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Let us talk basics: what is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is the name of the group of muscles that support your pelvic organs at the bottom of your pelvis. Although showing some anatomical differences between genders, these muscles exist in both women and men and are responsible for the control of your bladder and bowel.
In men, these muscles are also important for erectile function and ejaculation. In women, the pelvic floor contributes to sexual arousal, supports the baby during pregnancy, assists the birthing process and is also linked to orgasm.
The pelvic floor is like a hammock that supports the pelvic organs in the pelvis (bladder, uterus and rectum). When working normally, they relax to allow urination, bowel movements and, in women, intercourse. When they contract, they close the urethra and the anus, stopping urine and faeces from exiting.
Pelvic floor dysfunctions can result from:
- Over activity
- Lack of coordination
- Birthing trauma
- Side effects of surgery in the pelvic region
Pelvic floor symptoms might present as one or more of the following:
- Leaking while coughing, laughing or during activities
- Sudden urges or having to rush to the bathroom
- Frequently having to visit the bathroom
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Painful urination
- Ongoing pain in your pelvic floor region, genitals, or rectum
- Feeling heaviness or a bulging in the vaginal region
- Pain in your lower back that cannot be explained by other causes
- Pain during intercourse
- Reduced sensation during intercourse
- Feeling that you have several bowel movements during a short period of time or you cannot complete a bowel movement.
- Constipation or regular straining
Due to the multi factorial nature of pelvic floor dysfunctions, treatment for these conditions should widely differ person to person.
Pelvic floor or Women’s Health physiotherapists are trained specifically to assess, diagnose and treat pelvic floor dysfunction. While in some cases your pelvic floor muscles may need to be strengthened, other times you may need to learn how to relax them or retrain your bladder.
Get an individual assessment today and get your life back on track. Phone 9968 3424 to book.
June 14, 2017 0 Comments
SquareOne Physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems.Read more
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- Runners Knee
- Menopause, Exercise and Physio
- Exercise during Pregnancy
- A Sports Physiotherapist turned full-time Mum
- Pilates with a Physio - Why is it better?
"Running will ruin your knees," a phrase I’m sure we have all heard. Despite what your well-meaning but potentially ill-informed neighbours, co-workers, and relatives may have told you, there's no evidence that regular running damages knees.
Whilst menopause comes with many (not so pleasant) symptoms, the great news is that you can help manage many of them with exercise.
Exercise has many benefits post menopause including maintaining and improving:
• Muscle strength
• Bone density
• Joint flexibility
• Mood and general wellbeing
There are many different types of exercise so you should choose something that you enjoy, fits in with your lifestyle and helps manage your individual symptoms.
Types of exercise:
Aerobic exercise: This type of exercise works your heart and lungs, and is also important to prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. This is any exercise that gets you huffing and puffing including activities such as cycling, swimming, tennis and gardening. It is important to avoid high impact activities such as running and jumping to protect your joints and pelvic floor as these are weaker post menopause.
Flexibility: Stretching and gentle respective movements increase the length of your muscles, resulting in improvement in your range of joint movement. Yoga is a great form of exercise to achieve this.
Resistance/Strength Training: This exercise uses weights, exercise bands, or body weight to help strengthen your bones and muscles whilst also improving your balance and coordination.
Functional Training (Clinical Pilates): Training your pelvic floor muscles to contract and relax as needed assists you to regain or prevent incontinence and prevent prolapse symptoms. This functional training is best done with an individualised exercise program that is designed to suit your individual needs. These exercises also enhance any strength training program and assist in flexibility or balance.
At SquareOne we use Clinical Pilates equipment to rehabilitate the function of pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals, so that they automatically work during everyday activities. Clinical Pilates combines with a specific home exercise program will assist in achieving optimal function more quickly.
What can a Women’s Health Physiotherapist do for you menopausal symptoms?
A Women’s Health Physiotherapist can assess you individually and tailor an exercise program to address any particular issues and goals that you may have.
At Mosman Women's Health, our physiotherapists have extra training in managing older women and in particular exercise prescription for the different needs of the menopausal woman.
International guidelines all concur with the view that walking, jogging, cycling and swimming (at moderate intensity), muscle strengthening exercises (including pelvic floor exercises), water based exercise, and pregnancy-specific exercise classes are both safe and beneficial for pregnant women.
If you have never been physically active – it’s also suggested that now would be a great time to start.
We interviewed Lauren earlier this year about her experience at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast while juggling the new role of being a first time Mum.
What benefit do I get?
Here at SquareOne, our Philosophy is to not only fix your injury but send you away stronger, fitter and more resilient – in other words, less likely to injure yourself again.
Our Pilates programs help deliver our evidence based exercise programs to those who are in pain, those rehabilitating or those just wanting to move and exercise more.
When taking our clients through their programs we not only have what exercise you are going to do next front in mind we are thinking of a multitude of different things. Our knowledge of anatomy, pain science, biomechanics, load management, pathology and rehabilitation allows us to consider many different facets in developing your program.