Article written by Dr Anika Arevalo https://athletixrehab.com/our-team/dr-anika-arevalo/
Did you know that 66% of people don’t know what their pelvic floor is, and 40% of people don’t exercise their pelvic floor? When treating clients I often hear the following statements: “I’m a male, I can’t have a pelvic floor disorder.” “I didn’t have any issues with my pregnancy, so I don’t need to do pelvic floor exercises.” “I had kids so long ago, there’s nothing I can do now.” These are only a handful of statements I hear daily. And you know what? My answer to all these questions is FALSE.
Did you know that according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) that 32% of Americans ages 30-70 have experienced some episode of urinary incontinence (which is the most common symptom of PF dysfunction) and 17% of men suffer from some type of Pelvic Floor dysfunction? I wanted to take the time to “debunk” some common myths and open your eyes to how both males and females can benefit from PF Therapy.
Myth 1: “I’m a male, I can’t have a pelvic floor disorder.”
Although it’s true that women are more often diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction, it does occur in men too. For men, PF muscles not only help control the bladder/bowel, they also assist in sexual function. It is also important to note that men with history of back pain, abdominal hernia surgery, and injury to abdomen/hip can be more susceptible to pelvic floor dysfunction and pain.
Myth 2: “I didn’t have any issues with my pregnancy, so I don’t need to do pelvic floor exercises.”
Women who ignore their pelvic floor muscles especially after children increase their risk of having incontinence (almost half of all mothers experience this), pain with intercourse, and pelvic organ prolapse (up to 50% of women suffer from this). Patient’s also put themselves at increased risk of back pain due to a compromised pelvic floor.
Myth 3: “I had kids so long ago, there’s nothing I can do now.”
It is never too late to start! Have you ever heard of that dreaded word “Diastasis Recti”? You probably thought you could never help minimize that abdominal separation. Again, FALSE! It is crucial you address this as 66% of women with diastasis recti have one of the following in addition: a weak PF, pelvic floor pain, incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. It is also important to note that if you’ve had a C-section it is never too late to state massaging your scar either! With that said, if you want to know why C-section scar massage is important stay tuned to my next blog post!
In summary, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor if you experience anything I’ve talked about in today’s post. Please contact us and ask for an appointment with Dr Anika to guide you on your journey!