OUR HIDDEN CORE PELVIS
“OUR HIDDEN CORE” – YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES
It usually takes around 2 to 3 months time frame after you have given birth, that most women decide it is now time to start returning to their fitness work out programs.
After a few weeks at the gym, it’s exciting to see your body muscles strengthening and toning up. When you look in the mirror and see your tummy muscles toning up and your pre-baby figure finally returning again, you think you’re on the right track and that your fitness regime is working. But is it?
Are you working out those often forgotten, yet vitally important pelvic floor muscles too? Of course you are! After all, your instructor has shown you how to work your core muscles and you spend hours doing so each week.
If you’re experiencing any of the following – chances are your pelvic floor muscles aren’t getting the work out you thought they were.
- Lower back pain
- A dragging or heavy feeling in the pelvic and groin area
- Don’t quite make the toilet and leak a little – just a few spots or more perhaps?
- When sitting on the toilet you are unable to stop and start your urine flow
- Find yourself having a good belly laugh and does a few dribbles occur?
- You have difficulty holding in your “wind” at times – it just slips out?
- Sex isn’t pleasurable any more or just doesn’t feel the same as it did before you had your baby
- Or you simply don’t feel your pelvic floor is working anymore or don’t even know what or where your pelvic floor muscles are located?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, then chances are that your pelvic floor is being neglected, forgotten or simply not being trained correctly. So let’s go back to basics and progress from there on.
The pelvic floor muscles consist of group of muscles that are located deep in your body’s lower pelvic region. They are attached to your spine, tailbone areas, inner hip and loop around our bowels and bladder organs, forming a hammock shape within the pelvic girdle.
The role of your pelvic floor muscles for both women and men are much the same. These muscles support your pelvic organs, ensure normal sexual functioning and assist in preventing incontinence. They also function as one of the core muscles groups that support and provide stability and strength for your pelvic bones and spine. So as you can now see, they are vital to sustaining a healthy functioning body system.
Despite the importance of the pelvic floor muscle group, so often are these muscles forgotten or worked incorrectly, simply because we can’t see them on the outside of the body.
Pelvic floor exercises are simple to do – when you know how!
- Begin by lying on your back, knees bend up and slightly apart, and body relaxed. Tighten the muscles around your back and front passages, as if you were trying not to pass wind or urine.
- Draw this pelvic area upwards. Imagine an elevator or lift moving upwards towards your belly button. Do not hold your breathe!
- Aim for 3 sets of 10 each day. Initially it maybe difficult to feel these muscles working, but if you practice a few squeezes several times a day, it will get easier.
If these muscles are weak, over-worked or worked incorrectly, often people will contract other muscle groups as well. So if you feel that you are squeezing your gluteals and/or your thigh muscles, breathe holding or pushing down on your pelvic floor rather than upwards. Chances are you aren’t working your pelvic floor muscles correctly.
If in doubt, come and see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist that uses a Real Time Ultrasound machine. That way, we can see your pelvic floor and other muscle groups working on screen. Ultrasound is a great objective measure and training tool, especially for the visual learners out there.
Physiotherapist specialising in Women’s and Men’s Health
Physio Asia Therapy Centre