It is hard to know that your pelvic floor is there since you can’t see what it is doing. It’s not like someone will come up to you and say, “Hey your pubococcygeous is really cut!” Nevertheless, this muscle is a superstar. It works backstage and ensures all the other muscles can look good. Here’s just what it does:
When you get the urge, the pelvic floor muscles help control whether or not you make it to the bathroom in time. They also stop that little leak when you cough, sneeze, run or jump.
The pelvic floor muscles work together with the diaphragm, helping air in and out by lengthening (eccentric contraction) during inspiration and shortening (concentric contraction) during expiration.
The pelvic floor muscles are part of the deep system of core stabilization. They work with the abdominals and multifidus to control movement of the lumbopelvic unit during load transfer.
The pelvic floor muscles are integral in sexual satisfaction. Too tight and sex can be painful (dyspareunia), too lax and the woman may not feel any stimulation, whereas the man may not be able to maintain an erection.
So how do you know if your pelvic floor muscles need a tune up? Well, if you:
- leak urine (even just a drop) when you cough
- are an upper chest breather
- have or suspect a prolapse
- have pelvic pain or feel weak in your core
- have pain during sex or a loss of sensation during sex
- are pregnant
- have just had a baby
- are going through menopause
- are just one of those health conscious people who like to know everything is working the way it should
If any of these factors apply to you, then you should make an appointment to see a pelvic health physiotherapist now!