The muscles of the pelvic floor

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The levator ani and the coccygeus are the muscles that form the pelvic floor. These muscles support and elevate the organs of the pelvic cavity such as the uterus and the bladder. They provide a counterbalance to increased intra-abdominal pressure which would expel the contents of the bladder, rectum and the uterus.

During childbirth these muscles can become weakened and need to be strengthened by pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible after the birth.

Superficial muscles Deep muscles

Gluteus-medius

Gluteus-maximus

Biceps -femoris

Semitendinosus-

Lateral head of-gastrocnemius

Semimembranosus

Medial head of-gastrocnemius

Piriformis

Tendon of semitendinosus (cut)

Gracilis

Semimembranosus

Tendon of semi-tendinosus (cut)

Tibialis posterior

Flexor digitorum longus

Achilles tendon

Piriformis

Tendon of semitendinosus (cut)

Gracilis

Semimembranosus

Tendon of semi-tendinosus (cut)

Tibialis posterior

Flexor digitorum longus

Achilles tendon

Biceps Femoris

Gluteus minimus

Tendon of long head of biceps femoris (cut)

Adductor magnus

Short head of biceps femoris

Tendon of long head of biceps femoris (cut)

Soleus

Peroneus longus

Flexor hallucis longus

Gluteus minimus

Tendon of long head of biceps femoris (cut)

Adductor magnus

Short head of biceps femoris

Tendon of long head of biceps femoris (cut)

Soleus

Peroneus longus

Flexor hallucis longus

Fig 4.11 The muscles of the posterior of the lower limb

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