We’ve talked a lot about how a weak pelvic floor can cause us to leak urine when we sneeze or when we get the urge to go to the bathroom and can’t quite make it. However, there are a lot of other complications that can arise from a weak pelvic floor, such as urinary frequency, difficulty with sport activities and even a pelvic organ prolapse. My name is Jenna Stasi. I’m a pelvic floor physical therapist here at Back In Motion Sport and Spine Physical Therapy.
When we have a weak pelvic floor, it can lead to urinary frequency. Urinary frequency is defined as needed to go to the bathroom often, oftentimes, more than every two hours. Now there are other things that can cause urinary frequency, such as uncontrolled diabetes or neurologic disorders, but oftentimes, it’s due to the weakness in our pelvic floor muscles. If you find yourself running to the bathroom often, it could be because your bladder is trying to empty and your pelvic floor is not strong enough to send those signals to stop it from emptying or stopping from trying to empty.
A weak pelvic floor can also cause problems with sport activities. Our pelvic floor plays a huge role in supporting our abdominals and our pelvis, and if these important stabilizers are not functioning well, it can lead to low back pain, sacroiliac joint pain or hip pain. It can also cause problems with weightlifting as we’re not able to increase the pressure in our abdomen appropriately. If you find yourself having pain after a long golf game or trouble during ab exercises, it could be from a lot of things, but it could be from a weak pelvic floor.
Lastly, a weak pelvic floor can lead to a pelvic organ prolapse. A pelvic organ prolapse is when the walls of our pelvic floor are not strong enough to support the weight of our pelvic organs and they begin to fall. Some people experience a pressure or a heaviness in their pelvis or their abdomen, oftentimes, at the end of the day. Some people can even see their organs protruding externally. Some people have no symptoms at all but just have this feeling like their organs are going to fall out. Although typically, it’s not painful, a pelvic organ prolapse can lead to more complications if not treated, and even a hernia.
So, there you have it. A weak pelvic floor is sometimes a little more than just leaking urine when we sneeze. If not treated, an underlying pelvic floor weakness can lead to complications, such as urinary frequencies, poor activities, and even a hernia.