The pelvic floor muscles are something we commonly link with women, and often childbirth or pregnancy. It is actually more common to have issues with the pelvic floor than you may think, and stems far beyond simply child-bearing women.
What is a Pelvic Floor?
Your pelvic floor is quite simply a hammock for your organs. Your bladder and bowel (as well as uterus if you are a woman) are held up by this genius casing that connects from your pubic bone through to your tailbone. It is almost a web of muscles that when contracted, move inward and upward, tightening and narrowing the courses through which we pass (eg. Urethra and bowel).
Why is strength in the Pelvic Floor important?
Having a strong pelvic floor is absolutely vital for both men and women. From an incontinence perspective, having a weak pelvic floor can mean not making the bathroom in time, or being unable to trust a sneeze or cough. The main reason pelvic floor muscles becoming weak are linked to women and childbirth is because these muscles are usually way over-worked during pregnancy and the process of giving birth. If they collapse (or prolapse), it can cause ongoing issues for a woman and has the potential to make future child bearing complicated.
How can physiotherapy help?
It definitely isn’t the easiest conversation to have, but if you have concerns about your pelvic floor there is actually a lot that can be done to help. Like any set of muscles, with the right care, training and expertise it can be rebuilt and sometimes become better than before. Techniques for effective movement and bracing can make all the difference, and consistency is key. This means we won’t give up on you, as long as you are willing to keep working at it!