What are Kegels? And how are they different from pelvic floor muscle exercises?

Have you ever heard the term ‘Kegels’ and wondered why they’re called that?! Or wondered if or how they are any different from pelvic floor muscle exercises?

In this article, we’ll dig into the origin of the term Kegels and explain the difference between between Kegels and pelvic floor muscle exercises.

What are Kegels?

Kegels are exactly the same as pelvic floor muscle exercises!

Kegels is simply another term people use to refer to the same group of muscles. And the same exercises!

It’s a term most commonly used in the United States.

Why do people call pelvic floor muscle exercises Kegels?

Kegels are named after the American gynaecologist, Arnold Henry Kegel. He was the first person to define pelvic floor exercises.

Facts about Arnold Henry Kegel's life and research

Born in 1894 in Iowa, Kegel first published research on pelvic floor exercises in 1948.

He believed that the “relaxation” in the genital area following childbirth was due to nerve injury, overstretching of muscles and tearing of connective tissues.

As a result, his thought that “tightening” the pelvic floor muscles was the ideal treatment. And thus, the identification of the pelvic floor as a muscle group and the concept of pelvic floor muscle exercises were born.

From his research, Kegel reported that pelvic exercises were effective in the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence.

He claimed that cure rates were over 84%. A rate that has been supported by more recent research which has also shown similar rates of improvement.

Kegel later went on to invent the perineometer, the first gadget that measured pelvic floor muscle strength.

So now you know!

Kegels is just another name for pelvic floor muscle exercises.

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