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Back to Basics: Functions of the Pelvic Floor

Since it’s Thanksgiving time, I was reflecting on how thankful I am for the pelvic floor muscles and how they help our bodies function. These muscles are often under appreciated, or even ignored, until an issue arises! Hopefully, after reading about the pelvic floor and its functions, you will also gain an appreciation and thankfulness for this group of muscles that work together as part of a system to keep us at optimal functioning.

Functions of the Pelvic Floor:

  1. Sphincter: these muscles contract to maintain continence, but they also relax to allow for urination and defecation processes.

  2. Support: the pelvic floor works with your diaphragm and other stabilizing muscles to manage pressure changes. They also support abdominal and pelvic organs.

  3. Stability: Working hard to help bring stability to your entire body, the pelvic floor muscles allow you to move and go about your day, without even having to think about it!

  4. Sexual function: Blood flow for arousal, gaining/maintaining an erection, and orgasm are some of the ways the pelvic floor assists with sexual function.

  5. Sump-pump: helping with blood and lymphatic circulation, the pelvic floor keeps things flowing to help prevent swelling or pelvic congestion.

After learning about the functions of the pelvic floor, I hope you have a better appreciation of this wonderful group of muscles! That being said, if you realized you might have issues with any of those functions, know that there are treatment approaches that can help. Schedule an evaluation to see how a pelvic floor physical therapist can help you optimize your pelvic health functioning.



About Michelle

Michelle is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Webb Physical Therapy, located in Lawrence, Kansas.  She's worked in PT for close to 10 years, and believes each patient should be treated with a holistic, whole person approach to healing.

She is devoted to helping her patients develop individualized treatment plans to help them achieve their specific goals.

Call (785) 813-1338 for a free 15 minute phone consultation, or email

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