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The pelvic floor muscles should function more like a trampoline than your biceps – by Dr. Hailey Jackson

The pelvic floor muscles should function more like a trampoline than your biceps – by Dr. Hailey Jackson
  • PublishedMarch 15, 2024

Did you know the pelvic floor muscles function more like a trampoline and other muscles in our bodies (biceps, hamstrings, etc)? That’s right! This muscle group functions very differently than the other skeletal muscles in our body. 


Let me start with the trampoline analogy: the bony pelvis (ilium, ischium, and sacrum) are similar to the metal frame of the trampoline. Ideally this is very stable, sturdy, and symmetrical. The ligaments in your pelvis are similar to the springs on a trampoline – they attach the part you actually jump on to the metal frame – while the ligaments attach your muscles to bone. These springs need to be secure and intact.  Lastly, the muscles in your pelvis are similar to the black thing you actually jump on – this part of the trampoline needs to have some give so it doesn’t hurt to jump, while also being able to quickly spring back up for optimal jumping purposes. Your muscles need to be able to relax to allow for pain free urination, defecation, and intercourse, while also contracting quickly to maintain bowel and bladder continence. 


Another important difference between this group of muscles and other skeletal muscles is that these muscles function under autonomic nervous system control in addition to somatic control. Autonomic means these muscles can (and should) work automatically, while somatic control means you have to volitionally contract. There are many important muscles that course through the pelvic floor, but one in particular gets more press. The pudendal nerve comes from nerve roots S2-4 and courses through these muscles. If these muscles are too tense, or not relaxing/lengthening as they should, this nerve can become affected. This shows up differently for many people. For some it’s pelvic pain, while for others it’s bowel and/or bladder issues. 


What does all of this mean? 


First, it means there are a lot of moving parts and things to address in the pelvis when pelvic floor muscle dysfunction is present – bony anatomy, ligamentous integrity, and muscle function, and the nervous system to name a few. 


Second, it means there’s more to a healthy pelvic floor than kegels. These muscles aren’t always weak. In fact, most of the time there’s a coordination or tension issue that needs to be addressed rather than just strengthening these muscles. 


Lastly, it’s so important to note that when healthy, these muscles should automatically do what they are supposed to do – free of pain. 

If you are struggling with any pelvic floor related issues, we would love to help. Issues in the pelvic floor show up as bowel and bladder dysfunction, pain with or following intercourse, pelvic pain, or a combo of these. For more information, visit To schedule an appointment, call 903-962-2600 or email


Written By
Chloe Kopal

Chloe Kopal was born and raised in Sulphur Springs, Texas. She attended Sulphur Springs High School for 4 years and graduated in 2021. She was also a line member for the Blue Blazes Drill Team for 3 years. Chloe is the Digital Content Creator for Front Porch News. Her love for our community shows through her work. She is very passionate about photography and has been ever since the first time she picked up a camera many years ago.