Pelvic Floor Health
Pelvic floor (or Kegel) muscles are essential for dynamic stability and efficient movement of the human body - from breathing to competitive sports. From running to dancing, crawling to climbing, and from riding a bike to kicking a ball, activation of the pelvic floor muscles are key for optimal recruitment of arm and leg muscles. But what is and where are the pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor, or very bottom of the pelvis, is made up of ligaments, nerves and other connective tissue, and muscle. The skeletal muscle fibers in this region are well suited for strength training. Forming a U-shaped sling which surrounds all three (or two in males) openings in the perineum, the pelvic floor muscles are essential for three reasons:
- Support - the pelvic floor muscles are they key system holding the weight of the pelvic and abdominal organs (and abdominal fat, and babies in the womb) in proper position. When pelvic floor muscle strength is deficient, problems such as organ prolapse can occur.
- Sphincter (closure pressure) - the pelvic floor muscles are the chief factor for continence, or the ability to control bladder/bowel function, through their ability to squeeze the openings which they surround. Both women and men can be affected by incontinence which can present in many ways: daily to infrequently, and through loss of urine with coughing, sneezing, or running to excessive flatulence.
- Sexual function - probably the least known benefit of healthy pelvic floor muscles is their ability to promote normal sexual response from arousal to climax. Adequate blood flow and number and size of pelvic floor muscle fibers are key!
It is a fact that 40% of people who perform Kegels, or pelvic floor muscle strenthening exericses, do them incorrectly. Furthermore, every person is unique given their age, history, type and level of activity, and goals...
CoreActive offers private, one-on-one pelvic physical therapy evaluation & treatment as well as comprehensive prevention programs for men and women. Read below at "Treatment Options Incontinence" for more information.
"Exercise the Floor of Your Core!" (Section on Women's Health, APTA)
Though multiple pregnancies increase risk, even healthy active teens and male military veterans are affected by bladder control problems. Education and prevention are important to avoid exercise cessation - a lifestyle that includes aerobic exercise is essential for health at all ages.
While men often report bladder or bowel problems promptly, women on average wait six years to tell their healthcare provider about the issue! If you are female and reading this, chances are you've giggled with girlfriends, mom, or sisters about the "downfalls of getting older" or "physical side effects of having kids..." But did you know that it is NOT a normal part of aging to leak when you laugh, cough, sneeze, jump or run?
A great supplement to one-on-one pelvic physical therapy treatment is the small group core + kegel class Ms Fit Therapy®! Take charge of that nagging problem today, and consider inviting a few friends to join too!
Pelvic Pain Relief
Pelvic pain is a common experience: in primary care settings its prevalence is as common as low back pain, migraine, and asthma. Pelvic pain can be caused by pelvic muscle spasm or weakness, nerve impingement, ligament or joint sprain, or visceral (organ) pain. If you or someone you know has pelvic pain with running, walking, cycling, sitting, driving, or lifting then it is important to know that one of the most effective treatment options is pelvic physical therapy.
CoreActive Therapy is a specialty provider with advanced training and over a decade of experience in efficient and effective evaluation and treatment of pelvic pain conditions. At CoreActive it is a priority to work with or create a team of support via medical, allied health, and complimentary providers to optimize treatment outcomes.
CoreActive's owner produced these videos for the Section on Women's Health of the American Physical Therapy Association:
International Pelvic Pain Society
Treatment Options Incontinence
It's a fact: urinary incontinence, or bladder leakage, affects up to 55% of all adults and 25-85% of female athletes. Males with a history of prostate surgery or military service are also affected. A person's chance of experiencing difficulties due to incontinence increase with two or more pregnancies, birth injuries, high impact and endurance exercise (eg. running, jumping sports, gymnastics), COPD or emphysema, certain surgeries, being overweight, and advancing age.
Treatment options for incontinence that focus on conservative pelvic physical therapy treatment are growing in public awareness and are overwhelmingly supported in the research as highly effective. Complete or near complete relief is experienced by over 85% of patients who choose conservative treatment for incontinence.
At CoreActive Therapy, treatment excellence is achieved through screening, taking a thorough health history, comprehensive evaluation, and individualized education and instruction in correct performance of pelvic floor and core muscle activation and coordination. In some cases modalities such as electrical stimulation or EMG Biofeedback are utilized to enhance muscle performance and the brain-body connection. CoreActive's owner is the longest continuously BCIA certified EMG Biofeedback specialist for pelvic muscle dysfunction in the Madison area.
Section on Women's Health - American Physical Therapy Association
International Continence Society
Biofeedback Certification International Alliance
© CoreActive Therapy 2017