Pelvic Floor: Definition and What it is

Medically and clinically reviewed by Tamara Grisales, MD and Kandis Daroski, PT, DPT

Pelvic Floor Definition and Meaning

The pelvic floor refers to the group of muscles, ligaments, and fascia (connective tissue) that stretch like a hammock from your pubic bone in the front of your body to your tailbone in the back. These structures make up the bottom or “floor” of the bowl-shaped pelvis (in both women and men). They support your pelvic organs, play a role in bladder and bowel control, sexual function, and help stabilize your body during movements like walking and standing.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises are not just Kegels. Kegels can be an important part of a pelvic floor strengthening program, but they shouldn’t be your whole program. Rather, you want to include a variety of moves that help strengthen and relax the muscles of your pelvic floor as well as exercises that target the hip, glutes, and core which all help to strengthen muscles that support the pelvic floor. This type of well-rounded exercise can help prevent the pelvic floor muscles from being overworked and allows them to function best. Great exercises to start with include: bridges, squats, internal hip rotation, and abdominal bracing. Your breathing matters, too. Breathing exercises and breathwork help you breathe correctly throughout the day and focus on intentional connection to the pelvic floor.

Common Pelvic Floor Issues

Just like any other muscle, the pelvic floor can develop pain or weakness. When this happens, it can cause many different health issues — leaking urine, constipation, pelvic and vaginal pain, pelvic organ prolapse, difficulty emptying bladder or bowel, and more. These can range from mildly annoying to completely disruptive. Pelvic floor issues can affect both men and women, though they’re more common in women, particularly after childbirth. 

Pelvic Floor: A Hinge Health Perspective

An issue with your pelvic floor is kind of like a leaky pipe in your basement. It’s a quiet and subtle problem that you don’t notice until you find the water damage. And then it’s pretty hard to ignore. Your pelvic floor plays a really important role in a lot of daily functions but it often flies under the radar. Most people don’t think about their pelvic floor until it starts causing disruptive symptoms.

Pelvic floor symptoms don’t have to negatively impact your quality of life. With a better understanding of what your pelvic floor does, you can more effectively treat your symptoms. And Hinge Health is here to help you do just that.

How Physical Therapy Can Help With Pelvic Floor Issues

Pelvic floor physical therapy can offer significant benefits when it comes to treating pelvic floor issues. A pelvic health physical therapist can customize a treatment plan, tailored to specific types of pelvic floor issues, that focuses on strengthening and relaxing these muscles to help improve your bowel and bladder control (i.e., not leaking urine or feces), treat some types of pelvic pain, and help improve your sexual response. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a comprehensive treatment that may include education, behavioral and lifestyle strategies, movement and exercise, and manual therapy. 

You can see a physical therapist in person or use a program like Hinge Health to access a PT via telehealth/video visit.

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have pelvic pain; bladder, bowel, or other pelvic symptoms that are affecting your quality of life, you can get the relief you've been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you.

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.


  1. Hodes, P., Sapsford, R., & Pengel, L. (2007). Postural and respiratory functions of the pelvic floor muscles. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 26(3), 362-371. doi: 10.1002/nau.20232

  2. Grimes, W. R., & Stratton, M. (2021b). Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing.   

  3. Wallace, S. L., Miller, L. D., & Mishra, K. (2019). Pelvic floor physical therapy in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction in women. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 31(6), 485–493.doi:10.1097/gco.0000000000000584 

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