signs of an unhealthy pelvic floor

Hey there, lovely readers! Today, we’re diving into a topic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves—your pelvic floor. If you’ve been around for a while, you know this is one of my favorite topics. And while the pelvic floor might feel like a mysterious part of your body that you don’t think about every day, trust me, it’s incredibly important.

Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles and tissues that form a hammock-like structure at the bottom of your pelvis. It plays a crucial role in supporting your bladder, bowel, and uterus (in women) or prostate (in men). Despite its significance, talking about pelvic floor health is often considered a bit taboo, because it deals with things like sex and poop. But at Moment of Truth, we want to overcome those barriers and start the conversation.

The Four Main Functions of the Pelvic Floor

Before we get into the symptoms of an unhealthy pelvic floor, let’s discuss its four main functions:

  • Sexual Function: The pelvic floor muscles are essential for sexual health and function. They contribute to arousal, sensation, and orgasm.
  • Sump Pump Function: These muscles help pump blood and lymph fluid out of the pelvis and lower limbs, playing a critical role in circulation.
  • Muscle Support Function: The pelvic floor supports your internal organs, including the bladder, bowel, and uterus or prostate.
  • Sphincteric Function: The pelvic floor controls the sphincters of the bladder and bowel, allowing you to control when you urinate or have a bowel movement.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the symptoms you should look out for that might indicate an unhealthy pelvic floor.

Keep it Hot: Sex and the Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor muscles are key players in your sexual health. They help with arousal, contribute to sensation during sex, and are necessary for achieving orgasm. When these muscles are weak, tight or dysfunctional, it can lead to multiple issues. You deserve better sex, so if you are experiencing any of the following, consider a consultation with us.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Pelvic Floor Affecting Sexual Function:

  • Pain During Intercourse: Painful sex can be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. This pain can be due to muscle tightness or spasms, or even scar tissues from surgeries or birth trauma.
  • Decreased Sensation: If your pelvic floor muscles are not functioning properly, you may experience reduced sensation or numbness during sex.
  • Difficulty Achieving Orgasm: Weak pelvic floor muscles can make it harder to reach orgasm, leading to sexual frustration and missing out on all the amazing health benefits of orgasms.
  • Pelvic Pain: Chronic pelvic pain, which can be a constant ache or sharp, shooting pains, may also be linked to an unhealthy pelvic floor.

Boost Your Circulation: Sump Pump and the Pelvic Floor

The sump pump function of the pelvic floor is vital for maintaining proper circulation in your pelvic area and lower limbs. When these muscles aren’t working correctly, you might notice some concerning symptoms. Imagine your blood vessels like garden hoses—when they’re kinked, blood pools, causing those unsightly and sometimes painful varicose veins or other swelling. With therapy, we can unkink those hoses.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Pelvic Floor Affecting Sump Pump Function:

  • Swelling and Edema: Poor circulation can lead to swelling in the lower limbs, ankles, and feet.
  • Heavy Legs: A feeling of heaviness or fatigue in the legs can be a sign that your pelvic floor muscles aren’t pumping blood effectively.
  • Varicose Veins: Dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles can contribute to the development of varicose veins due to poor blood flow.
  • Pelvic Congestion: This is a condition where blood pools in the pelvic veins, causing a dull, aching pain that can worsen when standing or during physical activity.

Support Your Core: Muscle Support and the Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor muscles provide essential support for your pelvic organs. They reach from the tailbone and sacrum over to the sit bones and to the anterior, like your pubic bone, and support the sexual organs. They also support some of your abdominal cavity and digestive organs. When these muscles weaken or become dysfunctional, it can lead to back, hip or tailbone pain, and/or sacral pain. It can also contribute to issues with digestion and elimination function, and even prolapse.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Pelvic Floor Affecting Muscle Support Function:

  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse: This condition occurs when the pelvic organs drop from their normal position due to weak pelvic floor muscles. It can cause a feeling of pressure or fullness in the pelvic area.
  • Lower Back Pain: Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to lower back pain by failing to provide adequate support to the spine and pelvic region.
  • Abdominal Pain: Discomfort in the lower abdomen can be linked to pelvic floor dysfunction.
  • Postural Issues: Poor posture and alignment issues can arise from weak pelvic floor muscles, affecting your overall body mechanics.

Stay in Control: Sphincteric Function and the Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor muscles control the sphincters of the bladder and bowel, which are crucial for maintaining continence. When these muscles aren’t functioning properly, it can lead to embarrassing and uncomfortable symptoms. We leaned deeper into this function in this article.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Pelvic Floor Affecting Sphincteric Function:

  • Urinary Incontinence: This includes stress incontinence (leakage during activities like coughing or sneezing) and urge incontinence (a sudden, intense urge to urinate).
  • Fecal Incontinence: Difficulty controlling bowel movements can also be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction.
  • Frequent Urination: An overactive bladder, characterized by the need to urinate frequently, can be related to pelvic floor issues.
  • Incomplete Emptying: Feeling like you can’t fully empty your bladder or bowels can be a symptom of an unhealthy pelvic floor.

How Moment of Truth Physical Therapy Can Help

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to address them promptly. Obviously, there are many options our there; you can see a gynecologist, or perhaps a proctologist; you can look at having surgery or other procedures. It is important that you get the help you need and make a choice you feel comfortable with.

At Moment of Truth Physical Therapy, we specialize in diagnosing and treating pelvic floor dysfunction. Our team of skilled therapists will work with you to create a personalized wellness plan to help you regain control and improve your quality of life.

Here’s How We Can Help:

  • Comprehensive Evaluation: We’ll start with a thorough assessment to understand your specific symptoms and needs.
  • Customized Treatment Plan: Based on the evaluation, we’ll develop a tailored plan that may include manual therapy, exercises, and other interventions to strengthen and support your pelvic floor.
  • Education and Support: We’ll provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to maintain your pelvic floor health, including lifestyle changes and self-care techniques.
  • Ongoing Care: We’re committed to your long-term health and well-being, offering continuous support and adjustments to your treatment plan as needed.

Taking care of your pelvic floor is vital for your overall health and well-being. By recognizing the symptoms of an unhealthy pelvic floor and seeking professional help, you can address these issues and improve your sex life, reclaim your circulatory health, lessen your pelvic pain, and take back the bathroom.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards better pelvic floor health, schedule a Discovery Session with one of our experienced physical therapists today. Don’t let fear or embarrassment hold you back—embrace the opportunity to feel better, move better, and live better. Your body deserves the best care, and we’re here to provide it.

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