Benefits of Pelvic Floor Exercises

The pelvic floor muscles help to support the bladder, bowel, and uterus. They play an important role in childbirth, preventing urinary incontinence, and relieving conditions like pelvic organ prolapse. But despite the importance of these muscles, many women and men don’t exercise them correctly or often enough to reap the benefits. According to Healthline, pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels or pelvic muscle contractions, are the best way to strengthen and improve function of these muscles.

These exercises require you to squeeze and relax your pelvic muscles to create a tightening feeling. You can perform them lying down, sitting, or standing and they can be done anywhere and at any time of day. However, it’s best to do them in a private space where you can concentrate fully on the movement without being distracted. Initially, you may need to practice these exercises several times a day until you can control them more easily.

When performed correctly, Kegels can help to reduce urine leakage, relieve bladder pain, and increase bladder capacity. They can also reduce the frequency and severity of pelvic organ prolapse symptoms, such as abdominal pain or urinary urgency.

For beginners, it’s important to learn the correct technique for performing these exercises. If you are not performing them properly, it is possible that you’re contracting other muscles in your abdomen or thighs, which can lead to back pain or even bladder leakage. To avoid these issues, it’s important to focus on the muscles that you’re squeezing and only try to engage them as hard as you can for around 8 seconds.

As you gain confidence with the basic exercise, you can start to add in additional movements that will further increase your strength. For example, you can add in lunges and squats to your daily routine. Both of these movements are highly beneficial for core strengthening and can be performed by anyone at any fitness level.

The benefits of these exercises are significant, but they’re not right for everyone. Patients with certain health problems should avoid pelvic floor muscle exercises, including those who are suffering from urinary incontinence or have incomplete bladder emptying. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of these exercises with their doctors before starting any new exercise.

A physical therapist can guide patients in learning the proper technique for performing Kegels and other Benefits of pelvic floor exercises. PTs can also provide guidance in identifying the proper muscles to target. They can recommend specific exercises to address the patient’s specific needs and goals.

For the best results, a physical therapist can help you incorporate pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine. They can also recommend additional ways to strengthen your core muscles, such as breathing techniques. These techniques encourage the functional relationship between your diaphragm and your pelvic muscles, which can help to strengthen the connection between your stomach and abdominal walls. This can reduce stress and tension, which can improve your quality of life.