I just shared this beautiful visual, yet again, with a patient and wanted to repost here as well. Unless you are an anatomy nerd🤓it can be hard to visualize how these muscles work separately, let alone together. Thank you to the amazing @mypelvicfloormuscles for making this video, allowing us to SEE clearly the link between diaphragm, "core"' and pelvic floor, and helping patients have that "I get it!"💡moment
The pelvic floor muscles are crucial for healthy movement which includes a stable “core”.
The pelvic floor muscles have very close connections to several muscle groups.
If the pelvic floor muscles are not working correctly it may impact these neighboring structures. On the other hand if these nearby muscles are injured or weak it can impact the pelvic floor.
First, the anatomy.
The deep pelvic floor muscles attach to the tailbone.
When the muscles contract they pull the tailbone slightly forward. When they relax the tailbone can move back.
Notice how the tailbone attaches to the sacrum and the sacrum attaches to the low back.
The pelvic floor muscles work closely with the abdominal muscles.
In fact contracting the pelvic floor muscles often causes the deep abdominal muscles to contract at the same time. (Crtichley 2002, Arab 2011)
We are still learning exactly how these different muscle groups work together.
It is thought that the pelvic floor muscles work automatically as we move to help regulate pressure inside the abdominal cavity and stabilize the pelvis. (Sjodahl 2016, Dufuor 2018).
It is clear that the trunk, pelvis and pelvic floor affect one another.
For example people with back and pelvic pain tend to have high rates of pelvic floor dysfunction. (Dufour 2018).
And people with urine leakage, which is often a symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction, are twice as likely to have low back pain. (Cassidy 2017).
We also know that overactive pelvic floor muscles can cause pain in the back, pelvis, tailbone, thighs and abdomen. (Faubion 2017).
For many people, re-training the pelvic floor muscles may be an important part of relieving pain, feeling stronger and moving easier.