A pelvic floor – we all have one (males and females), but, like most of our body parts, we don’t think much about it until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, something goes wrong with our pelvic floors pretty darn often. In fact, according to statistics, over 5 million Australians experience bladder or bowel control problems. This translates to 1 in 3 women having some type of urinary incontinence. However, most women seem to just accept this as “part of the package”, and very few seek help for this most treatable of issues.
Your pelvic floor muscles are like any others, they can be trained, but they need the right trainer. Many people have been given an exercise sheet and
As a Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor, some clients are referred specifically
Most people think of Pilates as “core strengthening”, and this is true, but what is your “core”? Your core is like a cylinder of support for your spine and internal organs, made up of the pelvic floor at the base, diaphragm at the top, deep abdominal muscles in front, and deep spinal muscles in the back. They all need to work together to keep everything up and in! Teaching clients how to coordinate these muscles is vital before they start their Pilates Programme.
Pilates, taught by a Physio or fully trained Pilates instructor, is safe and will help improve your awareness of the importance of engaging your pelvic floor muscles correctly with every exercise.
If a client is having continuing difficulty activating these muscles, I will often refer them to a specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist so we can work together to get the best result.
Excessive abdominal training such as crunches, leg lifts etc, can be one of the worst things for your pelvic floor as the increased intra-abdominal pressure will push down and stretch and weaken these muscles. The popular
The oft-heard gym instruction
If you are having pelvic floor issues, see your doctor or Physio and ask for help. It may just be life-changing.
Principal Physiotherapist and Certified Pilates Instructor, Physio Plus Pilates Noosa.