Is pelvic floor muscle health important in overall health?
As many pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) triggers revolve around the pelvic floor muscle, it is critical to ensure that this muscle remains healthy and that it can properly contract and relax as needed. If the pelvic floor muscle does not effectively contract or have the endurance to maintain this contracted state, then bladder or bowel incontinence may arise. Equally important, if the pelvic floor muscle does not properly relax, then bladder and bowel emptying becomes compromised leading to issues such as urinary tract infections and chronic constipation, as well as problems with pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction.
The need for keeping muscles healthy for the prevention of injury is a philosophy that is easily understood and universally accepted. So, too, is the importance of proper rehabilitation in the recovery process when injuries unfortunately occur. However, the pelvic floor muscle seems to be a muscle that often eludes this generally accepted principle, both for prevention of injury as well as the necessity for rehabilitation, even with the most extreme of injury such as muscle tear that sometimes occurs during childbirth. This muscle has responsibilities to uphold, and neglect and injury can lead to devastating effects on the function of that muscle and the body as a whole.