The PFD Problem
Pelvic floor dysfunction affects countless men and women. But how do you deal with it?
Allison Kares, NCPT
MORE AND MORE MEN AND WOMEN are putting a band-aid on their pelvic floor issues. We see more ads about how pads and liners can make you more functional, but they only cover up the real issues and don’t help you live the kind of life you want
Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) affects approximately one in three women and is often not discussed. Men typically experience PFD post prostatectomy or following radiation. Pelvic floor disorders include urinary and/or fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, overactive bladder and pelvic organ prolapse. We are often told to “do Kegels” with mixed results. The Kegel exercise was developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel in the 1940s to help his patients with pelvic floor muscle strength. Although this set of exercises has been around for many decades, it is often done incorrectly as well as not addressing the full function of all the layers of the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that runs from the pubic bone in the front of the pelvis to the tailbone in the back and are comprised of both slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibres. They are most effectively engaged not in isolation like a Kegel, but with movement. These muscles are an integral part of proper core exercises. Working in conjunction with your diaphragm, deepest abdominals and spinal stabilizers, your pelvic floor functions like a piston. Breath and functional movements are key to developing a healthy connection that happens automatically in anticipation of movement
So why should you train your pelvic floor? The functions of the pelvic floor include:
- ■ Support for the pelvic organs including the uterus, bladder and rectum.
- ■ Provide sphincter control for bladder and bowel
- ■ Withstand increased pressure that occur in the abdomen with coughing, sneezing, laughing, straining or heavy lifting.
- ■ Provide support for spine and pelvis
The proper function of these muscles, just like any other muscle within the body requires regular exercise. Learning the proper technique for activation as well as how to relax the pelvic floor is important for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of PFD.
Want to know more about your pelvic floor? Join us for one of our workshops or book a private session.