THE FEMALE PELVIC FLOOR
The pelvic floor consists of several layers of muscles that cover the bottom of the pelvic cavity. These muscles have several distinct roles:
- To support the pelvic organs, the bladder, uterus and colon within the pelvis.
- To assist in stopping and starting the flow of urine or the passage of gas or stool.
It is important to note that the pelvic floor needs to contract synergistically with the diaphragm, transverses abdominus, and the multifidus in the back. These are the “core muscles” that allow you to be decompressed in the lumbar spine, avoid urinary leakage, keep flat abdominals, and also aids in the breathing.
We are told to do kegels, kegels, kegels, galore… are you doing this?
As a mom of two, I had a major issue with leakage especially when I was running, coughing, and sneezing. I was mortified. However, I found out that 1 in 5 women have this issue but are too embarrassed to talk about it, or they just think that it’s part of life. Well, let me tell you, I do not want to be in a diaper when I am older, but the incontinence pads are selling like hot cakes. It has become a major money making industry. I decided that this is not for me, so I got busy retraining my core. Today, I am as good as new.
As I treat patients with this issue, I find that they don’t really know how to contract their pelvic floor, let alone the core. The key is in targeting the other three core muscles as they are meant to contract together, especially with breathing. So I began to use the breathing to contract the core and slowly but surely, we were able to strengthen the pelvic floor – core connection (neurological connection). It is really what we were born with, but lost due to various issues such as surgery, babies, injury, posture, habits, etc.
So let’s get busy and start contracting by breathing correctly.