The pelvic floor and the feet may seem like two completely unrelated parts of the body, but they are more connected than you think. The way you stand, walk, and move can have a significant impact on the health of your pelvic floor. Let’s explore the relationship between the pelvic floor and the feet, and what you can do to improve it.
The pelvic floor and the feet are connected through a network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascial systems that run throughout the body. When you stand or walk, your feet provide a stable base for your body, which helps to support and stabilize the pelvic floor and core muscles. Conversely, when your pelvic floor is weak or dysfunctional, it can affect the way you walk and stand, which can lead to problems with your feet.
When the pelvic floor and feet are out of sync, it can lead to issues in numerous parts of the body. For example, if you have a weak pelvic floor, you may have difficulty maintaining good posture when standing or walking. This can cause your ankles or arches to collapse, which can lead to problems with your gait and balance. Over time, this can contribute to knee and hip dysfunction, flat feet, and even other issues further up the kinetic chain. In addition, women with weak pelvic floor muscles may experience incontinence, low back or pelvic pain, which can further impact their ability to stand and walk comfortably. It is important to remember here that a weak pelvic floor simply means muscles that cannot experience the full range of motion, meaning tight or overactive pelvic floor muscles are just as weak as underdeveloped or lax muscles. A dysfunctional relationship between the feet and the pelvic floor can also contribute to pregnancy pains, increased discomfort in labor, and even labor stalls.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve the relationship between the pelvic floor and the feet. One of the most important is to practice good posture when standing and walking. This means strengthening your back, core, and pelvic stabilizer muscles to support keeping your shoulders back, your chest lifted, and your pelvis in a neutral position. It's also important to wear shoes that fit well and allow increased function for your feet. Prioritize flexible shoe soles that allow your feet and ankles to go through their full range of motion in movement, and a wide enough toe box that your toes can rest next to one another, rather than squeezed into each other. (This means strengthening your feet matters too!)
Another way to improve the relationship between the pelvic floor and the feet is through pelvic floor exercises. These exercises can help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can in turn improve your posture and gait. Some examples of pelvic floor exercises include breath-focused, controlled pelvic floor contractions, pelvic bridges, and squats.
Yes, you can do this work from the comfort of your own home! At Ruth Health we make it as easy as possible to fit this important work into your busy schedule. A pelvic floor specialist will conduct an external assessment of your body’s mechanical functions and combine it with your health history and chief complaints to come up with an individual treatment plan developed just for you. So, what are you waiting for? Book now to get started!
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