Pelvic Floor Function

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, which act like a sling to support your pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and bowel).

Often people are aware of these muscles, but a many aren’t actually sure how to use them or what they are for.

Pelvic floor muscles are like any other and need to be exercised and strengthened to work efficiently, particularly after overstretching or damage during childbirth.

Why are pelvic floor muscles important?

These muscles are vital for bladder and bowel control, as well as preventing and easing the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse.

A lack of pelvic floor control can result in bladder or bowel incontinence.  As a result it can significantly impact a persons participation in activities, even to the point of not wanting to go out in public. Pelvic floor exercises can help people regain their confidence and lead to a more social and active lifestyle.

Incontinence is also one of the main reasons for admission into aged care facilities, so pelvic floor exercises and knowledge of your own body can help the elderly stay at home and independent for longer.

Pelvic floor muscles are important in supporting the pelvic organs with the increase pressure of pregnancy.  They also require strengthening and retraining postnatally as well. Research shows that pelvic floor exercises help decrease the risk of bladder leakage and prolapse later on in life.

What causes pelvic floor muscles to weaken?

  • Childbirth
  • Obesity
  • Menopause
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic trauma

How can a physiotherapist help?

Our physiotherapists will educate you on what and where the pelvic floor muscles are, and can discuss with you how to correctly engage, relax and strengthen them. Following a non-invasive assessment our physiotherapists will then give you exercises and a training program and progressions to keep improving your pelvic floor function. Aim Physiotherapy are located at 3 sites, Toorak Gardens, Oakden and Windsor Gardens. Call us today on (08) 8331 1557 to find out how to start!

For more information visit The Continence Foundation of Australia.

Written by: Lauren Tyberek B Physiotherapy

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