Also called as pelvic Gym helps in improving the strength and function of the pelvic floor which plays an important part in erections, ejaculations, bowel and bladder function.
Know Your Pelvic Floor
Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic organs are thebladder and bowel in men, and bladder, bowel and uterus in women. These layers stretch like a hammock from the tailbone at the back, to the pubic bone in front. A man’s pelvic floor muscles support his bladder and bowel. The urine tube and the back passage all pass through the pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles help you to control your bladder and bowel. They also help sexual function. It is vital to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong. Pelvic floor muscles form the base of the group of muscles commonly called the core. These muscles work with the deep abdominal (tummy) and back muscles and the diaphragm (breathing muscle) to support the spine and control the pressure inside the abdomen. The pelvic floor muscles play an important role in supporting the pelvic organs, bladder and bowel control and sexual function, in both men and women. During exercise, the internal pressure in the abdomen changes. For example, when lifting a weight, the internal pressure increases, then returns to normal when the weight is put down. In the ideal situation the regulation of pressure within the abdomen happens automatically. For example, when lifting a weight, the muscles of the core work together well: the pelvic floor muscles lift, the abdominal and back muscles draw in to support the spine, and breathing is easy. In this scenario, the pelvic floor muscles respond appropriately to the increase in abdominal pressure. If any of the muscles of the core, including the pelvic floor, are weakened or damaged, this coordinated automatic action may be altered. In this situation, during exercises that increase the internal abdominal pressure, there is potential to overload the pelvic floor, causing downward pressure.
When this happens repeatedly during each exercise session/activity, over time this may place a downward strain on the pelvic organs and this may result in loss of bladder or bowel control, or pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor symptoms can also be potentially worsened if a problem already exists. Pelvic floor muscles need to be flexible to work as part of the core, which means that they need to be able to relax as well as lift and hold. It is common for people to brace their core muscles constantly during exercise in the belief they are supporting the spine, but constant bracing can lead to the muscles becoming excessively tight and stiff. Pelvic floor muscle stiffness commonly coexists with muscle weakness and can contribute to problems such as urinary urgency and leakage. Other problems often associated with the pelvic floor muscles being too tight include pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and difficulty emptying the bladder.
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MUSCLES OF PELVIC FLOOR
There are three layers of pelvic floor muscles –
Most superficial layer(superficial perineal pouch) – Helps in normal urination and ejaculation and contribute to urinary continence.
Second layer (the urogenital diaphragm) – support to urethral closure during increased intra abdominal pressure and helping stabilize the pelvic and lower lumbar joints during movement
Third most cranial layer (the pelvic diaphragm) – continence, organ support and sexual function
Pain in lower abdomen, groin, penis, testicles, perineum, anus, rectum /or coccyx without concomitant sexual dysfunction.
Urinary and/or fecal incontinence.
How do I know if I have a pelvic floor problem?
Common signs and symptoms of a problem with your pelvic floor include:
Accidentally leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze –
Needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
The need to frequently go to the toilet
Finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
Accidental loss of feces or gas or not able to hold the gas
Prolapsed rectum- a bulging coming out of the anal canal
Prolapse of uterus (in females)
Pelvic pain- Pain in lower abdomen from a long time and not getting diagnosed or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS)
Pain during sexual intercourse or pain after ejaculation
Urinary leakage during sexual intercourse or with ejaculation
Are you at risk of pelvic floor problems?
Your risk is increased if you tick one or more of the following:
you regularly lift heavy weights (e.g. at the gym or as part of your job)
you strain often to empty your bowels (constipation)
you have a chronic cough or sneeze
you are overweight or have a Body Mass Index greater than 25
you have had trauma to the pelvis area (e.g. a fall, pelvic radiotherapy)
you have a history of back pain.
Sedentary life style
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Where are my pelvic floor muscles?
The first thing to do is to find out which muscles you need to train.
Sit or lie down with the muscles of your thighs, buttocks and stomach relaxed. It may be useful to use a hand mirror to watch your pelvic floor muscles as they pull up.
Squeeze the ring of muscle around the back passage(anus) as if you are trying to stop passing wind. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your buttocks.
When you go to the toilet to empty your bladder, try to stop the stream of urine, then start it again. Do this to learn which muscles are the right ones to use – but only once a week. Your bladder may not empty the way it should if you stop and start your stream more often than that.
If you don’t feel a distinct “squeeze and lift” of your pelvic floor muscles, or if you can’t slow your stream of urine as talked about in Point 3, ask for help from your doctor or a pelvic floor specialist. They will help you to get your pelvic floor muscles working right. Men with very weak pelvic floor muscles can benefit from pelvic floor muscle training.
PELVIC FLOOR REHABILITATION (PFR)- PELVIC GYM
Pelvic floor rehabilitation (PFR) is a multidisciplinary program that involves numerous rehabilitation principles such as muscle floor retraining, biofeedback, and electrical stimulation of the pelvic floor and functionally associated musculature. Pelvic floor rehabilitation is an approach to improving the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor rehabilitation uses the principles of physical therapy to provide a structured program for reconditioning these muscles. We work with each patient to develop a personalized program for building strength and improving pelvic floor function.
The benefits of pelvic floor rehabilitation
Improving yourcontrol over bladder and bowel function
Reducing the risk of prolapse (‘sagging’ of internal organs)
Better recovery from childbirth and surgery (in women)
Vetter recovery after prostate surgery
Increased social confidence and quality of life.
Kegel exercises have been proven to improve ED symptoms
Research has been done into pelvic floor rehabilitation, which teaches men and women how to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles using different techniques. These studies show that
Pelvic floor rehabilitation programs are about as effective as surgery
42% of men with ED improved with pelvic floor rehabilitation alone
61% of men are better able to control premature ejaculation symptoms after pelvic floor rehabilitation Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can help improve sexual performance in several ways:
Improve the hardness of erections – the pelvic floor muscles encourage good blood flow to the groin area, which is important in getting harder erections.
Delaying ejaculations – Kegel exercises can help train the pelvic floor muscles to contract on command and depending on the need. It’s important that if you are going to use Kegel exercises mainly for this purpose that you are guided by a healthcare professional as there are specific techniques for doing so.
Increase the pleasure experienced during sex – good blood flow around the groin area is also an important part in pleasure during sex.
Increasing the number of orgasms that men can have in a period of time – strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can mean that the number or strength of orgasms that men experience can increase
At Institute of Andrology and Sexual Health, Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation is an important part of the whole treatment process of various sexual problems related to men. It is accomplished by the use of the most advanced technology in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles along with the required expertise and a deep understanding of the pelvic floor anatomy and mechanics.