Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that attach to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bone and sacrum. They act like a hammock, or sling, to support the organs in your abdomen. They also wrap around your urethra, rectum and vagina. Healthy pelvic floor muscles are essential for bladder and bowel control, preventing prolapse, and sexual function. Here are some tips for keeping them healthy.
50% of women don’t know how to correctly contract their pelvic floor muscles! The problem with that is, by doing it incorrectly, not only will you not get the results you want, but you could be making the problem worse. Performing the exercises with the correct technique is the key to getting good results from your pelvic floor exercise program. So, how do you know if you are doing them right?! Make an appointment with a clinician in the know, Kirsty, our amazing Women’s and Pelvic Health Physio.
Getting it Done!
The biggest barrier to pelvic floor muscle exercises is remembering to do them! Research tells us that this is the biggest factor influencing results. Making the time in your day can be challenging for us all. Being consistent and doing it at a set time each day can help to make it part of your routine. There are some great smartphone apps that can automatically remind you when to do your exercises. They also lead you through the exercises so you know exactly what to do. One that I recommend is “Kegel Trainer”.
Put them into Practice
It’s not only important to strengthen your pelvic floor by doing the exercises prescribed - it’s just as important to switch these muscles on when you need them throughout the day. In the beginning, you will need to remind your brain to turn these muscles on when you lift, cough, laugh or sneeze or urgently need to wee, but with practice this will become more automatic.
Making it part of your Lifestyle
As you move through your day, some things can place increased strain on your pelvic floor. This includes straining to empty your bowels and constipation, a chronic cough, heavy lifting, lots of high impact exercise and being overweight. Keeping your bowels regular with a diet high in fibre and fluid, and maintaining a healthy weight, are three more lifestyle habits that will lead to improved pelvic health. I would highly recommend sitting down with our Dietitian, Bonnie, to look at some simple measures you can incorporate into your day to bolster your health from inside.
Good lifting technique and participating in appropriate exercise is also an important element of health and longevity. Our Physiotherapy team, and the programs running from our on-site Strength Lab, are primed to help you achieve your goals for a long and healthy life.
Looking after your pelvic floor will improve, or prevent, bladder and bowel problems and prolapse, while making intimacy more enjoyable. Even if you don’t have symptoms now, a healthy pelvic floor will help manage the normal effects of ageing and its effect on the pelvic floor muscles.
If you need help getting your pelvic floor back on track call us on 9431 5955 Or jump online and make an appointment.
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