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Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) is the conservative first line of treatment for many pelvic floor disorders. Pelvic floor muscle strengthening, relaxation and coordination exercises are taught by a trained physiotherapist. Pelvic floor muscle training may involve exercises, manual therapy, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, behavioural education and home exercises programme.

Arnold Kegel was the first person to use Kegel exercises for the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscle in the year 1948. While performing the exercises, the perineometer or the vaginal manometer, which measures the pelvic floor muscleโ€™s ability to contract, can be used to check if the exercises are being done properly.

Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises - Supervision by Physiotherapist

Pelvic floor muscle training has evidence-based support as the first line of treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction.

  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Peripartum and postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Chronic pelvic pain

People suffering from the following are suggested pelvic floor muscle training exercises:

  • Women who unintentionally pass urine while coughing, laughing, etc.
  • Men who unintentionally pass urine after undergoing prostate surgery.
  • Men and women who cannot hold stools.

Pelvic floor muscle training exercises can help strengthen the muscle under the uterus, bladder and bowel. Kegel exercises are well-known for their ability to strengthen the pelvic floor and as a result many people are performing them and if the desired results are not obtained, they just increase the number of repetitions they do. According to research, 2/3rds of women do not perform this exercise in the correct manner. They squeeze their pelvic floor muscle but refrain from lifting the pelvic floor. They donโ€™t know pelvic floor lifting from dropping. Performing the exercises inaccurately will not help and sometimes may worsen the condition.

Women need flexibility in their pelvis; this means the muscle should neither be too tight nor too loose. In the case of tight muscles, stretching is an issue and as a result there might be trauma and pain when stretched. Loose muscles on the other hand will not offer sufficient support for the baby during birth and there is the risk of organ prolapse.

How to Do Kegel Exercises?

To perform Kegel exercises, breathe in and relax the pelvic floor; breathe out and contract while picking up your pelvic floor muscle. Breathe in once again and relax while lowering the pelvic floor muscle. Make sure to not hold your breath or tighten the pelvic floor throughout the exercise. Change the duration of the exercises through the week.

Kegel exercises help with pelvic floor strengthening. While there may be exceptions, they are not usually meant as the primary treatment for muscle tightening. It is better to avoid performing them in case of pelvic floor spasms, constipation, tailbone pain and pain during sex/penetration.

It is best to consult a physiotherapist to make sure you are performing the exercises the right way so that you can be sure of benefiting from them.

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