The pelvic floor muscles are one of the most important sets of muscles for a woman to keep strong at all times in her life. Keeping these muscles tuned up helps prevent problems which many women accept as a normal part of being a woman or mother.
What are the pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor muscles form a muscular floor across the pelvis running from back to front as well as in from the sides. They are like a hammock holding up organs like the bladder and uterus. The pelvic floor muscles also form part of the walls of the passages that lead to the organs and therefore have a function of controlling the urethra, vagina and rectum.
Signs and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction
When there is poor pelvic floor muscle tone people experience urinary incontinence. There are different types of incontinence such as:
- Stress incontinence – when you exercise, laugh or sneeze
- Urge incontinence – leaking when there is an urgent need to go to the bathroom
Assessment and management by a Physiotherapist who has special training in treating incontinence is imperative to get the correct treatment. The primary methods of management involve specific home exercise programs and changes to lifestyle factors. Pelvic floor exercise programs are simple and effective but need to be done correctly and daily. Programs can correct dysfunction or reduce the likelihood of having a problem in the first place.
Contact your local Core Physio to find a Women’s Health Physio near you.
This was written by Nick Lagos.