The pelvic floor is mainly related by clinicians to female issues post partum, however it is also the essential area to have control for other issues including BACK PAIN and groin problems. The abdominal cavity is like a barrel, there are supporting muscles around the front (transversus abdominus) and the back (multifidous), these are like the barrel rings and if they are weak or misfiring the support for your back, groin and abdomen is compromised. This can lead to weaknesses in the stability which then lead to pain. The pelvic floor is a major part of this system as it acts like the floor of the barrel and supports the structures above. The PF also acts by firing off the associated muscles when it fires and these are the transversus abdominus and multifidous.
What does it do?
Pelvic floor exercises help to control Stress Urinary Incontinence, prevent prolapse, increase satisfaction during intercourse and plays a very important part of your core stability (protecting your back).
• It supports your pelvic organs and abdominal contents, especially when you are standing or exerting yourself.?• It supports the bladder to help it stay closed. It actively squeezes when you cough or sneeze to help avoid leaking. When the muscles are not working effectively you may suffer from leaking (“urinary incontinence”), and/or urgent or frequent need to pass urine.?• It is used to control wind and when “holding on” with your bowels. It has an important sexual function, helping to increase sexual awareness both for yourself and your partner during sexual intercourse.
The pelvic floor is a large sling (or hammock) of muscles stretching from side to side across the floor of the pelvis. It is attached to your pubic bone in front, and to the coccyx (the tail end of the spine) behind. It forms your “undercarriage”. The openings from your bladder (urethra), your bowels (rectum) and your womb (vagina) and all pass through your pelvic floor.
How to do pelvic floor exercises
Tighten the muscles around your back passage and front passage and lift up inside as if trying to stop passing wind and urine at the same time. It is very easy to bring other, irrelevant muscles into play, so try to isolate your pelvic floor as much as possible by?• not squeezing your legs together,?• not tightening your buttocks and
• not holding your breath.?In this way most of the effort should be coming from the pelvic floor.
Get into the habit of doing the exercises. Link doing them to some everyday activities – for example; do them after emptying your bladder or whenever you turn on a tap. Practise the exercises when you are sitting and especially standing. Get into the habit of tightening your pelvic floor prior to activities that are likely to make you leak or give you low back pain – such as getting up from a chair, coughing, sneezing or lifting.??How long should I do them for??If you work regularly these muscles can fire efficiently within a few weeks but in some patients can take longer if you have very poor control.
On assessment we will determine if your core control is working correctly and advise you on the exercises, they are often linked with manual therapy treatment also to gain the best results to help improve your core.
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