Unmasking the Reality: Understanding the Limitations of Kegel Balls for Pelvic Floor Muscles

Unmasking the Reality: Understanding the Limitations of Kegel Balls for Pelvic Floor Muscles

Do I need them?

There are various accessories available on the market for pelvic floor muscle exercises, including geisha balls or vaginal cones. They have become very popular and are recommended by some specialists. Recently, they were included in some magazines for women. However, are they really fulfilling their role?

Let’s start from the beginning, i.e. from the pelvic floor muscle anatomy. The pelvic floor muscles (commonly called Kegel muscles) are made of two types of fibers. 70% slow-shrink fibers and 30% fast-twitch fibers. Slow-shrinking fibers are resistant to fatigue, but they shrink slower and relax less, in addition they perform the function of supporting the organs. Fast-twitch fibers are responsible for quick reactions to stimuli and are easily tired. Over the years, muscles get more tired and wear out or as a result of the aging process meaning these proportions are changed. There are fewer slow fibers than fast fibers which leads to a decrease in endurance and efficiency of the entire muscle structure. At this point, they do not fulfil their function properly and episodes of urinary incontinence may occur.

Balance is the answer

It is so important to keep the right balance between these structures and proper pelvic floor muscle training should be based on learning how to activate both types of fibers. In addition, for such training to be completely safe it should be preceded by a relaxation phase and interspersed with an appropriate length of muscle relaxation, in other words simply rest. It’s just like doing a bicep exercise at the gym, nobody stays tense for hours – after activation, there is always relaxation. Unfortunately, the relaxation phase is forgotten very often when training pelvic floor muscles. An example is the excessive use of accessories such as geisha balls or vaginal cones. Balls do not give feedback on the strength with which we tighten muscles, do not allow us to relax and, above all, build muscle strength, not endurance. It is endurance that is the key to preventing stress urinary incontinence.

Use them wisely

We often hear from women that they wear balls or cones sometimes,sometimes for hours; meaning they are contracting muscles constantly due to fearing that the balls may fall out. In addition, such balls or cones are equipped with weights, that is, additional strength affecting the muscles. In this way, the incorrect use of accessories generates increased pelvic floor muscle tension, which limits blood flow and, as a result, causes inadequate blood supply to the structures. The muscles which are treated in this way, which additionally already have a disturbed proportion of fibers (get tired faster), are not strengthened, but on the contrary – their condition may even decrease and the symptoms of urinary incontinence may get worse.

Find a perfect solution for yourself

At PelviFly, we focus on exercising both types of fiber. On this basis, various exercises in the form of games were created that affect the appropriate muscle types. We also know how important the relaxation phase is, and that’s why during each workout, muscle activation is always finished with relaxation. The device is only used for the training period, i.e. about 10 minutes a day. In addition, the parameters and levels of exercise are always adapted to individual muscle parameters and assessed regularly using the diagnostic test in the application. The whole process is carried out under the control of a physiotherapist  and this Telemedicine allows for such care without leaving home.

PelviFly has an extensive worldwide network of cooperating, outstanding specialists (gynaecologists, urologists, midwives and physiotherapists) so you can easily get professional help close to where you live. All of the features make the workout safe and defined depending on the woman’s health and muscle condition. 

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