PELVIC FLOOR PROBLEM
Pelvic Floor – out of sight but not out of mind.
Although the pelvic floor is hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal muscles.
Bladder leakage, no matter how light, is not normal and most cases can be cured or better managed. It is not uncommon to have signs of pelvic floor muscle weakness with 1 in 3 women experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction.
How do you know if you have a pelvic floor problem?
- Common signs that can indicate a pelvic floor problem include:
- accidentally leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
- needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
- constantly needing to go to the toilet
- finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
- accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
- accidentally passing wind
- a prolapse
- in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping
- in men, this may be felt as a bulge in the rectum or a feeling of needing to use their bowels but not actually needing to go
- pain in your pelvic area
- painful sex
How do pelvic floor problems occur?
Pelvic floor problems can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or too tight.
Some people have weak pelvic floor muscles from an early age, whilst others notice problems after certain life stages such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.
Some people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This can be made worse by doing squeezing exercises and overworking the muscles without learning how to relax.
What affects pelvic floor muscle fitness?
Pelvic floor muscle fitness is affected by a number of things. These include:
- not keeping them active or overworking them
- being pregnant and having babies
- a history of back pain
- ongoing constipation and straining to empty the bowels
- being overweight, obese or having a body mass index (BMI) over 25
- heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
- a chronic cough or sneeze, including those linked to asthma, smoking or hayfever
- previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy)
- growing older
Lilyfield Physio can help you!
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you to actively support your bladder and bowel. This improves bladder and bowel control and reduces the likelihood of accidentally leaking from your bladder or bowel. Like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor muscles will become stronger with a regular exercise program. This is important for both men and women.
If you are experiencing symptoms that could be related to pelvic pain, call our clinic today and our friendly staff will arrange a consultation for you. A referral is not necessary, however, your GP may be able to arrange a chronic disease management plan which would entitle you to a medicare rebate.