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:

Continence
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.

Respiration
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.

Support
The pelvic floor muscles are key in keeping our organs where they belong. Low tone and/or weakness in the pelvic floor increases your risk of pelvic organ prolapse.

Control/Stabilization
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.

Sex
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!

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Julia Di Paolo
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Julia Di Paolo is a Registered Physiotherapist and certified Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, with a special interest in women’s health and has developed a treatment and exercise program for diastasis recti abdominis and pelvic floor dysfunction such as incontinence and prolapse. Julia is ¬fluent in both French and English, and can assess and treat patients in their language of choice. Julia is passionate about empowering women through strengthening their self image, confidence and self-esteem.
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