The pelvic floor muscle is an essential body part as it helps in supporting the bladder, rectum, uterus, and other abdominal organs from dropping downwards. Unfortunately, these group of muscles do lose their strength with age, after childbirth, during pregnancy and menopause, among other degenerative conditions. A weakened pelvic floor may cause problems such as stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. If you are concerned about strengthening your pelvic floor, here are some effective ways you can consider:
Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor. Kegel exercises help in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles without over-straining or stressing the abdomen, lower back, or legs. The good thing about these types of exercises is that they can be done by pregnant mothers as well as the elderly. When done correctly, Kegel exercise can be beneficial in treating stress incontinence, urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. Incontinence is famously an issue for postpartum mothers--if this sounds like you, give Kegels a try.
If you are overweight, your body exerts lots of pressure on the organs in the pelvic floor region. This extra pressure can weaken the pelvic floor and put you at risk for stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Fortunately, a healthy weight will help relieve stress on these muscles, making them regain their strength. In order to maintain a healthy weight, you should control your calorie intake, perform moderate exercise, and avoid alcohol and smoking.
Lifting heavy objects can exert pressure on your pelvic region, thereby weakening them. Therefore, whether you are at work or at home, it’s advisable that you refrain from heavy lifting or any other form of strenuous exercise. However, if it is a must you lift a heavy object, make sure that you wear proper support for the pelvic region, such as yoga pants and pelvic support belts. In some cases, it’s advisable to follow the guidelines provided by a physical therapist or doctor.
Practicing deep breathing is a great way to relieve stress in your pelvic region and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. To practice deep breathing, place one hand on your abdomen and inhale deeply through your nose while compressing the abdomen with the other hand. Secondly, you can hold your breath for a couple of seconds, then slowly release the pressure from your abdomen. Repeat at least eight times a day.
If you want to strengthen your pelvic floor and prevent urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, then the above tips will surely be of help. If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the pelvic floor, feel free to contact a physician or physical therapist in your area.