10 Mar The secret ‘How To’ for pelvic floor exercises
You know you need to do them, but why? And how exactly do you do them? How often do you need to do them? It’s all just a bit mystifying . . . .
They say when you have a baby you’ll need to buy nappies – but if you want to steer clear of the adult version, maintaining a strong pelvic floor is essential! We love the latest trends with Mum and Bub matchy-matchy outfits, but let’s try and leave the underwear layer out of it for now!
At Western Women’s and Men’s Health in Hoppers Crossing, we often speak with patients who are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction. For women, your pelvic floor can be weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, constant coughing and the straining of chronic constipation. Conversely, the pelvic floor muscles can also become extra sensitive, overactive or work inefficiently. This can lead to many different pain conditions including painful intercourse, or painful bladder syndrome.
A weakened pelvic floor can:
– allow urine to leak or wind to be passed when coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping or exercising;
– fail to support the bladder, uterus and bowel which can lead to prolapse; and
– make the vagina lose sensitivity.
Thankfully there are steps you can take to improve your pelvic floor strength the benefits are compelling.
A strengthened and efficient pelvic floor can:
– increase bladder and anus control;
– support internal organs;
– improve sexual pleasure.
So where are these mysterious pelvic floor muscles exactly? Here’s a quick trick to help find them:
Imagine you are urinating and you are trying to stop the flow – squeeze! You found them! Great job! Now, while you are reading this article, whether you are sitting or standing, squeeze those muscles again. This time for 5 – 10 seconds then release. Relax for 5-10 seconds. Repeat up to 10 times. Well done! Feel free to repeat this little exercise once everyday – maybe while you’re on the phone, driving to school pick up, folding the laundry, cooking dinner – anywhere, anytime!
As often as you can, remember where those special muscles are and engage them while doing these two quick exercises, it’ll only take 5 minutes (check your Instagram feed and squeeze!) :
– Holding on to a bench or door frame, stand with legs and feet wider than your hips, with toes pointed out slightly. Inhale as you drop down as low as comfortable then stop. Exhale as you stand up again and squeeze your pelvic muscles as you do so.
– Lay on your back with your legs bent and feet close to your bottom. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, roll your hips up and lift you bottom off the floor.
Squeeze these muscles whenever you cough, sneeze and laugh!
Set a daily reminder in your phone, and spend 5 minutes everyday strengthening these important little muscles. It may take a few weeks or months to notice a substantial improvement but the benefits are enormous.
If you are suffering the effects of a weakened pelvic floor and looking for advice and treatment options, make an appointment with one of our experienced pelvic physios at Western Women’s & Men’s Health near Werribee. Call our experienced team today on (03) 8001 2044 to make a booking.