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  • Writer's pictureNicole Cozean

Why are Kegels never the answer?

Have you heard or been told you 'just need to Kegel'? Here's why that's never the answer to pelvic health issues.

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Kegels (or the voluntary squeezing of the pelvic floor muscles) are often one of the only areas of pelvic health we’ve heard about.

It’s often surprising to people to learn Kegels are often ineffective, antiquated and can cause flares or actually exacerbate symptoms. Here’s why they are rarely used at all at PelvicSanity.

1) The majority of people with pelvic floor symptoms already have overactive pelvic floor muscles.

This means we want to be working to calm down the pelvic floor. Help it to relax and stretch out. Not adding a bunch more work for it to do!

Not only are Kegels ineffective, but can often flare symptoms for those with an overactive pelvic floor. This is why Kegels are never recommended for those dealing with pelvic pain.

2) Even if you are weak, Kegels aren’t the best way to strengthen the pelvic floor.

Even for the small subset of people who truly do have pelvic floor weakness, Kegels are only one small part of the pelvic floor.

If your goal is to run without leaking, how is laying on your back and staring at the ceiling the best way to train for that? We need to get you up off the table and get your pelvic floor working in a functional manner again.

3) Kegels don’t find or resolve the underlying ‘why’

At PelvicSanity we’re always about trying to find and address the root cause of your issue so it doesn’t return.

The underlying why is usually outside the pelvic floor - in how you’re moving, in your back, or glutes, or hips, or ankles. Unless we find and resolve the underlying why, symptoms will either return or crop up in a different way in the future.

So if your pelvic PT was only doing Kegels or biofeedback, make sure you find a great pelvic PT for a second opinion. And if you haven’t been to pelvic PT yet, let this be your call to action!

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As Nicole said in the full 'sode of the podcast on this topic...

"Most people have a pelvic floor that is already too tight and active; Kegels are the last thing we want to do. Even if the pelvic floor needs to be strengthened, Kegels aren’t the best, most functional way to do that. And just doing Kegels will never get to the underlying ‘why’ or root cause of what’s going on!" -Nicole Cozean, Pelvic Sanity

If you’re dealing with pelvic health issues, make sure you join our free FB support group (Finding Pelvic Sanity), follow us for more information on Instagram (@pelvicsanity) and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify for wherever you get your podcasts!


Who are we at PelvicSanity?

At PelvicSanity, it's our mission to support patients with pelvic pain and pelvic floor symptoms, regardless of where you live. We can help with:

- In-person treatment for those in Southern California at the PelvicSanity clinic

- Immersive Out-of-Town program for those able to travel

- Remote Consultations to get you expert 1:1 help, advice and an action plan

- Online patient courses on Interstitial Cystitis and Movement for Pelvic Health

- A Facebook support group for patients called Finding Pelvic Sanity.


Nicole Cozean

Dr. Nicole Cozean is the founder of PelvicSanity Physical Therapy in Orange County, CA. PelvicSanity treats patients from all over the world with remote consultations and the Immersive Out of Town Program. She also runs Pelvic PT Rising, training other pelvic PTs to better serve patients.

Named Physical Therapist of the Year, Dr. Nicole is author of the award-winning book The Interstitial Cystitis Solution and the first PT to serve on the ICA Board of Directors, Her passion is helping those with pelvic health issues - regardless of where they live - find lasting relief.

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