What is pelvic floor rehab? Pelvic floor rehab is a specialty in physiotherapy, or physical therapy that involves the improvement in function of the most basic functions of what it is to be human – the storage and evacuation of urine, bowel, sexual function, and trunk stability. Let’s talk about pooping, peeing, and sex! Everybody poops
Common occurrences in the human experience are the act of storing and voiding both bowel and bladder, but your pelvic floor does much more. Sex, believe it or not, is an activity of daily living. But, your pelvic floor is also important in the support of your internal organs, stabilization of your pelvis, SI joint, and back, and is an important piece of your “core” strength. What is your core strength? I’m glad you asked!
Core strength involves the abdominal muscles including the rectus abdominus (the 6-pack), the external and internal obliques, and the most bottom layer of your abdominals – the transversus abdominus (TA). Research studies have shown that when given the cues to activate the pelvic floor, there is a 50% recruitment coming from the TA without you being aware of it (Sapsford, 2004) (Critchley, 2002). They are two sides of the same coin!
Pelvic floor dysfunction is not gender specific. Everyone has a pelvic floor, and as such are susceptible to dysfunction. Some examples of dysfunction can include things like peeing when you cough, laugh or sneeze (called stress incontinence), not being able to start a flow of urine or difficulty initiating going to the bathroom, interrupted streams that “start and stop”, not making it to the bathroom on time (urgency incontinence), pain with going to the bathroom, constipation, pain with sex, pain with sitting, back pain and SI joint pain, and sometimes pain in the hips. These are just some of the issues that can improve with rehab at Armstrong Physiotherapy!
Pelvic floor rehab is a journey that involves both the therapist and the patient. Consent is extremely important and can be given or retracted at any point in the rehab process. There is hope! Find relief, improve your function, and learn more with Armstrong Physiotherapy.
Critchley, D. (2002). Instructing pelvic floor contraction facilitates transversus abdominis thickness incrase during low-abdominal hollowing. . Physiotherapy Research International, 7(2) 65-75.
Sapsford, R. (2004). Rehabilitation of pelvic floor muscles utilizing trunk stabilization. Manual Therapy, 9(1) 3-12.