Fitness Magazine

About Your Pelvic Floor

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
by Nina

About Your Pelvic Floor

Forest Floor by Marie Lossky (@Marie.Lossky on Instagram)

Your pelvic floor (also called the pelvic diaphragm) consists of muscles and connective tissue that create a hammock-like structure across the bottom of your pelvic cavity. The pelvic floor muscles include the levator ani and the coccygeus muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles support your pelvic organs (including the bladder, the rectum, and female reproductive organs), keeping them in position. They also assist in both urinary and fecal continence because they connect to the urinary and anal sphincters.Both men and women have pelvic floors! And when the pelvic floor muscles are weak or damaged (due to childbirth or surgery in women), this can result in incontinence. In her post Urinary Incontinence, Shelly Prosko wrote that over one third of men and women between the ages of 30-70 years old experience urinary incontinence (the inability to control the bladder) at some point in their lives. Although women tend to be more aware of and concerned about their pelvic floors, a significant number of men suffer from weak pelvic floor muscles. In fact, in his post Proof of the Effectiveness of Yoga for Urinary Incontinence, Ram said that women experience urinary incontinence at a rate of only twice as much as men. For women, weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles, often as a result of childbirth or surgery, can also cause pelvic organ prolapse, when one or more organs shift out of place due to lack of proper support.By now I think you’re guessing that if muscles are involved, yoga can help! And it turns out that over the years, we’ve compiled quite a lot of material on the pelvic floor. We’ll begin with an overview of the posts we have on urinary incontinence and follow that up with an overview of organ prolapse.Bonus: On the plus side, strengthening your pelvic floor could help improve orgasms.Incontinence1. Proof of the Effectiveness of Yoga for Urinary IncontinenceIn this post, Ram discusses an evidence-based study that showed, among other things, that women who did yoga experienced an overall 70% reduction in the frequency of urine leakage, in both total and stress-type incontinence. Because the sequence used in the study was designed by Leslie Howard and Judith Lasater, we included photos of the poses in this post.2. Urinary IncontinenceIn this post, physical therapist and yoga teacher Shelly Prosko discusses the two main types of urinary incontinence: stress and urge. To treat urinary incontinence properly, it is important to know the difference between the two, and to know which one you may have or whether you have a combination of both. She also makes recommendations for yoga poses and practices that will help with both conditions.3. Treatment of IncontinenceIn this post, Shelly shares more yoga poses and physical therapy exercises you can use to address incontinence issues. Although these poses are not specific to a particular individual’s needs, they address some of the overall body alignment, tightness, and weakness issues surrounding common pelvic floor dysfunctions.Organ Prolapse1. Organ Prolapse and YogaIn this post, Shelly discusses the role that yoga can play in the management of reproductive organ prolapse, and she also identifies the poses, movements, and breathing methods that could potentially exacerbate the condition.2. Friday Q&A: Organ Prolapse and Intra-Abdominal PressureIn this post, Shelly answers a reader’s question to better explain her perspective about re-evaluating the use of Uddiyana Bandha for organ prolapse.3. Friday Q&A: Vaginal ProlapseIn this post, Baxter answer’s a reader’s question about vaginal prolapse and vaginal hysterectomy with background information about both vaginal prolapse and hysterectomy and the relationship between the two, and makes a few recommendations about how yoga could help.Subscribe to Yoga for Healthy Aging by Email ° Follow Yoga for Healthy Aging on Facebook ° Join this site with Google Friend Connect

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