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Influences on the Pelvic Floor - Case for a full-body approach

Is a piece of a jigsaw puzzle useful? Yes. But not by itself. You need all the pieces to come together to complete: the picture. Same is true for your pelvic floor dysfunction.

It’s a common practice to focus where the problem is most obvious. This is how the typical thinking goes “Leaky bladder ? Must be a weak pelvic floor. Let’s make it strong !”.

I used to do that. Guilty. But what I have learned and has now been researched thoroughly is how the pelvic floor is deeply connected and influenced by the rest of the body. The hips, feet, thorax, neck, jaw and your breathing system. Hips ? Jaws ? Neck? Yes, you read it right.

It’s not obvious but an experienced pelvic health practitioner would always do a full body assessment to treat pelvic floor dysfunction.

Let me share a recent example with you of my client Mary.

Mary came to me with a tight pelvic floor… you know constipation, pain during sex, urgency to pee.. the whole nine yards. As I was guiding her through the process of relaxing her pelvic floor, her jaw kept getting tighter (in medical lingo the temporomandibular joint was getting progressively compressed).

So, my focus shifted to her jaw now. That’s where we had to start. Mary had a tight pelvic floor for last 20 years and it’s only now that she got the help she needed.

Even thorax (or mid-back) stiffness and alignment can influence pelvic floor function. Stiffness results in reduced expansion of ribs with breathing and your alignment change (Rib compression, rib rotation, ribs not being stacked, rib flaring, mid back tipped up or down) influences both expansion of the ribs and position of the diaphragm. If respiratory diaphragm is not aligned with the pelvic floor, it loses its rhythm and poorly affects the pelvic floor function.

Let’s go a little further down in the body to the hip muscles. Some of the deep hip muscles are part of the pelvic floor “complex”. So, if they tighten - by long sitting hours or something else - the pelvic floor will suffer.

Let's go down to your feet now.

Clinically, I have seen that feet have a huge impact on the pelvic floor. Muscle activation patterns of the feet influence the hips and - as I explained before - the pelvic floor.

So, as you can see, there is quite a bit going on “around” your pelvic floor which is not obvious. Watching a YouTube video or a WebMD article can lead you to believe the Kegels and biofeedback or maybe some medication will do the trick but - unfortunately - it is keeping you from solving the real issues.

You need someone who specializes in helping women who have tried what they could. Someone who can do a whole-body musculoskeletal assessment and pelvic floor assessment to find the root cause of your pelvic floor issues.

Let us bring the pieces together. Shall we?

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