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Knowing When Your Pelvic Floor Needs To Chillax

When we hear about our pelvic floor we are commonly reminded to strengthen, tighten, lift and squeeze. For many, these exercises may assist with symptoms relating to bladder or bowel incontinence, but for others, pelvic floor exercises may be harmful and make their symptoms worse.

Having an overactive pelvic floor means it is difficult to turn off or relax the pelvic floor muscles.

Some of the common signs of an overactive pelvic floor include:

  • Pelvic pain with intercourse or attempted intercourse,
  • Pain with using a tampon or menstrual cup,
  • Inability to relax the pelvic floor muscles,
  • Difficulty emptying your bladder or bowel,
  • Leaking urine with jumping, coughing or sneezing.
  • As you can see, the last symptom is usually associated with a weak pelvic floor. When the muscles become overactive, the pelvic floor has less contractile ability to assist with bladder control, therefore contributing to urinary incontinence.

    How does the pelvic floor become overactive?

    There is no single answer to this question and the cause is usually determined through a thorough history taking at your initial appointment. Pain from endometriosis, painful periods or trauma associated with childbirth may contribute to hypertonicity of the pelvic floor. Other common presentations are in people who have stressful lifestyles and high level athletes such as runners, gymnasts and dancers (habitually holding tension in these muscles).

    How can I get my pelvic floor to chillax?

    At your first appointment we will be able to determine whether or not your pelvic floor is overactive or underactive. We will create a heightened awareness and teach you how to relax your pelvic floor muscles. Manual therapy may also be used to release the pelvic floor muscles, as well as general stretching, breathing techniques and relaxation exercises.

    If you experience pelvic pain, or are concerned you may have an overactive pelvic floor, book in with our Women’s Health Physiotherapist today by calling 48611223.


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