Hi, I’m you Pelvic Floor. It’s Nice to Meet You.
Now I am sure that you have heard the term pelvic floor used before, and you may even know that it is located somewhere “down there”. But how well acquainted are you with your pelvic health?
Think about your best friend in the entire world. I’m sure that you know everything about them. Where they live and what they do for a living. I’m sure you can even tell whether they are happy or sad without them needing to say a single word. You just know them so well that nothing needs to be said.
This is the type of relationship you should have with your pelvic floor!
It truly is such an integral part of female health and with an estimated 1 in 3 women experiencing some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction, its incredibly important to seek out a kind and informed relationship with your pelvic floor!
I’d like to introduce you to your pelvic floor.
What is the pelvic floor, and where is it located?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissues that are attached to the bones at the bottom of the pelvis. Imagine this muscle group as a hammock that attaches to the pubic bone in the front, the sit bones on both sides, and the tailbone at the back.
How Can I find my pelvic floor muscles if I can’t see them?
- Feeling the pelvic floor muscles under pressure.
In a sitting position, blow strongly into a balloon or mime the same action. You will immediately feel a region in the lower pelvis that comes into play as you blow. This globally speaking, is the pelvic floor region.
- Feeling and testing three different possible “responses”
Observe what happened in the pelvic floor region when you blew into the balloon. You may have felt:
- That the act of blowing into the balloon caused the urge to urinate.
- That the pelvic floor was being pushed downwards.
- Or conversely, that the region was contracting strongly in on itself and even moving upwards.
If the pelvic floor has weak muscle tone, this pressure will be enough to bring on an urge to urinate. If the pelvic floor muscles have sufficient tone, they will be able to control the urination, in which case you may simply feel the muscles contract.
- Try to notice the same sensations in everyday life
For example, when you :
- Raise your voice
- Block your breathe before exerting yourself (as if lifting a heavy object)
- Blowing out a candle
All of these situations put the pelvic floor under pressure.
- Contacting the pelvic floor
Take a small facecloth and fold it into quarters. Sit on a seat, and place the folded cloth between the two ischia (sit bones) of your pelvis and between the pubis and coccyx(tailbone).
What do you feel? Are you able to allow the region in contact with the facecloth to adapt itself comfortably? Do the following:
- Stay in this position, and take a few deep breathes. Observe the different sensations while breathing in and breathing out.
- Using this contact, locate the three orifices and try to imagine the distance between each of them.
- Repeat blowing into a balloon or mime the same action. Note that the region I contact with the folded facecloth overlaps the area put under pressure by the blowing action.
- Now take the folded cloth away. What do you feel? Does the region seem the same?
This is just one way to develop and awareness and appreciation of the tone of your pelvic floor.
What does the pelvic floor do?
This muscular structure serves a dual function:
- It supports the lower abdomen. This support is increased during childbirth and when there is an increase I the volume or weight of the internal organs.
- It serves as a passageway from the interior to the exterior, a feat which can be attributed to the elasticity of the musculature.
Your pelvic floor is working all day every day, and some of its duties may completely surprise you.
Maintaining continence – Pelvic floor muscles help with bladder and bowel control.
Stabilization – These muscles work in conjunction with your diaphragm, hip muscles and lumbar spine to stabilize your hips and trunk.
Support – These muscles act like a hammock supporting all the organs of the lesser pelvis, as well as supporting the growing weight of the fetus during pregnancy.
Sexual sensation – the pelvic floor helps to increase physical intensity during sexual intercourse. Even though it’s an involuntary contraction, you can consciously work these muscles to increase sensation.
What Happens when my pelvic floor muscles are weak?
If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, chances are you may experience urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, chronic back pain, pelvic pain as well as difficulties during sexual intercourse.
If you have any questions or concerns about the pelvic pain you are experiencing give us a call at 905-892-1318 to book an appointment with me! There are gentle and non-invasive ways that we can work to get you back to feeling your best, and feeling confident in yourself!
You deserve to live your best life each and every day!
– Nathan Lambert, DOMP