Women’s Health

Women’s Health

Unless you’ve had trouble with it, you likely don’t think of it ~ Your Pelvic Floor! What exactly is that, you ask?  Well, here’s all you ever wanted to know, and then some….. about your pelvic floor! 

Your Pelvic Floor is the base of….well, your pelvis!  It is often likened to a hammock that runs from the pubic bone to the tailbone, and is made up of muscles, ligaments, and fascia.  The Pelvic Floor is the base of our core, and works with other muscles to aid in respiration and spinal stabilization. 

It’s a dome-shaped unit that has the complex job of holding everything inside the pelvic cavity, provide support to the base of the spine, to hold onto our delicate faculties during coughing or sneezing fits……………..yet it also needs to be able to release in coordination with the sphincters of the bladder and colon to allow for the passage of waste.  And, let’s not forget its role in sexual function, pregnancy, and childbirth!

Many of us know the Kegel, (named in the 1940’s after the doctor of same name), as the exercise we use to stop urine flow, prescribed in response to the post-baby dribbles.  The Kegel has served us well over the years!  However, we know so much more about biomechanics and anatomy than we did way back in the day!  After all, the big exercise trend in the 1940’s was…………………..um, well, nothing!  Scientists thought that women who exercised were causing damage to their reproductive systems. 

Too Tight?/Too Weak? Problems with both can occur!

 Just like everything else you hear us preach about……alignment has everything to do with it!   As with all muscles, these tissues respond to the position of the bones they are connected to.  For example: When your hamstring group is too tight, it causes the back of the pelvis to shift  downward, which in turn, pulls on the lower back, typically causing it to hang out in a lengthened position where it will weaken.  Often, the result here is back pain and an inability to properly use the pelvic floor and tush muscles.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, half of all women over age 50 experience pelvic floor weakening.  Weak pelvic floor issues can range from prolapse of the bladder, uterus, or rectum, urinary or fecal incontinence, stress/urge incontinence,  and diminished sensation during intimacy. 

In the too tight or “non-relaxing pelvic floor dysfunction”, symptoms can present as spasms, painful bowel movements, painful intercourse, pelvic pain, radiating pain to the thigh or groin, or SI Joint dysfunction. .

Either way, no fun…….BUT…….according to the International Urogynecology Journal, researchers found that a 12 week Pilates program can effectively improve pelvic floor muscular strength!  At Inner Strength you will learn the proper functioning of the pelvic floor and the exercises that will effectively both strengthen and stretch the pelvic floor.

YAY PILATES!!

Balance, Control, and Inner Strength, for a healthy core and pelvic floor!