Sit back and grab a cuppa and learn all about how your muscles down under can be the missing link to optimal function. My name is Emma Ferris, and I am Physiotherapist and Breathing Coach.
Today I am joined by Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Lisa Carnie. In this video, we go under the hood and look at how our breath and pelvic floor work in harmony when functioning well.
Pelvic Floor Anatomy
One of the critical parts to improve your pelvic floor function is to learn about your anatomy of your pelvic floor and diaphragm. The pelvic floor is the floor of your core. Everything moves at the rhythm of the diaphragm and the pelvic floor moves with it. In a female pelvis, you have bladder, uterus and bowel and the male pelvis has the bladder and bowel with the pelvic floor working to support them in place. Learn about your Pelvic Floor Muscles.
Your pelvic floor muscles are made up of superficial muscles that go around the entrance of the vagina (if you are a lady!) and around the anus all designed to help control flow and support the organs. You also have deeper layers that work as a sling/hammock going from front to back and side to side. These muscles need to be able to activate and also be able to relax. You need to be able to relax during sex, bowel motions and having a baby.
You have closing muscles and holding muscles. The muscles need to be able to work through different ranges depending on what task. Think of it as an elevator with resting tone at level 2 as Lisa explains in the video.
Pelvic Floor Incontinence
Signs of pelvic floor incontinence can be weak orgasms during sex, loss of bowel or bladder control, a heavy dragging feeling in the pelvis, painful sex, back pain, pelvic pain. Pelvic floor muscles can be too tight or too weak. You need to figure out how your pelvic floor muscles work. And it always comes back to breathing. The diaphragm is often misunderstood and not used or de-conditioned.
Your diaphragm is a 360degree muscle that also attaches to your spine. A lot of back pain patients are not activating into the posterior area of the diaphragm and not creating the ideal intraabdominal pressure needed. The diaphragm is a one-way muscle working on the inhale and relaxing on the exhale. When you breathe in, the air is drawn into the lungs by the change in pressure. The movement of your diaphragm creates this.
You need to use the full muscle so that you are as efficient as possible and create the ideal pressure in the core for the pelvic floor muscles to work. It has to start with the breath. Your diaphragm should always be moving. But sometimes peoples patterns are stuck, and that can mean you recruit your back up breathing muscles. Awareness of your breathing pattern is key to changing your breathing habits and how your pelvic floor functions.
To learn more about what Lisa does go to https://www.pelvicsolutions.co.nz/
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