The pelvic floor is a set of muscles connecting your lower spine to your pubic bone, encompassing your pubic area and guiding various bodily functions like sexual activity and waste elimination. Medical conditions, aging, and childbirth can weaken these muscles and lead to issues such as incontinence, pain, and even a prolapsed organ. As you care about your overall health and well-being, learning about APTA pelvic floor therapy can provide essential insights.
The American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) pelvic floor therapy approach promotes a healthy, functioning pelvic floor and core. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the importance of the APTA pelvic floor therapy and how it can benefit your overall health and well-being.
APTA pelvic floor therapy not only aims at strengthening pelvic floor muscles but also focuses on the surrounding muscles, such as the lower back and the hips. This holistic approach helps improve overall core strength and bodily functions. Let's look at some of the benefits of APTA pelvic floor therapy:
Improve urinary or bowel incontinence: pelvic floor exercises can effectively reduce or eliminate incontinence by strengthening the muscles responsible for controlling the release of urine or stool.
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Pain relief during intercourse: Weak or tight pelvic floor muscles often cause pain during intercourse for some women. Pelvic floor therapy can help relax and strengthen these muscles, resulting in less painful and more enjoyable sexual experiences.
Better core strength and stability: Pelvic floor therapy not only strengthens your pelvic floor but also helps improve overall core strength, a vital component in daily activities, sports, and preventing or managing lower back pain.
Easier pregnancy and childbirth: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles before and during pregnancy can reduce the risk of developing pregnancy-related issues, such as pelvic pain or urinary incontinence. Moreover, a strong pelvic floor may also ease labor and postpartum recovery.
APTA Pelvic Floor Example
During an APTA pelvic floor therapy session, a specialized physical therapist evaluates your pelvic floor muscles and creates a tailored exercise plan. One example of a therapeutic activity is the Kegel exercise, which involves squeezing, lifting, and holding the pelvic floor muscles for a short period.
To perform a Kegel exercise:
- Identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine while you're using the restroom. The muscles you use to halt the flow are your pelvic floor muscles.
- With an empty bladder, lie on your back and tighten your pelvic floor muscles like you did previously.
- Hold the contraction for 3-5 seconds and then relax for the same duration of time.
- Perform 10 repetitions three times daily for best results.
As you progress, you can increase the holding time or try doing the exercises while standing or sitting in an upright position.
APTA pelvic floor provides the guidance you need to strengthen and maintain your pelvic floor muscles for overall health and well-being. As you recognize its importance, adopting this therapy as part of your daily routine can lead to reduced pain, enhanced core stability, easier pregnancy, and improved quality of life.
Remember to share this blog post with friends and family who may also benefit from a stronger pelvic floor. Stay tuned for more articles and guides on pelvic floor therapy to continue your journey to a healthier and improved life.