Gwyneth Paltrow recently published a fantastic article on her blog, Goop, discussing her experience of having her “pelvic floor released.” If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you can find it here. This article does a great job highlighting the importance of a topic that doesn’t nearly get enough attention. Most women, especially those who have had children, have some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction; therefore, it’s important that we talk about it and let people know that they are not alone and that there is something that they can do about it.
The author mentions that about 25 to 45% of women suffered from urinary incontinence at least once in the past year. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is in fact a prevalent problem in the United States. Because the symptoms are so common, many women think that leaking urine is normal and sadly the majority of them do not actually seek help. What they do not realize is that leaking urine is NOT normal, and is actually a treatable problem.
SUI is only one symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction. Other symptoms may include: dyspareunia (pain with intercourse); urinary urgency, frequency, burning (in the absence of infection); difficulty/delayed painful orgasm; vulvar, clitoral, or perineal pain; anal pain; constipation; or genital pain with sitting, tight clothing, and exercise.
There are a number of reasons behind why a woman may develop dysfunction of her pelvic floor. The article explains that dysfunction is due to a high tone pelvic floor and that it’s due to a lack of connection to the deep core muscles. The pelvic floor becomes disconnected, weak, and loses tone. We also tend to hold a lot of stress in our pelvic floor and we tend to subconsciously clench the pelvic floor thus making it difficult to relax. This can lead to a loss of flexibility and strength which leads to an array of symptoms previously mentioned.
A high tone pelvic floor is not the only explanation of why one may have dysfunction. Other reasons may be attributed to over-lengthened and weakness, or it can be a combination of two. It’s difficult to determine on your own; therefore, it’s important to be assessed by a specialized pelvic floor therapist to be diagnosed properly. A pelvic floor physical therapists will deploy techniques to decrease tight pelvic floor muscles and use strategies to improve strength and motor control in cases of weak pelvic floor muscles.
At Hemmett Health we have a team of DC’s and licensed athletic trainers who are specialized in assessing, diagnosing, and treating pelvic floor dysfunctions. So stop putting off and ignoring your pelvic floor problems — get scheduled today to be checked!