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The Voice And Pelvic Floor Connection

Living in Long Beach I feel like I am far away from Hollywood and the entertainment scene. Yes, I know, maybe I am an hour away and not a whole state away, but it still feels far.

However, I have worked with a lot of singers since I have had my office here. I am not a singer nor an artist. I grew up in the sports world and since becoming a physical therapist have moved from mostly working with orthopedics and athletics to now working mostly with pelvic floor patients.

The Voice and Pelvic Floor

In the pelvic floor world we have always talked about the voice being connected to the pelvic floor when it comes to childbirth, but we often don't talk about (pun not intended) the voice being connected to the pelvic floor in other scenarios.

About a year ago I took a class on the connections to the voice and pelvic floor and I learned a lot more about vocal anatomy then I had ever learned before. Did you know the vocal cords and pelvic floor muscles have a similar shape and pattern to them?

In that class I was also reminded how much our breathing influences both the voice and the pelvic floor. Also, both are closely tied to our emotions.

In the past few years I have worked with a number of singers and performers not only for pelvic floor issues, but the other common thing I see in them is neck pain.  The common denominator I have found in most of my singers is a sub-optimal breathing pattern.

How The Breath Influences the Voice and The Pelvic Floor

At first I was afraid to change their breathing because I don't want to mess up their singing. I have also worked with a few voice coaches as my patients and I would ask them lots of questions about this.  What I have learned, and grown in confidence, is that by improving their breathing it will improve their pelvic floor symptoms, decrease neck pain and improve their singing.

woman singing and playing guitar

Often what happens is, if they can't use their diaphragm optimally they over use something else, either the pelvic floor or their neck muscles, or both!  The pelvic floor muscles are very small and aren't supposed to be the primary muscle in breathing or in athletic endeavors such as running and jumping, but if some other bigger muscle isn't doing its job correctly, the pelvic floor muscles will try to help out.  Because they are small muscles, this becomes a problem and eventually leads to pelvic pain, bladder leakage or other pelvic floor symptoms.

If you are having pelvic floor problems maybe changing your breathing pattern can help!  This is why I preach day and night that it is not only about doing kegels. We have to get the body to work together as a whole and that is what is going to improve your bladder, bowel or pelvic problems. If you are a singer or athlete, those things will improve as well once the entire system is working together.

If you need help with your pelvic floor symptoms, bowel or bladder problems come see me in the clinic or virtually.

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