Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles, nerves, vessels and connective tissues that sit within your hip bones, and functions to:
Just like the muscles of your arms and legs, your pelvic floor muscles can become tight, overstretched, weak and hypertonic (overactive). A dysfunctional pelvic floor can lead to urinary incontinence ("oops, I peed a little"), pain with sex, constipation, chronic pelvic pain and pain in other areas of the body. Trigger points, or hyper-irritable points in tight muscles, in the pelvic floor can refer to the low back, hips, thighs, knees and abdomen.
To locate & tune in to your pelvic floor, start with taking a few belly breaths. As you exhale, try a few of these cues to wake up your nether regions:
This contraction of your pelvic floor muscles is commonly referred to as a "Kegel". Contractions and strengthening can be very helpful for some people, but is NOT a cure-all for postpartum moms or those struggling with incontinence. In many cases, pelvic floor relaxation is more important.
Are you dealing with leakage, prolapse, pain or constipation? A pelvic floor physical therapist can help.
Illustration from Pelvic Guru.