What could all of these things have in common?
If you are a regular to this blog, you probably have an idea. If you are new, think about an area “down there.”
The answer: your pelvic floor!!
The pelvic floor is responsible for 5 functions:
- sphincter (controlling pee/poop)
- sexual activity
In many cases of leaking, constipation, painful sex, urinary urgency, pelvic pain, etc., the pelvic floor has gotten out of whack with the neuromuscular system — basically, your brain and muscles get out of a “normal” routine and drive these symptoms to throw you through a loop. Your pelvic floor might be contracting when you really want it to relax, or vice-versa. For example, when you go to sit on the toilet, you might be straining and straining because those pelvic floor muscles have lost a natural rhythm of relaxing during bowel movements.
Not to fear! Building back that brain-muscle routine can be more simple than you think. One of the first things I generally work on with clients is pelvic floor awareness.
And how do we do this?
We start with the breath! The pelvic floor and diaphragm have a super cool and close relationship to promote dynamic flexibility of one another and to support your daily functions. Then we use the breath during movement to train that pelvic floor awareness throughout your day.
Keep these ideas in mind when exploring pelvic floor awareness:
- The diaphragm will move down in your abdomen, creating a natural rise in the belly and lateral expansion in the ribcage (kind of like an umbrella opening up).
- While the diaphragm moves down, so will the pelvic floor. Place a hand on your perineum to help you feel this small movement.
- The diaphragm will move back up under the ribcage, causing the belly to fall and the ribcage to come back together. You don’t have to forcefully exhale here.
- Naturally, the pelvic floor will move back up to it’s resting position. Again, you don’t have to forcefully contract the pelvic floor.
Treating any of the issues mentioned above is possible, even if you have gotten turned away or lost hope with other providers before. Contact us at Regenerative Edge PT & Wellness today to find out how we can get you on the right track. We offer in-person appointments to those in the greater New Haven, CT area or Virtual wellness sessions for anyone, anywhere. We also have self-paced, online courses for postpartum persons looking to return to exercise safely and effectively.
Take care and be well!
— Courtney Edgecomb, PT, DPT