Unpuzzling the ‘mysterious’ Pelvic floor

What is this so called “Pelvic floor”?

Consider what the function of the floor you are standing on right now is. What do you want in a good solid floor foundation?

You might have answered… “To not fall through it.” I’m no expert in the floor you are currently standing on but that would be my best guess.

So how does this at all relate to the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments in the pelvic region that provide support to your bladder, bowel, lower back, uterus (If you’re female), prostate (If you’re male- Yes males also have a pelvic floor).

The muscles and ligaments stretch almost like a hammock, from the pubic bone at the front, to the coccyx at the back and from one sitting bone to the other.

What can this so called ‘floor’ do for me?

Assist with positive sexual sensation and function

Stop you wetting or pooing your pants (Incontinence)

Stop your pelvic organs from falling out E.g. Bladder, rectum, uterus. (Prolapse)

Who suffers from Pelvic floor issues?

Anyone can suffer pelvic floor issues, and in fact it is extremely common, and you might not even realise it.

Here are some things that may put you at a higher risk..

  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Women who have had gynaecological surgery
  • Men who have had prostate surgery
  • Elite athletes / lifting heavy weights regularly
  • Overweight or obesity

But how do I know if my floor isn’t as functional as it could be?

Imagine how you would feel if the floor you are standing on right now was made of cotton wool. I’m guessing you would feel very unsupported.

The same goes for your pelvic floor, if it is not activating properly you may feel unsupported, which could lead to issues surrounding pain and incontinence.

But imagine how you would feel if the floor you were standing on all day everyday was way too hard. It might also start to get painful.

It’s like goldilocks and the three bears porridge, it can be too hot, or too cold or just right. We don’t want a pelvic floor that is too tight, but we don’t want one that is weak either. We want it to be just right for ultimate functioning.

But how do I know if my porridge is too hot or too cold?  

Here are just some of the symptoms that may arise,

  • 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
  • Always feeling the need to go to the toilet
  • Painful intercourse
  • Losing control of your bladder or bowel
  • Accidentally passing wind
  • Pain in the lower back or pelvic region

How do I fix my floor issues?

You made need to call your local tradesman if the floor you are standing on is not feeling supportive or is too hard on your feet.

However, if you feel like your ‘pelvic’ floor may not be serving you in the way you deserve, or you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above like Incontinence or painful sex, book in with your physiotherapist or osteopath today for an assessment and treatment plan, or talk to your trusted health professional.