Have you heard whispers about needing to keep your pelvic floor in shape, but you’re not sure what that means?
People may have referred to your pelvic floor muscles without ever really explaining what they are and how to strengthen them.
These are the muscles that support your lower organs like your uterus, bowels, and bladder.
But what happens if your pelvic floor muscles are weakened.
Urinary incontinence, sexual discomfort, and even lower back pain can all result from having a weakened pelvic floor.
However, while these symptoms may feel embarrassing, you don’t have to deal with them alone.
However, pelvic floor issues can affect men as well – if that’s your case, you may want to see a men’s health physical therapist.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at your pelvic floor – what it is, how it works, and how our Washington DC physical therapists can help.
What Are Your Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscles and ligaments that support your uterus, bladder, and bowels.
All of the openings from these organs pass through your pelvic floor muscles.
This includes the following organs are all supported by your pelvic floor muscles:
- Sexual organs
These muscles attach to the front of your body by your pubic bone and the back near your tailbone and the base of your pelvis.
It’s important for your muscles to both be able to contract and lift as well as relax.
What Causes Weakened Pelvic Floor Muscles?
When your pelvic floor muscles are strong they will support your organs and prevent issues.
There are a few common causes of weakened pelvic floor muscles, which include:
- Too much heavy lifting
- Chronic constipation
- Prostate cancer surgery
- Chronic coughing
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Menopausal hormone changes
Health Concerns Associated With Pelvic Floor Muscles
If you have a weakened pelvic floor, you might encounter some specific health issues.
Your bladder, bowels, or sexual function can all be affected when you’ve noticed weakness in your pelvic floor.
This may cause some troublesome and potentially embarrassing issues.
Here at Capitol Physical Therapy, we’re committed to a safe, judgment free environment where you can feel free and open to discussing such issues.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the issues you might encounter if you have a weakened pelvic floor.
1. Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is when you experience urinary leakage, especially when you’re laughing, coughing, sneezing, or even running.
You might get frequent urinary tract infections or fail to get to a toilet in time.
Physical therapy for urinary incontinence may include exercises like diaphragm breathing and pelvic floor coordination and relaxation moves to help strengthen your pelvic floor.
With practice this can help strengthen your weakened pelvic floor muscles and improve your urinary incontinence.
2. Pain During Penetrative Vaginal Intercourse
Weakened pelvic floor muscles may cause symptoms such as reduced feeling or a sensation of heaviness in your vagina.
In some cases, this can lead to pain in your vagina or vulva during penetrative intercourse.
Pain with sex physical therapy will often include pelvic floor exercises that focus on the strength, tone, mobility, and flexibility of your pelvic floor.
Physical therapy can also help increase blood flow to your pelvic region, which will allow you to relax those muscles and hopefully decrease your level of pain.
3. Lower Back Pain
A heaviness or dragging feeling in your lower back can be a sign of weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Lower back physical therapy treatments will focus on your lower back pain, offering exercises designed to alleviate your pain while strengthening your back and pelvic floor.
Building up core stability with progressive strengthening exercises will be a key component of getting your pelvic floor in tip top shape.
4. Pelvic Floor Prolapse
A prolapse is a drooping or descending of your internal organs.
A pelvic floor prolapse will thus entail a drooping of any of the organs supported by your pelvic floor: your bladder, sex organs, bowel, or rectum.
Signs you might have a pelvic floor prolapse could include a backache in your lower back, a feeling of pressure or fullness in your pelvis, or even lack of bowel control.
To prevent pelvic floor prolapse, you’ll want to work on strengthening your pelvic floor with exercises such as Kegel exercises.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
Do you have urinary incontinence, chronic back pain, or discomfort during penetrative sex?
If so, you may have an issue with your pelvic floor muscles.
At Capitol Physical Therapy we can help.
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005
9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC