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The Pelvic Floor – it’s more than just kegels!

Women’s Health week is celebrated every year to promote and create further awareness around common issues affecting women.

This year I was delighted to be invited to speak at the Epworth Freemason’s on pelvic floor health to both staff and those suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.    I covered a number of topics, including pelvic floor function and anatomy, pelvic floor appropriate exercise, and why pelvic floor health is not just all about pelvic floor strengthening exercise.

Something that we find very commonly in many women who have had some form of pelvic floor dysfunction or injury is that the muscles may not be working effectively.  A healthy muscle needs to be able to relax as effectively as it can contract, and the pelvic floor is no exception!

One of the most important things in pelvic floor rehabilitation is that we fully assess the pelvic floor function and retrain all of the components appropriately.  This may mean we need to teach the muscles how to relax first before we can strengthen them.  This is called down-training and there are a number of different techniques we can use to teach the muscles this skill.

Another important factor is to consider all of the other muscles that are involved in optimal pelvic floor strength.  These include; your lower back muscles, abdominal muscles, groin and glut muscles, and the diaphragm.  Did you know that even the way you breath may affect how the pelvic floor muscles function!  By looking at all the different components of a health functioning pelvic floor we are able to assess and address those contributing factors, often leading to a more successful outcome!

As you can see there are a large number of areas to investigate when it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction and this is why a thorough assessment with a specialised women’s health physiotherapist is of paramount importance!  So pop in for an assessment if this applies to you and get started on appropriate pelvic floor rehab!

 

ALISON HARDING
B Physio Grad Cert (Pelvic Floor) 

Clinical Pilates Instructor image022