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Chiropractic for a Weak Pelvic Floor?

What Causes Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles and How Long Does it Take to Strengthen Them?

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles in the pelvic bowl of the body. It is mostly made up of slow-twitch fibers (70%), with fast-twitch being only 30%. This basically means that the pelvic floor is built for stability and endurance. The fast-twitch fibers are there to catch that sneeze! The pelvic floor muscles aren’t just for helping us control our bowel and bladder, Strong pelvic floor muscles help us stabilize our pelvis and spine all day long and support our pelvic organs! Our job is to make sure our pelvic floor is strong and can fully relax and contract both quickly and with endurance. 

Long commutes and desk jobs ,can weaken the pelvic floor. Sitting allows our pelvic floor muscles to relax from the strenuous job of supporting our pelvis and spine all day. The less they are used, the weaker they become.  All muscles in the body work on a supply and demand basis. When you ask muscles to work harder by increasing demand, your muscles respond by getting stronger. When you don’t ask much of your muscles, your muscles get weaker. 

Surgery or injury can also lead to the pelvic floor becoming dysfunctional and weakened. Other factors such as pelvic alignment, and hormones can also affect the pelvic floor strength. In particular, pregnancy and childbirth can often be a main factor in developing a weak pelvic floor. The hormone, relaxin, which is produced during pregnancy casues the pelvis to spread and loosen in preparation for labour.  The abdominal muscles also stretch to make room for the baby. This can create weakness in the pelvic floor, glutes, hips and abdominals. 

Having weak glutes can eventually increase your risk of pelvic floor tightness which can also be just as troublesome. Many women experience pelvic floor tightness which decreases the full range of the muscle. When a muscle can’t go through a full range of motion it gets weaker over time. 

So how to do you keep your pelvic floor from becoming weak and  how do you make it stronger?

1. Make sure you know how to contract your pelvic floor muscles. It’s the feeling like you are stopping yourself having a pee or stopping yourself passing wind. Practice daily, activating and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. If you find you can’t activate this area then see a pelvic specialist such as a chiropractor at Back in Shape Chiropractic who can diagnose and treat the problem as well as offer rehab advice.

2. Keep moving! Taking regular breaks from desk work goes a long way to re-activating the pelvic floor when it is starting to weaken.

3. Take up some exercise. Improving general overall strength will help improve the pelvic floor strength. Exercises should not be painful, so if you are still experiencing discomfort or struggling to re-engage your pelvic floor or are suffering with low back, pelvic, glute, groin or hamstring pain then get in touch with a specialist who will be able to offer help and advice. Back in Shape Chiropractic offer a full consultation including a thorough examination which can help diagnose the underlying problem and formulate a personalised plan to get you back to health.

We’d love to hear from you!

Elizabeth Garvey
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