Pelvic floor comprises of muscles and ligaments that support the pelvic organs which include the bladder, uterus (in women) and bowel. The pelvic floor muscles attach to the pubic bone, tail bone and each side of the base of the pelvis. These muscles work together with the diaphragm, abdominal and back muscles to stabilise and support the spine.

Pelvic floor muscles give us conscious control over the bladder and bowel so that we can control the release of urine, faeces and farts. When the muscles are contracted the urethra, vagina and anal sphincters tighten. The pelvic floor muscles also play a large role by providing support for women during pregnancy and childbirth.

Maintaining a strong pelvic floor will prevent problems such as: incontinence (involuntary release of urine or faeces) or prolapse (of the bladder, uterus or rectum). 13% of men and 37% of women in Australia experience urinary incontinence; and half of all women over the age of 50 who have given birth have some level of prolapse.

The common causes for pelvic floor weakness are:

  • Childbirth (especially prolonged pushing)
  • High BMI/ Obesity
  • Constipation (excessive straining to emptying bowel)
  • Heavy lifting
  • Excessive coughing/ sneezing
  • Menopause
  • Age
  • Previous injuries to the pelvic region
  • Inactivity

The common signs and symptoms with pelvic floor problems:

  • Incontinence or prolapse
    • Women: Bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness
    • Men: Bulge in the rectum
  • Urgency and increase in frequency for toilet runs
  • Difficulty in emptying bladder or bowel
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful sex
  • Recurrent UTIs

 

Time to seek professional help if you experience these signs and symptoms. Here at Kinetic Sports Chiropractic, I am a chiropractor focusing on Women’s Health, I can assess your pelvic floor function and tailor an exercise program just for you.