What is Pelvic Floor and Core Stabilisation?
The pelvic floor is the base of the group of muscles referred to as your ‘core'. These muscles are located in your pelvis, and stretch like a trampoline or hammock from the pubic bone (at the front) to the coccyx or tail-bone (at the back) and from side to side (diagram 1).
The pelvic floor muscles work with your deep abdominal (tummy) and deep back muscles and diaphragm to stabilise and support your spine. They also help control the pressure inside your abdomen to deal with the pushing down force when you lift or strain - such as during exercise.
Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel in men, and the bladder, bowel and uterus in women. They also help maintain bladder and bowel control and play an important role in sexual sensation and function.
Signs of a pelvic floor problem
Common signs that can indicate a pelvic floor problem include:
•accidentally leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
•needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
•constantly needing to go to the toilet
•finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
•accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
•accidentally passing wind
•pain in your pelvic area, or
How do pelvic floor problems occur?
Pelvic floor problems can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or too tight.
Some people have weak pelvic floor muscles from an early age, whilst others notice problems after certain life stages such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.
Some people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This can be made worse by doing squeezing exercises and overworking the muscles without learning how to relax .
Pelvic floor muscle fitness is affected by a number of things. These include:
•not keeping them active or over working them
•being pregnant and having babies
•a history of back pain
•ongoing constipation and straining to empty the bowels
•being overweight, obese or having a body mass index (BMI) over 25
•heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
•a chronic cough or sneeze, including those linked to asthma, smoking or hayfever
•previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy), and
Information courtesy of Pelvic Floor First
If you would like to know more about how you can look after your pelvic floor muscles or if you find you are experiencing pelvic floor issues why not book a free consultation with Justine today.