Hi friends! Have you ever wondered what causes urinary symptoms like incontinence, urgency, and frequency? New studies are emerging that suggests that the hip muscles play a pivotal role in maintaining pelvic floor muscle function.
While we often think about strengthening our glutes and our quads when working out our legs, we sometimes forget about the hip abductors and rotators. There are several muscles that fit this definition but the two main ones we will discuss today are the gluteus medius and the obturator internus.
The obturator internus is especially important to a well-functioning pelvic floor because it shares common attachment points with the pelvic floor muscles. This means that the functioning of the obturator internus muscle can contribute to a lax or tight pelvic floor.
The gluteus medius and the obturator internus work to stabilize the hip joint. The glutes medius muscle can become weak from frequently squeezing the thighs together—like when you really need to pee and are trying to hold it in!
While there may be other things that contribute to these urinary symptoms, the hip can play a role. In fact, in one study they found that women with urinary symptoms had weaker hip muscles but similar pelvic floor muscle strength and endurance!
How do you know if weak hips are contributing to your urinary symptoms like leakage, urgency, or frequency? Ask your provider for a referral to a pelvic floor therapist or find a pelvic therapist near you.
Want to strengthen your hips? Check out the video below and exercise with Jeanice!
To learn more about your pelvic floor, check out these great resources:
The Hip and Urinary Incontinence: A look beyond the pelvic floor at what keeps us dry with Lauren Trosch, PT, DPT, OCS
Pelvic PT Evaluation of the Pelvic Floor Muscles with Dr. Samantha Richter, PT, DPT, WCS
Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT
Foster SN et al. Hip and pelvic floor muscle strength in women with and without urgency and frequency—predominant lower urinary tract symptoms. J Womens Health Phys Therap.2021;45(3):126-134.