles are in your pelvis. They stretch from your pubic bone in the front to your tail bone (coccyx) in the back. These muscles can be strengthened and lengthened like those throughout your body, but proper coordination of breathing and adjacent muscles may take a little instruction and feedback.
Recent research has found that up to 60% of people with low back pain also have pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. That is just one more reason not to ignore your low back pain or hip pain. In addition, you need to talk to a Physical Therapist (like those here at FYZICAL Oklahoma City) about being treated as a whole person.
Dysfunction in the pelvic floor is often not the first sign of other core weakness and dysfunction; you want a pelvic floor physical therapist who can properly evaluate your back, pelvis, and habits to get the most out of physical therapy.
Crunches, planks, and sit-ups are great for your abdominal muscles, but you would never renovate your kitchen and ignore the issues to your home’s foundation. Maybe it’s time to consider adding Pelvic Floor Days to your weekly gym routine.
At FYZICAL, the Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists in Oklahoma City are prepared to assess how strong your pelvic floor is, what is causing your pelvic floor weakness, and how to get a stronger pelvic floor. Just call to set-up a free consultation today.
Why do You Need a Strong Pelvic Floor?
Maybe you noticed a little leaking the last time you ran around Scissortail Park. Maybe the Oklahoma spring brought on your allergies, and now you leak when you sneeze. Maybe you are worried about finding a restroom in time when you’re out driving the turnpike from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. Or maybe intimacy with your partner just isn’t quite right.
Your pelvic floor muscles have to be strong because they vital to these activities and play a role in many more. Your pelvic floor muscles are directly responsible for your bladder and bowel control, and your sexual functioning. Your pelvic floor muscles support all of the major organs in your abdomen including your bladder, bowels, and uterus (women).
In addition to these direct functions, your pelvic floor needs to be strong to support you when you stand, walk, and breathe. Unfortunately, for some, your pelvic floor muscles are weak which can leave you with bladder leaks, and pelvic pain, but it may also lead to back and hip pain because these muscles are trying to compensate.
What Causes a Weak Pelvic Floor?
A weak pelvic floor can mean two things: 1) true weakness, or 2) overtightened muscles. All healthy muscles are both strong and flexible, so either or both of these could be the underlying issue when you have pelvic floor weakness.
The causes of a weak pelvic floor run a wide range. For women, pelvic floor dysfunction and weakness might be caused by trauma like the birth of a child. For men, pelvic floor dysfunction often follows surgery like a prostatectomy. For both men and women, high impact exercise like running and jumping, age-related changes (especially menopause), and stress can all lead to weakness of the pelvic floor muscles.
How do I Strengthen my Pelvic Floor?
There are three main things you need to do to improve the health of your pelvic floor muscles. You can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by building up your muscles, or you can lengthen your pelvic floor muscles through stretching. Third, you need to learn proper coordination of breathing with your pelvic floor muscles.
The men and women we treat with physical therapy for pelvic floor weakness here in Oklahoma City are smart, often strong, healthy individuals, but they haven’t been taught to use their pelvic floor muscle properly. The pelvic floor physical therapists at FYZICAL Oklahoma City understand your pain and leaking and they know how to resolve your issues.
Your pelvic floor muscles should work in cooperation with all the other muscles of your body and with physical therapy, they can. Isn’t it time to Love Your Life!
-FYZICAL Oklahoma City
PS Still not convinced that your core is key to proper functioning, check out these videos from our friends down under at the Continence Foundation of Australia. They have great videos of male and female pelvic floor anatomy.
PPS Our PTs want you to remember “Leaks are Not Normal!” And you don’t have to suffer in silence.
FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers of Oklahoma City provides pelvic floor physical therapy in Lakeside, The Village, Nichols Hills and surrounding NW Oklahoma City. Our pelvic floor physical therapists are specially trained to treat all types of pelvic floor dysfunction including incontinence in men and women. Our practitioners take a patient-centered individualized approach that focuses on your pelvic health needs. If you are unsure about your pelvic health, or you want to see the FYZICAL Difference for yourself, schedule a free consultation today.
Initially Published 1-18-2019