Can Yoga Help Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Yoga offers tremendous physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages and abilities. Not only can it decrease stress, support healing, and improve flexibility, it can also strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
Yoga can improve mobility to the muscles in and around the pelvic floor and improve these muscles’ overall strength and coordination. Whether you are interested in preventing the issues that come from a weak pelvic floor or are suffering from pelvic pain, yoga could be the right exercise for you.
The Importance of Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles
Pelvic floor muscles aren’t always top of mind when it comes to strengthening and maintaining the body, and they often fall into the camp of “out of sight, out of mind” for many women. However, it is just as essential to care for this part of the body as it is for any other group of muscles.
The pelvic floor plays an integral role in women’s health. It serves as the base of the core and works with the deep abdominal, diaphragm, and back muscles to support the spine. Pelvic floor muscles help to control the pressure inside the abdomen when the body lifts or strains.
Additionally, pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus in women, and they play a critical role in women’s sexual health and functions.
Benefits of a strong pelvic floor include:
- Improved control over the bladder and bowels
- Reduced risk of prolapse
- Reduced risk of incontinence
- Improved recovery from childbirth or gynecological surgery
- Increased sexual sensation
Causes and Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
However, there are many causes of pelvic pain, and it’s not always possible to prevent the vast array of conditions that can cause pain or discomfort in the pelvic region.
Some common conditions that lead to pelvic floor pain include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Kidney stones
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
Pregnancy, childbirth, and surgery are also common causes of pelvic floor disorders. If the pelvic floor becomes weak or damaged, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty with bowel movements
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Feeling heaviness or fullness in the vagina
- Pain or discomfort in the vagina
- Stool leakage
- Pain while urination
- Feeling a frequent need to urinate
At Advanced Gynecology, we treat many patients suffering from pelvic floor pain and dysfunction symptoms. A common question we hear is, “What can I do to strengthen my pelvic floor?” Fortunately, there are many ways to address pelvic pain, and the integration of regular yoga may be part of your overall treatment plan.
Benefits of Yoga for Pelvic Floor Muscles
Many people are aware of the benefits of yoga for the mind and body. Increased flexibility, weight loss, improved cardio and circulatory health, and boosted energy are just a few of the benefits yogis enjoy.
On top of these benefits, yoga can also help women who are interested in strengthening their pelvic floors. Yoga can help strengthen and stabilize the pelvic floor muscles, reduce pelvic floor pain, and even help women gain control over their urinary functions.
Strengthening the pelvic floor with yoga can also lead to:
- Reduced risk of pelvic organ prolapse
- Improved recovery from childbirth
- Improved recovery from gynecological surgery
- Increased sexual sensation
Integrating yoga into your routine can lead to many benefits for not only your mental and physical health but also your pelvic floor as well.
Pelvic Floor Yoga Poses To Try
Speak with your doctor before engaging in challenging yoga poses or poses you’re unsure of how to do. While yoga can be a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, the last thing you want to do is exacerbate the pain! Improper form and overdoing it can both lead to more harm than good when it comes to your health.
There are plenty of gentle and low-intensity yoga poses that could help you strengthen your pelvic floor and reduce pain and discomfort in the pelvic region. Some focus on building strength, while others reduce tension in your muscles. The overall goal is to manage any pelvic floor pain you’re experiencing while also improving pelvic functions.
Your doctor may recommend the following poses:
- Half-happy baby pose
- Reclining big toe pose
- Supported bridge pose
- Lay on your back and elevate your legs on a chair
- Dynamic tabletop
- Downward facing dog
- Wide-legged standing bend
- Warrior pose
- Lay on your back with your legs up against a wall
Many of these poses may require the use of a block, chair, pillow, or blanket and can be done from the comfort of your own home. When you consult with your doctor, they’ll be able to provide resources for yoga poses that address your specific needs.
Yoga requires insight into your body that only you have access to. If a specific pose or flow feels like too much, it’s okay to scale back as needed. Your doctor may advise that you begin with simple poses to improve your flexibility and body awareness. As you progress, you may be able to move into more advanced poses to help with your pelvic floor pain.
How Advanced Gynecology Can Help with Pelvic Pain
If you’ve been suffering from pelvic floor pain or discomfort, turn to Advanced Gynecology for help.
Our board-certified team of women’s health experts is ready to help you with diagnostic care and a range of options from pain management solutions, which may include yoga, to surgical procedures or minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures. We will gladly counsel you about the best options for you and will tailor your treatment plan to your health needs.
For more information, schedule an appointment today or call 678-201-1283 to speak with one of our patient coordinators. We look forward to assisting you!