Following up the the previous post regarding abdominal separation, I thought it wise to follow up with a bit more on the pelvic floor. Previously I had written a post all about this delicate muscle group but as I mentioned earlier, it has been deleted permanently by something or someone unknown. Possibly it could have been my three year old playing around on the Ipad …. but I seriously hope not. Anyway. Before I start, lets just do a basic refresher of the Pelvic floor.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is basically a group of muscles inside the pelvis that create the floor of your abdomen, holding your pelvic organs in and aiding with pelvic stability and the core muscle group. They attach at the base, the sides, the front and the back of the inside of the pelvis like the inside of a bowl, or a sling. They also assist with bladder and bowel function, sexual function and child birth. As you can see, apart from childbirth, the function of these muscles are essential for everyday living for men and women.
Before commencing an exercise program, or if you currently suffer any sort of low back or pelvic pain, ask yourself these questions first.
- Are you currently pregnant?
- Have you ever had a baby or been pregnant?
- Are you going through or have you gone through menopause?
- Have you ever undergone gynaecological surgery?
- Are you an elite athlete?
- Do you have a history of lower back pain?
- Have you ever had an injury to your pelvic region i.e. Tailbone, car accident, fall etc
- Do you have asthma or hay fever or do you smoke?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you frequently lift heavy weights?
- Do you leak urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze?
- Do you often need to go to the toilet in a hurry or not make there in time?
- Do you find it difficult to empty your bowel or bladder?
- Do you accidently pass wind?
- Do you suffer pelvic pain or pain during sex?
If you answered Yes to questions 11 to 15 it is recommended that you consult a specialist such as a Physiotherapist. An untreated dysfunctional pelvic floor can lead to pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and more serious low back or joint injuries and pain. As a trainer I would not recommend that you start any exercise program other than a Pelvic floor exercises until this is resolved.
If you answered yes to any of the questions 1-10 a few more details would be needed to ascertain the severity of the pelvic floor weakness, or overactivity (for athletes) if any, before commencing an exercise program. Including a PF strengthening, rehabilitation or relaxation program should definitely be part of any exercise program for you!
If you would like to find out more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help!
Owner, Fitly Personal Training
Fitness for Real Women