Pelvic Floor Muscle Training

What are pelvic floor muscles? Why are they important? That's what I thought - You might have got the idea from the pictures. Pelvic floor muscles span the bottom of your pelvic, and act like a hammock - supporting organs (bladder, bowel, and uterus in women) in the pelvic region.

Are there other functions of the pelvic floor muscles?

Apart from supporting the pelvic organs, pelvic floor muscles also play a very important role in bladder and bowel control, as well as sexual function. For child-bearing women, these muscles also support your baby and play a part in the birthing process. Together with your abdominal and back muscles, pelvic floor muscles support your spine, too!

What can make these muscles loose (weak)?

  • Heavy lifting
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Straining on the toilet
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Chronic coughing
  • High impact exercises

When your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, your organs are not fully supported.

So what does this mean for you?
  • Difficulty controlling the release of urine, faeces or flatus (incontinence);
  • and in worse cases, prolapse can occur.

Are there any exercise I can do to make my pelvic floor muscles stronger?

Yes! There are certainly exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and training would be most effective when they are tailored. These aren't just for ladies, men should do them too! The following is a guide of how to train your pelvic floor muscles:
  1. Squeeze the muscles around the front of your pelvis — imagine you're stopping urination
  2. Lift up through the back passage as if you're stopping wind
  3. Hold for at least 5 seconds
  4. Do this 10 times or until fatigue
Remember to:
  • keep breathing;
  • squeeze and lift;
  • relax your buttocks and thigh muscles.
There is also 'the knack' to remember! This means you need to remember to engage your pelvic floor muscles when you are coughing, sneezing, lifting etc. If you are unsure whether you're doing the exercises correctly, contact our physiotherapists so we can help you train these important muscles correctly and effectively! Contact us via 📞 phone on 1800 800 118 or 📧 email us to admin@msphysiotherapyaustralia.com to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today! Imagine a life free from aches and pain!

References

ABC (2018). How to do pelvic floor exercises. [online] ABC Radio. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/ladies-we-need-to-talk/pelvic-floor-exercises/9939390 [Accessed 14 Jul. 2018]. Continence.org.au. (2018). Pelvic floor muscles · The facts · Continence Foundation of Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.continence.org.au/pages/how-do-pelvic-floor-muscles-help.html [Accessed 14 Jul. 2018]. Continence.org.au. (2018). Pelvic floor muscles in men · Men · Continence Foundation of Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.continence.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-men.html [Accessed 14 Jul. 2018]. Continence.org.au. (2018). Pelvic floor muscles in women · Women · Continence Foundation of Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.continence.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-women.html [Accessed 14 Jul. 2018].
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