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The Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor can be confusing and uncomfortable to talk about. You may have heard "pelvic floor" before, during, after pregnancy, or maybe never. You may have googled pelvic floor, and 100+ websites came up, and it can be pretty overwhelming fast. Here is a quick guide of what the pelvic floor is and why it is so important.

Fun facts:

  • The Pelvic Floor is a "sling of muscles" at the bottom of your pelvis (containing front and back triangle shape muscles)

  • Muscles of the pelvic floor are affected by pain and emotion

  • The pelvic floor works as part of the deep stabilizing system, which can quickly change with deep breathing control

  • The pelvic floor constricts and can control the urethra, vagina, and anal canal

A weak or inactive pelvic floor can lead to:

  • Incontinence (urine or fecal) *often, women who complete Kegels contract their posterior (back) triangle muscles and are weak in their anterior (front) triangle pelvic floor.

  • Pelvic organ prolapse

  • Pain with insertion

  • Symptoms of a UTI (with negative tests results) can be the result of a tight front pelvic floor.

As a physical therapy assistant, I must know:

  • Know how pregnancy, birth, and exercise impact the pelvic floor

  • Understand how to screen clients for pelvic floor conditions

  • Learn how to adapt exercises when pelvic floor symptoms occur

  • Be aware of when to refer clients when necessary.


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