Debunking Pelvic Floor Health Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction
Pelvic floor health is a topic that is often surrounded by myths and misconceptions.The A pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Weakness or dysfunction in these muscles can lead to various health issues, including incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction. Pelvic floor physical therapy is often an excellent tool to retrain a dysfunctional pelvic floor - our pelvic specialists do this daily for our clients at EW Motion Therapy. Even if you decide to seek help elsewhere, you can still read on as we explore some common myths and misconceptions surrounding pelvic floor health and provide resources for those experiencing pelvic health problems.
Four common myths surrounding pelvic health
Myth #1: Pelvic floor problems only affect women who have given birth
While childbirth can certainly cause pelvic floor problems, it is not the only cause. Men can also experience pelvic floor dysfunction due to factors such as prostate surgery or age-related changes. Additionally, older women and individuals who engage in activities that put pressure on the pelvic floor, such as heavy lifting or high-impact exercise, may be at increased risk for pelvic floor issues.
Myth #2: Kegels are the only way to strengthen the pelvic floor
Kegel exercises, which involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, are often recommended to strengthen the pelvic floor, such as squats, bridges, pelvic lifts, and planks. However, there are other ways to improve pelvic floor health, such as practicing good posture and engaging in exercises that target the core muscles. Relaxing the pelvic floor muscles is also important, as chronic tension can contribute to pelvic pain and other issues. Working with a healthcare provider or pelvic floor physical therapist is essential to develop an individualized exercise program that meets your needs and addresses any pelvic floor dysfunction or weakness.
Myth #3: Incontinence is a normal part of aging
While it is true that incontinence becomes more common as we age, it is not a normal part of aging. Incontinence is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. Treatment options for incontinence may include pelvic floor physical therapy, medications, or surgery.
Myth #4: Pelvic floor dysfunction is not treatable
Many believe pelvic floor dysfunction is a lifelong problem with no cure. However, there are a variety of treatments available that can improve pelvic floor function and alleviate symptoms. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a commonly recommended treatment option that involves working with a trained therapist to strengthen and relax pelvic floor muscles. Other treatment options may include medications, surgery, or lifestyle changes.
Resources for pelvic floor health
If you are experiencing pelvic health problems, various resources are available to help you. The first step is to talk to your healthcare provider, who can evaluate your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a standard treatment option for pelvic floor dysfunction, and your healthcare provider may be able to refer you to a trained therapist.
Many online resources are also available for those seeking more information about pelvic floor health. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has a helpful guide on pelvic floor disorders, which includes information on diagnosis, treatment, and resources. The Pelvic Floor Disorders Network is another useful resource that provides information on pelvic floor disorders and ongoing research.
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding pelvic floor health. It is essential to understand that pelvic floor dysfunction can affect both men and women and that various treatment options are available. If you are experiencing pelvic health problems, talk to your healthcare provider and explore available resources. With the proper treatment and support, you can improve your pelvic floor function and regain your quality of life. This treatment can include pelvic floor physical therapy, where you can talk with a professional about your medical history and gain insight into how to combat your pelvic health problems. Our pelvic floor physical therapists at EW Motion Therapy can tailor a treatment plan to your needs, goals, and lifestyle so you can quickly go about your daily routine. If you are curious whether our pelvic floor program is right for you, answer the questions in our self-assessment by clicking the button below.