What Is the Pelvic Floor?
Muscles and connective tissue make up the pelvic floor. In addition, the pelvis, specifically its bones at the bottom, is linked to the soft tissues. The urethra, bladder, intestines, and rectum are the pelvic organs. Additionally, the uterus, the cervix, and the vagina comprise the pelvic floor in women.
What Makes Your Pelvic Floor Weak?
Pregnancy, delivery, prostate cancer therapy in men, obesity and the straining caused by persistent constipation are all common causes of a weaker pelvic floor. Strengthening the pelvic floor shows better results, such as continence can be reduced, sexual health can be improved, and symptoms of pelvic floor prolapse and overactive bladder can be reduced.
What Are the Signs of a Poor Pelvic Floor?
Feeling of fullness in the pelvis. Pain while urinating.Leakage of urine.Frequent urination.Pain in the lower back region.Constipation.Problems with bowel emptying.Pain after intercourse.
What Are the Major Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction?
The major symptoms of a weak pelvic floor include:
- Urine leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or running.
- A distinct bulge at the vaginal opening.
- A sensation of heaviness in the vagina.
- Recurrent urinary tract infections or recurrent thrush.
- Failing to go to the toilet at the correct time.
- Passing wind from the anus or vagina when bending over or lifting.
- Reduced sensation in the vagina.
- Vulval pain, pain with sex, decreased orgasm.
- Tampons that dislodge or fall out.
- Dragging or heaviness in the pelvis or back.
What Are the Causes of Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction?
The pelvic floor can be weakened by:
- Supporting the weight of the uterus during pregnancy.
- Constant coughing.
- Vaginal childbirth may overstretch the muscles.
- The pressure of obesity.
- Some forms of surgery require cutting the muscles, including prostate cancer treatment in males.
- Lower levels of estrogen after menopause.
- Pelvic floor muscle tension is caused by painful periods of endometriosis.
- Chronic constipation and straining to defecate.
What Are the Complications of Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction?
- Leaking urine or stool.
- Sense of protruded mass from vagina or anus.
- The affected individual may feel pain during urination.
- Lack of urine control (incontinence).
- Trouble in bladder emptying.
- Problems with having a bowel movement.
- Pressure or discomfort in the pelvis.
What Are the Tips for Better Pelvic Health?
Stress and lifestyle can worsen and also intensify pelvic floor spasms which leads to discomfort in both men and women. People can work to improve their pelvic health throughout their lives, just as they can work to prevent heart disease, obesity, and diabetes by exercising and eating healthily. The goal is to keep a strong pelvic floor in order to avoid problems with bladder and bowel control.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor. If loose muscles are the problem, kegel exercises should be a daily routine.
- Avoid long hours of toileting.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements.
- Avoid straining while urinating.
- Dietary changes can help to change stool consistency, which will help with bowel leakages or painful constipation.
- Meditation and guided relaxation can help to lose very tight pelvic muscles.
- Consume ample fluids and fiber and exercise regularly to avoid constipation.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.
- Get guidance on or learn how to relax the muscles in the pelvic floor region. Try to take warm baths and practice yoga.
- Avoid heavy lifting, as it may lead to organ prolapse.
- Avoid smoking.
Including pelvic floor strengthening exercises in your daily routine is a great approach to engaging these muscles and improving your overall health. Remember to focus on form and function and engage the muscles when performing an exercise. Consult with a pelvic floor physical therapist if you are new to these exercises or need some extra support. They can make precise exercise recommendations and make sure you are doing them appropriately. Finally, if your symptoms are interfering with your everyday activities or appear to be becoming worse, consult your doctor. Finding the correct treatment for your case might help you feel better and protect your pelvic floor from additional injury.
What Are the Exercises to Strengthen the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor can be activated at any time and at any place. On the other hand, incorporating specific workouts that strengthen and target the pelvic floor muscles is effective. One option is to create a program to divide the exercises into those for individuals with hypotonic pelvic floor muscles and those for those with hypertonic pelvic floor muscles. If your pelvic floor is hypotonic, you need to develop and improve your endurance and power.
Exercises for Hypotonic Pelvic Floor Muscles:
To target hypotonic pelvic floor issues, the following exercises can be performed. They are:
Quick Flick Kegels:
The fast flick kegel requires quick pelvic floor contractions to assist and activate the muscles faster and stronger to prevent leaks when you sneeze or cough.
The heel slide targets the deep abdominal muscles while stimulating pelvic floor contractions.
The marching exercise improves core stability and induces pelvic floor contractions.
Exercises for Hypertonic Pelvic Floor Muscles:
If you have a short or tight pelvic floor, hypertonic workouts might help you relax and stretch it. The goal is to stretch and release hypertonic muscles so that contractions are more effective and muscles can function properly.
To target hypertonic pelvic floor issues, the following exercises can be performed. They are:
Happy Baby Pose:
On following the happy baby pose, one may become addicted to it as it involves good stretching and releasing.
Diaphragmatic breathing promotes the diaphragm and pelvic floor's functioning. It is also a fantastic stress-relieving activity.
Lunges and Squats:
It should also be included in a pelvic floor regimen. Lunging and Swiss ball squats are two common exercises that can help strengthen the pelvic floor. Always consider contracting the pelvic floor before squatting, and it is essential to re-engage at the bottom and then contract while standing.
Individuals can strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and reduce the severity of symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse by incorporating specific pelvic floor muscle training into their overall fitness program.