Diaphragm & Pelvic Floor: An interesting and overlooked connection!
Do you notice symptoms such as urinary incontinence, a heavy feeling in your perineal (the area between your genitals and anus) or vaginal area when singing or just feel as though you aren’t progressing while singing? Well, here’s a reason why!
Did you know that singers who are experiencing symptoms like these may have an imbalance in their inner abdominal canister between their pelvic floor and diaphragm?
Since both the pelvic floor and diaphragm are part of the inner abdominal canister, they can directly affect one another and their ability to function properly. When any type of pressure is applied or occurs within the inner abdominal canister, the pressure must be diffused. Take inhalation for example. When you inhale, your diaphragm contracts. The pressure from these diaphragm contractions, since it has to go somewhere, shoots downwards into the pelvic floor. When this happens, the pelvic floor muscles must be able to expand, lengthen and stretch to accommodate this new pressure.
However, if there is any type of tension or tightness in your pelvic floor or your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, it will not be able to lengthen to accommodate this pressure. The muscles in the inner abdominal canister must work together at all times to help manage the pressure in our bodies from daily functions and activities such as breathing, sneezing, laughing, running, jumping, and much more. When these muscles are unable to function properly due to tightness or weakness, an imbalance is created. In this case, when the pelvic floor muscles can’t support the pressure caused by the contractions of the diaphragm upon inhalation, it can cause an influx of problems such as constipation, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and much more.
For a singer who is experiencing these symptoms, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles as well as alleviating any tension in the body, specifically in the pelvic floor, is the first best step.
Whether singing is a deep passion or a light hobby, an imbalance between your pelvic floor and diaphragm shouldn’t keep you from doing what you love or what makes you happy!
We have worked with singers/vocalists for a variety of pelvic floor problems and can help you get to your best! We don’t just focus on the pelvic floor, but the whole ribcage, abdomen, and pelvic floor connection.
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