Breathing and Pelvic Health

By our very own Holly Koch.

Did you know that breathing well is connected to pelvic health? A very important functional relationship exists between the respiratory diaphragm and the pelvic floor. Together, they work to provide stability in our bodies and regulate pressure in our abdomen. As we inhale, the lungs become filled with air causing the diaphragm to descend and flatten. When we are breathing effectively, the pelvic floor descends in coordination with the diaphragm which can lengthen and relax the pelvic muscles. Being able to relax the musculature in this way can equate to less discomfort and tension for men and women with pelvic pain issues. 

Please pay attention to your breathing from time to time. Dealing with pain is really stressful not just physically but also psychologically, your breathing pattern might be influenced by the environment you are in. Take a moment to count the length of inhale and exhale. Slowly breath with comfortable length, but breath deep, and make sure to compare those numbers. When we are anxious, depressed, and/or sad, inhale tends to be longer than the exhale. When we are upset and/or angry, exhale tends to be longer than the inhale. If you find uneven length of your breathing, you are going to pick a smaller number and use that number to even out your breathing to start work for your autonomic system. Gradually homeostasis is going to restore. Big bear in front of you is getting smaller and you are able to see things clearly and regain power to control your situation.

Though we are always breathing, sometimes we aren’t breathing in a way that maximizes the effect of the relationship between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. This may be a result of several factors including anxiety, sucking in our bellies, or even prolonged seated postures. 

If you need more instructions or want to experience how your life can change from this small step, please let us know, we can guide you with more details. Also, If you wonder how your breathing could improve your pelvic floor health, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask to work with one of our physical therapists who specializes in pelvic health!