What do your sexual health and your digestive health have in common? They rely on the strength of your pelvic floor muscles. When you’re having sex, relieving yourself, or performing a variety of other actions related to your lower abdomen, you use your pelvic muscles without even realizing it. They’re an important part of your overall health and problems with these muscles can affect your genitals, bladder, and rectum.

One way to treat pelvic floor problems is to do exercises that strengthen those muscles. If you live in the Hagerstown, Maryland area, Christopher D. Clark, MD, and the team at Premier Spine and Sports Medicine can help you rehabilitate these muscles through physical therapy designed specifically for your pelvic floor.

Where are the pelvic floor muscles located?

These are the core muscles at the base of your pelvis that stretch between the pubic bone (in the front of your pelvis, at the bottom) and the tailbone (in the back, at the base of your spine). 

Pelvic floor muscles work with your abdominal muscles and back muscles to stabilize your pelvis and all the organs located in that area. These muscles also help control abdominal pressure when lifting or straining during exercise or other physical activities.

What do pelvic floor muscles do?

In addition to stabilizing your pelvis with other muscle groups, pelvic floor muscles also support the organs in the pelvis. In men, this means the bladder and the bowels, and in women it means the bladder, bowels, and uterus. 

The tightness and relaxation you feel when you relieve yourself is an example of the pelvic floor muscles in action. Problems with these basic functions can mean trouble with going to the bathroom or the ability to have sex.

What happens when pelvic floor muscles get damaged?

The inability to properly relax or tighten your pelvic floor muscles can lead to fecal or urinary incontinence, urine or stool leakage, or erectile dysfunction. A few different things can cause this:

  • Traumatic injury to the pelvic area: commonly from an accident or overuse 
  • Pregnancy: a long, difficult labor can lead to problems with the pelvic floor
  • Obesity: excess weight can strain the whole body, including the pelvic floor
  • Pelvic surgery: a possible complication of surgery in that area 
  • Advanced age: common in older people

Damage to your pelvic floor can present in a few different ways. Constipation, back pain, frequent trips to the bathroom, difficult bowel movements, painful urination, and ongoing pain in the groin are all signs of problems with your pelvic floor muscles.

How are pelvic floor problems treated?

Treatment options available include medications (like muscle relaxants) to help alleviate symptoms, and self-care methods to reduce pelvic muscle strain. Another common method of restoring normal function called Kegel exercises may also be used. These are simple clench and release techniques to restore control of the muscles and get them to behave normally.

Our team at Premier Spine and Sports Medicine provides pelvic floor rehabilitation for both men and women. This unique type of physical therapy is designed to improve the strength and function of the muscles that support your bladder, urethra, and other organs in your pelvic region. 

Keeping your pelvic floor healthy is important for a healthy life, so if something happens you’ll need to have quality treatment to get better. If you’re dealing with pelvic floor problems, schedule a visit with the team at Premier Spine and Sports Medicine by calling our office or booking an appointment online today.

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