Have you ever laughed, sneezed, or coughed and oops, peed a little? Uh huh. It happens. But that doesn’t have to be your story forever. We can expect better.
Contrary to popular belief the pelvic floor is not just a squeezy “Kegel” muscle. The pelvic floor is a huge dish of muscles at the base of the pelvis. It supports your organs, creates power for breathing, and resists forced exhalations like coughing or sneezing (so you don’t leak). It also helps with bladder and bowel storage.
The pelvic floor is an important part of your Core.
Now, let’s perform a check to see if your pelvic floor is healthy. No, we don’t recommend stopping your flow of urine, although this is one of the things this muscle group can do. Instead, let’s see if you can feel a good contraction. Here’s how:
1. Stand up & relax your trunk. Try to draw up the floor of your pelvis toward your head, without holding your breath, without using your buns, & without tightening your abdominal wall.
2. If you felt a good strong lift up towards your head, congratulations!
3. Now, can you relax it? Nothing should be “on” all of the time. Are you relaxed? Yes?
4. Next, can you pair the abdominals + the pelvic floor for a nice strong brace while you breathe, without moving your spine?
Did you struggle with this exercise? If so, it might be time for you to make friends with us at Equilibrium Physical Therapy.
You cannot have good core balance unless you have all FOUR muscles groups in your CORE are working together in unison. (See earlier posts on the Meet Your Body Series). Breakdown happens when one or more of these four are not functioning well, which means the others have to worker harder. When they have to work harder, then the body has to further strain.
Bottom Line: A strong Core equals a strong Four.