What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a sling of muscles that sits across the bottom of the pelvis. They support the bladder, uterus and bowels. We want the pelvic floor muscles to be strong, flexible and coordinated in order to function at their best - much like all muscles of the body. Functions of the pelvic floor include primary core stability of the back and pelvis, support of the internal pelvic organs, proper bowel and bladder control, and sexual health. These muscles can become weak and work in an uncoordinated manner, due to pregnancy/childbirth, injury and aging.
When you cough, sneeze, jump or carry something heavy, your core and pelvic floor musculature must contract to stabilize and fight the downward pressure on your organs. The pelvic floor muscles have to have the strength, flexibility and coordination to withstand this pressure to prevent any leakage, heaviness or pelvic pain.
Sign and Symptoms that your Pelvic Floor is not working properly:
• Urinary and/or faceal incontinence
• Urinary and/or faceal urgency that is difficult to defer
• Heaviness/pressure/bulge/dragging in the pelvic area
• Pain with intercourse
• Obstructive defecation
• Pendular abdomen, separated abdominal muscles and/or decreased abdominal strength and function
• Musculoskeletal lumbopelvic pain
Although these signs and symptoms are common, they are not normal. Please understand that it is not normal to a) leak when you laugh, cough or sneeze b) feel pressure or heaviness in the pelvic region c) have pain in the pelvic region at rest or during movement/activities including intercourse.
A Pelvic Health Physiotherapist has specialized training in the assessment and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. Following your assessment, we will discuss your condition and set goals to develop a treatment plan, which may include pelvic floor exercises, hip and core stability, muscle release techniques, lifestyle/dietary changes, and more.
An assessment by a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist is beneficial for any pregnant or post-natal clients. As well, for anyone experiencing the sign/symptoms listed above or who have been previously diagnosed with diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA), incontinence, overactive bladder (frequency or urgency), endometriosis, pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic/low back pain including the pubic symphysis and SI joints.
Melina Mirzaei, Registered Physiotherapist
Melina is a Pelvic Health telephysiotherapist with extensive post-graduate training. She understands the difficulty of communicating about this sensitive topic and finds online physio (telerehab) from the comfort of your home a great solution.
Questions about how we can help? Feel free to email us - firstname.lastname@example.org