PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES
What are the pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic ﬂoor muscles are like a trampoline and work to support the bladder, vagina, womb and rectum, holding them in the correct place. They stretch from the pubic bone at the front, to the tailbone at the back and form the floor of the pelvis.
What are they supposed to do?
- Support the bladder, bowel and uterus (womb)
- Help to prevent leakage when you cough, laugh, sneeze, run or jump.
- Help you hold on when the toilet is not near
- Improve sensation during sexual intercourse
Why do they become weak?
· Constipation & Straining
· Persistent heavy lifting
· Chronic cough (from smoking, chronic bronchitis or asthma)
· Being overweight
· Lack of general fitness
How do we strengthen the pelvic floor muscles?
- The first step is to correctly identify the muscles
- Sit in an upright chair with your back supported
- Relax your thighs, buttocks and tummy muscles
- Breathe calmly, your tummy should gently rise and fall
- Imagine trying to lift your vagina up inside or imagine you are trying to hold back urine, or wind from the back passage.
- When you lift your pelvic floor muscles, try to keep breathing into your tummy. (Do not brace your tummy tightly, squeeze your buttocks or hold your breath)
If you are unable to feel a definite squeeze and lift action of your pelvic floor - don’t worry!
Even people with very weak muscles can be taught these exercises
ROLE OF THE PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES
- PREVENT/ REDUCE LEAKAGE
- PREVENT/ REDUCE PROLAPSE
- IMPROVE SENSATION DURING INTERCOURSE
- IMPROVE BOWEL CONTROL
- ADD SUPPORT TO THE SPINE
“Weak pelvic floor muscles are not always to blame..."
We recommend that you have a pelvic floor assessment before starting an exercise programme. Some pelvic floor conditions occur because the muscles are working too hard. Like every other muscle in your body, tension and trigger points can build up causing the muscle to become ineffective.
"Tight" pelvic floor muscles can be effectively treated with physiotherapy.
“How do I know if I'm doing my pelvic floor exercises correctly?”
1 in 3 women do not do these important exercises correctly... So even though you might be trying your best to exercise them, your technique may need a bit of "tweaking".
We can assess the pelvic floor muscles to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly and to advise you on an individualised exercise programme.
“The pelvic floor muscles are key to maintaining bladder & bowel control”