04 Sep Pelvic Power
The Importance of Pelvic Floor for All Women
Many people think that pelvic floor issues including incontinence and prolapse only happen to pregnant or aging women. However, exercise, constipation and over activating of muscles can also cause problems.
The pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. These muscles support a woman’s bladder, bowel and uterus.
Pregnant women need strong pelvic floor muscles to help support the weight of the growing baby. Having these muscles strong will also increase the speed of healing after birth. Following the birth of your baby, pelvic floor exercises should resume as soon as possible. Recent research by chiropractor Dr Heidi Haavik found that chiropractic adjustments helped pregnant women to relax the pelvic floor muscles at rest This has the potential to give them a greater degree of control over the pelvic floor muscles, which in turn, may make natural childbirth easier.
Many women walk around with their stomach muscles held in. This also contracts the pelvic floor muscles and over time, may lead to over activated muscles. Therefore it’s important to make sure you also allow time for the pelvic floor muscles to relax. If you are suffering from leakage; heavy weights, sit-ups and high impact exercises can also place extra stress on these muscles.
How to strengthen your pelvic floor
- Locate your pelvic floor muscles (if you’re unsure, try stopping a stream of urine while sitting on the toilet – but don’t make a habit of it)
- Squeeze and draw in the muscles around your back passage and your vagina at the same time, lifting them up inside
- Hold them strong and tight as you count to eight
- Let them go slowly and relax
- Repeat “squeeze and lift” ten times
Try doing this next time you are stopped at the traffic lights, chopping vegetables for dinner or brushing your teeth!
Healthy pelvic floor muscles are an integral part of overall comfort and wellbeing. Regular exercise of them will ensure, no matter what stage of life you are at, your pelvic floor is strong!
If you would like any further information speak to your health practitioner or book in for a complementary 15 minute chat with Dr Elise Feher by clicking here.