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Pelvic Floor: Part One

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Don’t Forget Your Pelvic Floor!

If you or someone you care for experiences bladder or bowel control problems, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, over 4.8 million Australians experience bladder or bowel control problems.
Urinary incontinence affects up to 13% men and 37% of women in Australia alone and 70% of these people do not seek advice or treatment.

The most common risk factors of developing urinary incontinence are:
-Pregnancy (pre and post natal)
-Menopause
-Obesity
-Urinary tract infections
-Constipation
-Surgeries such as prostatectomy and hysterectomy
-Reduced mobility due to neurological or musculo-skeletal conditions
-Health conditions such as heart disease/diabetes/stroke

Incontinence of any level is nothing to be embarrassed about, this is a real problem and it is very important to seek help and advice.

Your pelvic floor is a secondary control of your bladder. The urethra sphincter (muscle that controls amount of urine expelled from the bladder) is stretched during childbirth and so we rely heavily on the pelvic floor to take the rest of the slack. Strengthening your pelvic floor is a must pre and post pregnancy.

We are lucky enough to have access to Real-time Ultrasound and use this as a tool to assess your ability to activate your pelvic floor. From here we are able to prescribe the right exercises for you and we can teach you how to improve your pelvic floor for prevention or treatment of urinary incontinence.

Next week we will post more information on how to go about improving your pelvic floor and what not to do! So stay tuned!

Don’t forget to ask one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists about a Pelvic Floor assessment.

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Article by Beth Chiuchiarelli, Exercise Phsiologist at MD Health

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