When we refer to a weakened pelvic floor, it means that the coordination capacity of the muscles responsible for the urinary tract has decreased, which leads to urine leakage, constipation, straining when defecating, or the constant urge to go to the toilet. In this article, we will find out what easy exercises we can do to strengthen it.
Weakened pelvic floor: symptoms and common causes
Having a weakened pelvic floor and letting the problem go can lead to what is called pelvic floor dysfunction, a fairly common condition that tends to affect women more, whereby the sufferer is unable to coordinate the pelvic floor muscles well, both for urination and defecation.
The pelvic floor muscles are the base, the home of important organs such as the uterus, bladder or rectum, i.e. they are the main structure that supports these organs and keeps them in place, so exercising these muscles, like other muscles in the body, prevents everything from pelvic pain to other more serious conditions.
In reality, a strong pelvic floor means that you can normally tense and relax the muscles and therefore go to the toilet without problems, as it is just another muscle action, just as you squeeze your biceps when you do weights at the gym, for example. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) in a report, explains what are the most common symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor, i.e. if you continue to contract the muscles instead of relaxing them you can have:
- Leaking faeces or urine
- Problems evacuating (releasing) a bowel movement
- Incomplete bowel movement.
- Traumatic injuries to the pelvic area (such as a car accident).
- Advanced age
- Overuse of the pelvic muscles (such as going to the bathroom too often)
- Being overweight. having had pelvic surgery.
Pregnancy is another common cause of pelvic floor dysfunction or a weakened pelvic floor, as the pelvic floor muscles and tissues can become tight during pregnancy, especially if the birth is complicated or long. Among its causes, genetics is also important, as it is an inherited dysfunction.
Methods to relieve a weakened pelvic floor
A weakened pelvic floor can cause discomfort and pain in the pelvis due to the symptoms it produces, but how can we alleviate the symptoms and discomfort it produces?
Among the main discomforts is the frequent need to go to the toilet. However, one of the first recommendations for this condition is to exercise. When you move, your body releases what in medicine is called “endorphins”, natural painkillers produced by the body, which will relieve that uncomfortable feeling.
Another common discomfort is moderate pain during bowel movements and urination, as well as constipation and even lower back discomfort and constant pelvic pain without bowel movements. This can be reduced by placing a heating blanket on the pelvic area or bathing with warm water, which increases blood flow to the area and reduces pain.
On the other hand, there are some active ingredients backed by science that help to soothe and improve urinary incontinence, such as pumpkin seeds for their anthelmintic properties, as well as amino acids, phytosterols (such as beta-sitosterol), minerals and essential fatty acids.
Another effective method that can help reduce chronic pelvic pain is the intake of supplements which, apart from the above, sometimes lower amounts of minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin E, vitamin D or magnesium, can cause pain. For this reason, it is best to consult a specialist who will recommend the appropriate doses of these vitamins.
Pelvic floor strengthening exercises
Practices such as meditation, hypopressive abdominals, yoga postures and a variety of deep breathing exercises are the first steps in reducing the stress and tension that can lead to pain. Some yoga asanas to strengthen the pelvic floor are:
Malasana. This is a posture that opens the hips and softens and relaxes the lower back. It also stretches the muscles adjacent to the pelvic floor and helps to strengthen it.
Setu Bandhasana. This is a semi-inverted posture that consists of lifting the pelvic floor and placing it above the chest, which helps to release the weight of the internal organs while strengthening the pelvic floor in the action of raising and lowering the pelvis.
Skandasana. This other posture also opens the hips, so it stretches all the muscles of the inner legs, closely related to the pelvic area.
On the other hand, as stated by the National Library of Medicine (NIH) in a report on pelvic floor exercise and training, some of them are:
Insert a finger into the vagina and squeeze the muscles as if holding back urine. You should feel the muscles contract and move up and down. Another option for vaginal exercises is:
- Emptying the bladder completely
- Tighten the pelvic floor muscles and hold for 10 seconds.
- Relax the muscles again for another 10 seconds.
- Do 10 repetitions, 3 to 5 times a day (morning, afternoon and evening).
In short, having a weakened or dysfunctional pelvic floor tends to affect women to a greater extent due to pregnancy, among other things, which is why it is important to carry out the appropriate constant exercises, make changes in diet and take supplements that provide us with minerals and vitamins. Orgono Articomplex, for example, are capsules made from organic silica and enriched with magnesium, vitamin C and zinc. A perfect combination to strengthen muscles and provide our body with an extra supply of trace elements and minerals.