I have been a physical therapist for 19 years. During this time, I have heard of therapists who treated this ‘pelvic floor’ but never realized it’s true importance until 3 years ago when we hired our first physical therapist who specialized in the evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor. Unfortunately, she moved away. Fortunately, my eyes have been forever opened! In fact, there are 2 of us at Real Rehab who have taken up where this PT left off.
What is the pelvic floor and why should you care? The pelvic floor comprises a group of muscles in your pelvis that is the base on which your spine sits and, the area through which force is transferred from one side of your body to the other. It needs to be efficient and healthy when you breathe, walk, run, ski, climb, squat, get up from sitting, roll around, bend, lift, carry, reach, etc. It’s important!
Catherine and I are fast realizing the role an inefficient pelvic floor plays in back, neck, hip or even knee pain. Everyone has a pelvic floor and you don’t have to have had a child for your pelvic floor to become inefficient. Any sprain, strain, or other even small trauma can disrupt the pelvic floor.
Not sure where it is or how to engage it? Here’s a quick test of your ability to recruit your pelvic floor and, EVERYONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS…EVERYONE! Have a seat, lean over, support your trunk by placing your forearms on your thighs and keep you back flat. Take a deep breath in. Now, exhale. Do this a few times. Now, take a deep breath in and let your belly expand (think beach ball). Exhale and slowly draw your belly in while thinking about tightening your pelvic floor muscles (no, don’t squeeze your butt). Do this a few times. When you think about tightening your pelvic floor – think about lifting/holding 3 jelly beans with these muscles NOT a 10kg kettle bell.
Having trouble? Or, have no idea where these muscles are or how to feel them? Contact Real Rehab Sports+Physical Therapy to see about a pelvic floor musculoskeletal evaluation with either Catherine or Izette.