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Pelvic Health Rehab


Pelvic Health Rehab

July 6, 2023

So, what’s the pelvic floor? The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles that sit like a bowl, within the bony pelvis and has the following functions:

1.     Support the pelvic organs above

2.     Houses our reproductive organs, urinary system and digestive system

3.     Control bladder and bowel function

4.     Contribute to sexual functions of arousal and orgasms

5.     Provides stability to your hips and low back

6.     Pumps blood and lymphatic fluids from the pelvic area

The muscles of the pelvic floor also work directly with the diaphragm to provide support to our core canister which is super helpful when working out, carrying children, performing daily activities or for performance in sport.

The back, hips, abdominal muscles diaphragm and pelvic floor are very closely connected and we really cannot work on one without considering the others. We always talk about working out our “core muscles” and maintaining a strong “core.” Well think about the pelvic floor as the “floor of our core!”

NORMAL FUNCTION of the pelvic floor:

You should urinate roughly 5-8 times/day during waking hours, and should be able to hold urine for 2 hours without pain, discomfort, or leakage of urine.

Waking up 0-2 times/night to use the restroom

No leakage of urine, stool, or gas with or without activity

Able to control urinary and fecal urge/delay these urges as needed

No pain with urination or defecation

Urine should take 8-10 seconds

Average for all mammals: 20-30 seconds normal time for urine stream

Pelvic floor should be able to relax and contract (squeeze)

Ability to experience pleasure during sexual activity

Pain free intercourse

BM Range from 3x/day to 3x/week

Signs of abnormalities

Difficulty voiding BM and urine

Unable to fully void (straining to empty bowel or bladder); inconsistent stream

Difficulty controlling urine, fecal matter and gas (incontinence)

Urgency, urinary frequency more than 2x per hour

Pressure, heaviness, feeling of dragging, bulging inside of vaginal canal; feeling of insides falling

Pain with insertion (includes tampon usage and gynecological examinations) or intercourse (dyspareunia, vulvodynia, vaginismus), pain with orgasm, pain following intercourse

Splinting or use of hands/fingers to help evacuate bowels

Difficulty or lack of orgasm

Hip, jaw or lower back pain and other MSK pain

Changes in menstruation

Pelvic pain with activities (prolonged sitting, standing, lifting, exercise). Pelvic pain can radiate to lower abdominals, low back, inner thighs, and perineum.

Let’s talk more about incontinence…

Pelvic floor dysfunction is stopping 46% of women from exercising! And at a time where metabolic syndrome is at an all-time high, we need to make sure as many people are working out as much as possible without any barriers.

There are 2 categories of incontinence: Stress and Urge

Stress incontinence is when leaking occurs during a stressful activity or when load is applied through the pelvic floor:

Such as leakage while jumping, running, lifting weights, coughing, sneezing or laughing.

Urge incontinence is when you suddenly have and intense urge to go to the restroom, cannot wait, and experience urine leakage prior to reaching the bathroom in time.

Just because something is common, does not excuse it and does not make it normal. Do all of your friends pee when they laugh? Common but NOT NORMAL. Peeing with running or jumping? Common but NOT NORMAL. There is a misconception that if it is common, then it must be normal and there is no need to get help regarding the condition. Understanding what to expect after certain experiences, such as with menopause or after childbirth, can help differentiate between what is to be expected and normal of that condition and what is not normal and should be treated.

It takes a woman an average of 7 years before getting to the right provider to treat their pelvic floor dysfunction and we would love to see that greatly reduced. That can happen by increasing education and continuing to talk about these conditions. So if you want to learn more set up a phone call with us so we can answer your questions today!