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  • Writer's pictureSierra Crockford

Five Signs of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction


Inferior view of the pelvic floor at the musculoskeletal level.

What is the pelvic floor? It is a group of muscles bordered by the pelvis that help to support organs, control elimination of bowel/bladder, and stabilize the hips, pelvis, and spine. These muscles are frequently impacted by pregnancy, surgery, trauma, or lifestyle habits. When these muscles become dysfunctional, they can affect the body in a variety of ways. Five signs of pelvic floor dysfunction are listed below!

  1. Difficulty with bowel or bladder control: Whether this is a sudden urge or “just in case” peeing, you should be in control of how quickly you need to find a restroom. This can be a sign of pattern recognition ("Every time I put my key in the front door..."), prolapse, or muscle spasm.

  2. Straining: You should be able to toilet efficiently, and without straining. Sometimes, this means setting a daily schedule, spending no longer than 10 minutes on the toilet, or adjusting fiber/water intake. You can also adjust your toileting posture to help things go more smoothly.

  3. Pelvic pain: If you experience pain with toileting, intimacy, or movement this can be related to scar tissue, muscle spasm/imbalance, or dietary irritants.

  4. Feeling of pelvic heaviness or dullness: If this occurs around hormone fluctuations or after a lot of activity it can be a sign of ligament laxity, decreased core strength, or poor pressure management within the abdomen.

  5. Hip or low back pain that does not respond to orthopedic treatment: Some of the muscles that make up the pelvic floor are also involved in hip and spine movements. If you have experienced long standing hip or back pain that hasn’t responded to orthopedic treatment it may be related to pelvic floor dysfunction.

Further questions on pelvic floor dysfunction? Contact Snow Ghost Physical Therapy and ask for an initial evaluation, consultation or general information with Dr. Sierra Crockford PT, DPT, CAFS, Cert DN.

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