The pelvic floor refers to the muscles and ligaments that support organs like the rectum, bladder, prostate, and uterus. As such, a weak pelvic floor can cause a lot of problems.
Factors that can put you at risk for pelvic floor weakness include:
- Having a child
- Pelvic surgery
- Being overweight
- Suffering a pelvic injury
But even if you don’t have a history related to any of these, you could still be suffering from weak pelvic floor symptoms.
Are there any signs of a weak pelvic floor that you should be aware of? Could pelvic floor muscle weakness be the cause of your discomfort? Keep reading to see our list of three signs of a weak pelvic floor that you won’t want to overlook.
1. You’re Constipated
While the odd bit of straining on the toilet isn’t unusual, regular constipation could be a sign that your pelvic floor muscles are struggling to open and close correctly.
If you are noticing that your stools are hard or you’re stepping away from the toilet and feeling like your bowels aren’t totally empty, your pelvic floor could be the culprit.
Because pelvic floor-related constipation can be a long-term issue, bowel problems might not be the only issues you experience. As such, bodily symptoms like infrequent bowel movements or stomach pain could be a sign of pelvic floor muscle weakness.
2. You’re Leaking Urine or Stools
According to research, incontinence, or leaking urine, is as high as 69 percent in some groups of women and 24 percent in some groups of men. If you’ve ever peed your pants while laughing or coughing, you’ve likely had a moment of incontinence.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that these leaks often happen because your pelvic floor muscles are too weak to perform their valve-like function.
For obvious reasons, this symptom is embarrassing enough that you may be tempted to hop on the phone and schedule your pelvic floor surgery ASAP. But many individuals have found that therapy and exercise can be extremely effective at preventing and treating incontinence.
3. You Have Lower Back Pain
Because back pain is such a common general complaint, this one might surprise you. In fact, by the numbers, back pain is said to affect over 65 million American adults.
But there’s a reason why lower back pain has often been associated with weak pelvic floor muscles:
Along with supporting your pelvic organs, your pelvic floor muscles also provide support to your back. If your ligaments and muscles aren’t properly strengthened, however, your pelvic floor muscles might not be able to give your lower back the support it needs.
Do You Have Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles?
When you have weak pelvic floor muscles, symptoms that don’t seem like a big deal can be signs of deeper problems. If going to the bathroom is a race between you and your bladder or if you’re dealing with unexplained lower back pain, it might not be normal aging — you could have a weak pelvic floor.
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