Welcome to Knox Physio Orthopelvic! I am so glad you are here, and wanting more information on orthopedic and pelvic floor rehabilitation. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “what is the pelvic floor?”. I think this answer deserves a post all on it’s own.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that functions as the 5 S’s: stability, support, sphincteric, sexual, sump-pump. So let’s break these down further… The pelvic floor supports our organs (since you know, gravity is a thing). It also works to stabilize our pelvic girdle (think how the pelvis is connected to lumbar spine and is also connected to two hip joints). The two we most often think of the pelvic floor for is the sexual function for intercourse and reproduction, and the sphincteric function for bowel and bladder control. Lastly, the pelvic floor also serves as a sump-pump to move blood and lymph throughout the system.
These are a lot of main functions for an area to be responsible for! This also creates a lot of different areas for problems and pain to arise from…
The pelvic floor muscle group is comprised of over 15 different (relatively small) muscles, ligaments, and fascia that all interconnect the hip to the pelvic girdle to the lumbar spine. This can lead to back pain or hip pain actually being a pelvic floor problem, not a true lumbar spine problem. This is why it can be so important to get screened for your pelvic floor!
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you would benefit from seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist: Urinary or bowel incontinence, constipation, abdominal cramping that limits your tolerance for activities or work, unresolved hip or back pain with conventional therapy, pelvic organ prolapse, pain with sex/penetration or inserting a tampon, feeling pain with light touch around your vulva (hypersensitivity), or pregnancy/postpartum should be a automatic referral to pelvic physical therapy!
If you feel like you may have symptoms that fit these descriptions, but are not sure, feel free to contact me through the contact form and I would love to set up a consult to see if you could benefit from these services!