At The Groin and Pelvic Pain Institute, we specialize in treating many forms of groin and pelvic pain, including conditions that involve your pelvic floor. However, we stress the importance of preventative care as well.
Everyone can do pelvic floor muscle exercises and make lifestyle changes to improve the health of their pelvic floor. Don’t wait until you’re in pain or experiencing discomfort to start paying attention to your pelvic floor muscle health.
Take a look at the most common causes of having issues with your pelvic floor as well as 5 ways you can easily improve your pelvic floor muscles and avoid injury.
Most Common Causes of Issues with Your Pelvic Floor
During pregnancy, your muscles are stretched beyond normal mobility and you may experience tears to the pelvic floor. This can lead to possible pain, discomfort, or dysfunction.
There may be many causes of constipation; a diet low in fiber, dehydration, even certain medications. If you are experiencing continual constipation, talk with your doctor, as it can lead to numerous issues, including pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
Weight & Your Pelvic Floor
Body fat has been shown to add abdominal pressure to your pelvic floor, requiring added support from your pelvic floor muscles. However, the added weight can cause these muscles to weaken over time.
5 Ways to Care For Your Pelvic Floor
Caring for your pelvic floor is so important. Your pelvic floor muscles are responsible for helping with your body’s bladder control and bowel movement health. It’s essential to care for your pelvic floor muscles with simple lifestyle changes that can lead to the prevention of injury or pelvic pain.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Exercises that help strengthen and build your pelvic floor can help improve the control of your bladder and bowels as well as help increase recovery after surgeries. You first need to locate your pelvic floor muscles, which can be found by laying flat on your back and imagining you’re stopping the flow of urine or a bowel movement. Once you’ve located the pelvic floor, squeeze the muscles 10-12 times and holding for 2-3 seconds. Be sure to breathe through the exercises and rest when needed.
When using the bathroom, try to avoid straining to prevent injury to your pelvic floor muscles. Strain to your pelvic floor muscles can lead to issues with dysfunction as well as pain in the area. Drinking plenty of water and eating fiber-rich foods helps avoid constipation.
Additionally, when lifting something that is heavy, be sure to follow our tips to avoid strained injury to the pelvic floor muscles:
- Warm-up your muscles prior to lifting.
- Avoid strain while lifting.
- Mindfully bend and extend from your knees.
- Lift items slowly.
- If the item seems too heavy, do not continue trying to lift it. Instead, have a partner help you.
Eat More Fiber
Foods that are rich in fiber are important for many bodily functions and a healthy pelvic floor is no exception. Fiber can help control your bowels and remove waste from your body smoother and more easily, avoiding constipation and unnecessary strain on your pelvic floor muscles. Some of the best foods to eat that are high in fiber are cereals, raw fruits, vegetables, pasta, and rice.
It’s no secret, smoking cigarettes can affect your lungs in many ways. However, it’s important to know that smoking can have a domino effect on your health. For example, irritation in your lungs from smoking cigarettes may lead to coughing, which may then lead to forced pressure on your pelvic floor muscles as well as changes in the way your diaphragm contracts.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight has astronomical effects on your overall health including cardiovascular, skeletal, and muscle functioning. Those who are overweight have a much higher risk of developing pelvic inflammation and dysfunction, as there is added pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Be sure to exercise regularly, eat healthily, and get adequate amounts of sleep to help maintain your weight.
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