16 Oct Women’s Health Physiotherapy – Pelvic Floor
How can Women’s Health Physiotherapy help my pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles that support the pelvic organs and form the birth canal and passages for urine and stool.
The pelvic floor muscles are often described as a hammock, lifting and supporting the pelvic organs above. These muscles need to be able to contract to keep us continent, but to also relax to allow for urination, bowel movements, child birth and sexual intercourse.
Problems with the pelvic floor can occur when these muscles are too weak (hypotonic) or too tight (hypertonic).
When the pelvic floor muscles are low- tone (hypotonic) the hammock becomes less effective at supporting the pelvic organs and symptoms such as urinary or bowel incontinence, urgency and pelvic organ prolapse can occur. These are NOT a normal part of aging and the muscles can become weak for many reasons.
The good news is that a structured exercise program to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles is effective in reversing the symptoms in the majority of women.
When the pelvic floor muscles are already in a state of increased tone you may find it difficult to initiate or hold a pelvic floor contraction and increase the tone any further. In this case it is important to relax the pelvic floor muscles fully and treat the tension before any underlying weakness. Once the muscles have reached a normal resting tone, and are able to relax fully, their strength is reassessed and strengthening exercises are prescribed
The pelvic floor muscles work closely with the diaphragm muscle, and so an altered or inefficient breathing pattern may also affect pelvic floor function. Your breathing pattern will be assessed as a part of your Women’s Health Physiotherapy initial assessment. Any breathing pattern issues will be treated and worked on as a part of the holistic treatment.
Find out more about Women’s Health Physiotherapy at Halo Physio here
Blog compiled by Deborah Thomas, Senior Physiotherapist at Halo Physio