Now that we understand the basic pelvic floor anatomy and function, we can delve deeper into what happens when the pelvic floor isn't functioning as it should and what symptoms may arise from this dysfunction.
If you're suffering from pelvic floor problems, it's most likely due to one of two things: the muscles being too long and weak or too short and weak.
Let's start with the first problem, if the pelvic floor is very long and weak, the muscles are underutilized and it can become difficult for them to generate any type of force. Imagine Napoleon Dynamite or Shaggy on Scooby Doo. This issue commonly leads to difficulty in controlling bowel, bladder and sexual function, as well as pelvic organ prolapse. People who fall into this group generally respond well to pelvic floor strengthening exercises, also known as Kegels.
The second problem many people deal with is their muscles in the pelvic floor being too short. Imagine a body builder walking around with their shoulders almost touching their ears, it doesn't matter how much weight they can move because they aren't functional. They wouldn't be able to scratch their own back or wash their own hair because that muscle is too short and tense. This issue commonly leads to discomfort, pain, and difficulty with bowel, bladder and sexual function.
This is the problem we see most commonly in our office!
Almost every day we have people come into the clinic with muscles that are weak because they are too short, not weak because they're too long.
When we see muscles that aren't working optimally and functioning correctly, we first determine which camp they're in, too long or too short, via a physical examination. We then prescribe the appropriate intervention. We're committed to customizing treatment plans based on what each individual who steps into our office needs and how their body responds to care. You'll never receive a "one-size-fits-all" approach from us, because we understand that everyone's body is different and requires different treatment.
If you’re interested in learning more about pelvic floor dysfunction and what’s happening behind the scenes when your symptoms start to snowball, watch the video below!