Pelvic Floors 101
The pelvic floor muscles are literally the muscles that form the floor of your pelvis. Running from the pubic bone at the front to your tailbone at the back, they act as the main support against gravity for all your pelvic organs. They also play vital roles in bladder and bowel control, sexual function and stability of your spine and pelvis.
For more detail, see Pelvic Anatomy. Because they perform so many different functions, problems with the muscles of the pelvic floor can manifest in many different ways. The most common problem that comes to mind is Urinary Incontinence or leaking of the bladder. This may be mild, for example only with a cough or sneeze, or quite severe with a complete lack of control.
Other problems can include:
Lower Back, Hip, Pelvic and Tailbone Pain
Urinary frequency and Overactivity
Faecal Incontinence, Constipation
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
In my experience as a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, the main reason for pelvic floor dysfunction is not that the muscles are simply weak. Rather, more often than not, the muscles have become shortened and are actually too tight which inhibits how well they are able to function. If you are having any pelvic floor issues, it is important to be properly assessed as simply doing repetitive pelvic floor contractions or "Kegels" can actually make your problem worse!