1. Everyone has a pelvic floor and should see a pelvic health physical therapist when issues occur
Common Pelvic Floor
Issues For Women
- Urinary and bowel symptoms
- Hip, back, or pelvic pain
- Period pain
- Sexual pain or issues
- Fertility, pregnancy, or postpartum issues
- Menopause issues
Common Pelvic Floor
Issues For Men
- Low back or hip pain
- Prostate issues
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sexual issues
Common Pelvic Floor
Issues For Children
- Urinary issues
- Delayed bedwetting
- Daytime leaking
The largest increase of pelvic floor issues is in the female teen and young 20s population. Many young girls are experiencing period pain and urinary incontinence with sports, jumping, tumbling or giggling. Many are missing school, events, and sports and are often dealing with the psychological impact as well. For children, it can impact confidence, social participation, and school attendance.
2. Periods should NOT be painful
Pain with periods is almost always a sign that the pelvic floor needs attention. Period cramps are often just that—muscle cramps. If the pelvic floor is on throughout the month in a heightened state of tension, a period can feel like boot camp for the pelvic floor. Many women find themselves experiencing intense cramping in their pelvis, abdomen, legs, or low back when on their cycle.
There can also be contributing factors like nutrition issues, endometriosis, PCOS, or other issues affecting period cramps. Even with those, releasing the baseline tension in the muscular system can drastically decrease the cramping, discomfort, heaviness, or throbbing that so many women experience every month with their period or with ovulation.
3. Leaking is not normal
When people hear pelvic floor, they often think urinary leaking and believe it’s just part of life and aging. If any other part of the body started malfunctioning like your mouth started drooling, your knee stopped bending or your hand stopped gripping, you would address this with physical therapy. The bladder and rectum are no different. If the bladder or rectum starts leaking or not waiting to get to the toilet, they are just as worthy of care. Leaking should never be considered normal at any age or for any sex. This is often a symptom of an imbalance in the pelvic floor and always deserves assessment and treatment by a pelvic floor physical therapist. (And this does not always mean you need to do more Kegels!)
4. Sex shouldn’t be painful for women. Ever. Period.
Many women experience pain with penetration, and this is always a sign that pelvic PT is needed without question. The pelvic floor is a multi-layered, dynamic, neuromuscular system, and if there is an imbalance in this system for any reason, the body can tense up to protect at a subconscious level even in moments when intimacy is wanted and desired. This includes first-timers, postpartum, perimenopause, and post menopause. Pain anywhere in the body is a sign that care is needed and the pelvic floor is not the exception—at any age.
5. Overall pelvic health and preemptive care
More men and women are experiencing cancers and issues in the pelvic organs and region. Keeping the pelvic muscles mobile and strong helps with blood flow to the organs; blood pressure modulation; hormone balancing; and lymphatic clearing around the uterus, bladder, prostate, and ovaries. Keeping the tissues moving around the rectum helps the body easily and quickly remove waste and toxins, which can prevent rectal issues, disease, and even hemorrhoids.
When people start seeing pelvic health as an essential aspect of wellness, there will be a shift in how you feel about your body and its capabilities as you age. Pelvic floor issues can no longer be brushed aside as a normal aspect of life. Advocate for your health, your future, and your pelvic floor. Your body deserves this care.
Amy Moses, PT, DPT, OMT is the co-founder and co-owner of MOJO Pelvic Health headquartered in Memphis. She is passionate about raising awareness about pelvic health issues and providing access to care through mentoring and training other Pelvic Health Physical Therapists so that more people can have access to affordable and accessible care. MOJO has offices in Midtown, Germantown, Southaven, Jonesboro, and Jackson, MS. Visit MOJOph.com or follow them on Instagram and Facebook @mojopelvichealth. Contact amy@MOJOph.com.