Your pelvic floor is the sling of muscles and ligaments that
runs from the front of your pelvis to the tailbone. Although a highly important
area in the human body, any issues surrounding it are often overlooked or not
discussed because of the associated stigma.
The function of the female pelvic floor includes: control of
urination and defecation, support for our pelvic organs (uterus, bladder and
rectum) as well as playing an important role in sexual function. These muscles
can become weakened through pregnancy, labour, hormonal changes (such as
menopause), and simply because the individual does not exercise them regularly.
A weakened pelvic floor can cause many symptoms such as the
inability to control wind, faeces or urine (urinary incontinence), strong urges
to urinate. All of which can have a negative impact on the woman’s quality of
Urinary incontinence can affect women of all ages. There are
many different types of urinary incontinence, all with varying causes and
symptoms. It is important to share all of your symptoms with your healthcare practitioner
so that they can determine the type that you may be experiencing.
Stress incontinence is characterised by a
leakage of urine during activities that involve an increase in abdominal
pressure such as coughing, laughing or sneezing. 1 in 3 women will experience
this during their lifetime.
Urinary frequency is defined as ‘a complaint by
an individual who goes to the toilet too often’. 4-6 voids per day is
Nocturia occurs when an individual wakes up more
than once at night to void, which is abnormal.
Urinary urgency is characterised by frequent
episodes of urge to urinate, usually when the bladder is not full. This can be
a debilitating condition as the woman is constantly rushing to the bathroom.
It has been stated that women who experience low back
pain seek treatment almost immediately. However,
for women who experience symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor, it can take up to
seven years for them to consult a healthcare practitioner. These conflicting
behaviours should no longer exist as it has been proven that pelvic floor
dysfunction has a much larger impact on a woman’s quality of life than low back
In 2010, the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that
‘physiotherapists with specialised training in pelvic floor rehabilitation
should be the first line of defence for urinary incontinence’. Through a
detailed subjective history of the woman’s symptoms, as well as an optional
pelvic floor examination, a specifically tailored treatment program can be
created to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, re-train learned
behaviours, and empower the individual to take control of their condition.
Here at The Moving Body, we can offer you professional and
effective treatment for any pelvic floor dysfunction that you may be
experiencing. Take control of your symptoms, don’t let them take control of