Our American education is so lacking that unless we have a problem “down there,” we are not apt to be aware of the words Pelvic Floor. Our ignorance about the pelvis, its function, construction, anatomy and dysfunction hasn’t improved over the years. When Bonnie fractured her pelvis in four places during a ski accident in 1937, her well-educated and intelligent in-laws had to look up the word pelvis in the dictionary to find out where the injury was. In a phone call just last week, I suggested to the person on the end of the conversation that a pelvic floor specialist was probably needed. “Where is the pelvic floor?” the person asked.
The Anatomy of The Pelvic Floor
The pelvis is a box and the pelvic floor is the bottom of that box and lies between the coccyx and the pubic bone (the back and the front of you).
The pelvic floor provides the major cloaca (a common passageway for urinary, digestive, and reproductive ducts) for the entire body, and is at the same time the bottom of the protective bowl housing the vital organs.
There are many muscles housed in the pelvic floor and coccyx and pubis are a part of most of the muscle names…which makes their names easier to remember and also their location. These muscles are responsible for the control of urine, support and raising the coccyx, retracting and elevating the anus and are also involved in lovemaking.
If you have a problem “down there” in the pelvic floor, you may want to do some research on the following muscles: coccygeus, levator ani, pubococcygeus, levator prostratae, pubavaginalis, puborectalis and iliococcygeal.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
If these muscles become injured, then they can cause dysfunction. Dysfunction comes in the form of urinary and fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids, burning sensations, painful lovemaking, tailbone pain and pelvic organ prolapse. Most common causes are listed as obesity, menopause, pregnancy and childbirth – which doesn’t address the reason men also have problems.
Bonnie Prudden found that, in addition to the four causes listed above, sexual abuse, hard falls to the tail bone, accidents such as blows when landing on a bike bar, running on the road or aerobic dance (the inner leg muscles tie to the pelvic floor), too many sit-ups, child abuse, inept lovemaking, and rough pelvic examinations, can all contribute to pelvic floor injury. Regarding pregnancy and childbirth – the following also need to be taken into account: hard births, long births, large babies, and episiotomies.
When muscles are injured, they often go into spasm causing pain, dysfunction and limited range of motion. As in other parts of the body, trigger points form. Trigger points are irritable spots that get into the muscle when it is injured. When a muscle goes into spasm it shortens, pulls on where it is attached and loses its power.
Common current fixes are: tie it up, lop it off, lubricate it, put an elastic around it or salve on it …biofeedback, medication, relaxation techniques, surgery…. And if all else fails, wear adult diapers and don’t make love. Currently there is an advertisement on TV promoting adult diapers as if it was the latest glamour wear. Pictured are dozens of good-looking bodies with good looking bare legs running down the street and through the city wearing only their “adult diaper” underwear. It is an indication of the prevalence of the problem…and also the lack of how to fix it.
These exercises are suggested to tone and strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor usually in connection with urinary incontinence. However, if the muscles are in spasm the exercises aren’t going to work. In fact, they may exacerbate the problem. So first, treat the pelvic floor. Then you may not even need to do the exercises.
Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy Fix
If you want to fix the problem, find the trigger points as shown in Bonnie’s book, Myotherapy: Bonnie Prudden’s Complete Guide to Pain Free Living. To do a thorough job you will need to treat trigger points in the seat, low back, pelvic rim, groin and hips….as well as the pelvic floor. In other words, treat adjacent and opposing muscle groups since they all pull on one another. If the person is a running enthusiast or attends weekly aerobic dance classes, you will also need to treat the legs, especially the adductors or inner thigh, as they tie in to the pelvic floor.
Over the years I have fixed my own pelvic floor issues using Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy. After waiting a few days to see if the problems might miraculously go away on their own, which they didn’t, I erased painful urination, hemorrhoids, incontinence… the first two in minutes and the last after a bit of work.
So before you resort or give in to traditional fixes that may be ineffective, expensive or hurtful, try Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy. It can’t hurt, won’t rob your pockets or waste your time and may, quite happily, bring relief to your pelvic floor and put a smile on your face.
If you have questions just fill out the contact form at www.bonnieprudden.com and I’ll be happy to help. We also have a three page article, Myotherapy Treatment for Spasm in the Pelvic Girdle, which I can email upon request. It can be used in conjunction with the Myotherapy book.
For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help.
Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®