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Hemmett Health Perspective: Muscle Balance in the Pelvic Floor – Do Kegels Work?


At Hemmett Health, when we talk to our patients, the community, and friends about the pelvic floor (and pelvic floor dysfunction), the overreaching knee-jerk assumption is that pelvic floor dysfunction equals loose muscles and leakage with exercise, laughing and jumping.  While this is definitely the case for some women, there are also many other muscle dysfunctions within the pelvic floor that can impact pelvic floor health!

Katy Bowman, a pelvis and alignment guru, discusses the concept of how both hypertonic (tight muscles), hypotonic (loose muscles) effect the alignment of the sacrum and pelvis and why a Kegel exercise may not be the best approach:

The PF muscles run between the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the pubic bone (the bottom-front of the pelvis). Ideally you want the PF to be long, supple, and taut, to generate long-term forces that hold up your organs, as well as have enough motor skill to open and close your bathroom muscles as needed. When the PF is too tight, it can pull the sacrum out of alignment, bringing it forward, into the bowl of the pelvis.  Bye-Bye strong PF muscles, Hello Pelvic Floor Hammock.

So the question is, do Kegel’s work?  Are they doing more harm?  Should I be doing them? 

We believe that a properly executed pelvic floor contraction (PFC) is essential for pelvic floor health and long-term wellness.  Perhaps we need to teach an effective un-kegel – or a purposeful relaxation of the pelvic floor.  Learning that skill is just as important as knowing how to perform a Kegel!  Pelvic floor dysfunction most definitely DOES NOT equal low pelvic tone and saggy muscles.  Our goal is for the patient to achieve optimal tone in the pelvis that is supple, strong and functional.

The team at Hemmett Health see you and your pelvic floor as individual and unique.  We understand that there is not simply a one-size fits all approach to pelvic floor health. We are truly honored to help you achieve your best!

To read more about Katy’s articles about pelvic floor health, click here

To schedule an appointment to discuss your pelvic floor concerns, call us at (802) 879-1703 today. That number works for our offices in South Burlington, Richmond, and Montpelier, Vermont.

You can read what others have to say about our Pelvic Floor Treatment Success HERE.

Here’s to your health!
~The Hemmett Health Team


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