Have you ever walked in on grandma rinsing out her underwear in the shower? Or have you had to rinse your underwear and know exactly what I’m talking about?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can manifest in many different ways; from urinary or fecal incontinence to hemorrhoids, constipation, pelvic pain or pain with intercourse. Pelvic dysfunction can affect women and men, children and elderly, and even (or especially) high level athletes.
Our pelvic floor is made up of skeletal muscle, which is the type of muscle in our body that is available to us to contract or relax whenever we please. This is different from the smooth muscle in our GI or cardiac muscle, which contract independently to keep us alive (but are also heavily influenced by our emotions and stress levels)!
Here is a picture of the female pelvic floor:
These muscles are very important because they perform all of our sphincteral and sexual functions, as well as support the organs in our body. They work synergistically with the lower abdominal muscles to support our core.
Because this is such an important region of our body, we tend to store many psychological and cultural belief systems, emotions, stigmas and traumas in our pelvic regions. Dysfunction in this area can profoundly affect our sense of self worth and self esteem. Many people are terrified to address this area even though they know something is wrong. Pelvic floor dysfunction can profoundly disrupt our quality of life, so let’s shine a light on some common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction:
Tailbone pain or pain around pelvis
Pain with sex
Pain that shoots from front of the hip to the back
Lower abdominal aching
Numbness/tingling with sitting/cycling
Feeling of heaviness, falling out
Straining to have bowel movements
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s time to address it! Make an appointment with our Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist today!