14 October 2020
Do you know what your pelvic floor is?
Your pelvic floor (PF) is a group of muscles with support from fascia and ligaments that sits at the base of your pelvis, acting like a hammock supporting the pelvic organs.
PF muscles are super important for controlling continence and are also important for sexual functions. Like any other muscle in the body they need to have good tone, strength and flexibility.
Your PF is part of the myofascial deep front line, so whole body movements and coactivation of the myofascial slings help to strengthen your PF.
A top tip of how to check that you are activating your PF; lay on your side, knee’s bent (wearing knickers or leggings) and reach back gently placing one finger over your anus, now let this finger move just to the side:
>Take a breath in through the nose and out through the mouth and let your PF fully relax.
>Take another breath in, on the out breath squeeze your anus, lift up and in, keep breathing and count 5 seconds out loud.
Did you feel the muscles activate and relax?
Try again but without using your finger, can you feel the muscles activating and relaxing?
P.S. in research, cueing anus is the best way to get global contraction of the PF (Crotty 2012)
You can practise PF exercises (Kegels) in static positions (lying, sitting or standing) working on 10 quick squeezes and longer squeezes aiming up to 10 seconds, remember to make sure you relax before, between and at the end.
You can also try adding a PF activation into a functional movement, as we 100 % don’t go through life just staying still.
Can you activate your PF as you stand up?
Can you activate your PF as you rise from a squat?
Make sure you synchronize breathing out with the effort of the movement.
Remember it is not normal to leak when you cough, laugh, sneeze or during any activity!
If you think you have a problem with your PF please book in with our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Kirsty.
**If the above exercises cause you pain or you feel you can’t relax your PF stop and book in for an assessment.
***the above is for information purposes, PF rehab should be individual to you.