Pelvic floor strengthening or Kegel exercises are terms that are familiar to most women when preparing for and recovering from child birth. Kegels or pelvic floor muscle contractions also play a large role in rehabilitation for incontinence (leaking of urine or feces) prolapse, or even various pelvic pain conditions. But how many should you do, how long should you hold them, and how often should they be done in a day? The answers to these three questions are paramount in treating the conditions for which Kegel exercises are prescribed.
Three things need to be determined before an accurate prescription can be given for pelvic floor strengthening. First, we need to know how strong or weak the muscle is, Second, we need to know how long the pelvic floor muscle contraction can be sustained, and third, we need to know how many contractions can be done prior to fatigue. Based on these three factors, an individualized prescription can be given for pelvic floor muscle strengthening that is both effective and tailored to address the specific problem you may be experiencing.
Physical therapists can be specially trained to evaluate the pelvic floor muscles and determine each of these three factors on a personalized basis. If you are experiencing problems associated with pelvic floor dysfunction I encourage you to seek individualized treatment from a physical therapist to ensure you are not only performing the exercises correctly but that you are following the prescription that is right for you.
Additional information on this topic and others is available on our clinic website at www.HerHealthMT.com.