Have you ever heard of having a hypertonic pelvic floor? It is actually a pretty common condition, and can often create symptoms relating to the bladder.
A hypertonic pelvic floor means that the pelvic floor muscles are too tight and unable to relax. This is also a main symptom of Pelvic Floor Tension Myalgia (pelvic floor dysfunction), where the pelvic floor muscles are constantly contracted. This puts the bladder and other organs under a lot of pressure.
When pelvic floor muscles are too tight, it can cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, and constipation.
How a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor Affects the Bladder
Because the pelvic floor also supports the bladder, it is common for a person to have symptoms affecting their bladder when experiencing a hypertonic pelvic floor.
For the bladder, this means symptoms such as:
- Difficulty urinating
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Urinary incontinence (loss of control, such as when sneezing or laughing)
- Slow urine flow
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Urgency to urinate
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it may be a sign that your pelvic floor muscles are a bit too tight and/or inflexible.
What is the Cause of Hypertonic Pelvic Floor Muscles?
What are the causes of these conditions? Well, there is no one exact cause, and cases differ from person to person.
Some cases may include the following pre-existing conditions:
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Injury from a previous pregnancy
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
There are some other factors that may lead to your muscles tightening…
- Holding your urine frequently for long periods of time
- “Pushing” out urine
- Experiencing high levels of fear or anxiety frequently
Thankfully, there are things you can start doing to help prevent your pelvic floor muscles from tightening, such as relieving yourself as soon as you can rather than holding in urine, trying not to “push” when relieving oneself, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle by staying hydrated, eating healthy, and regularly exercising.
However, there are also psychological aspects to having a tight pelvic floor. High anxiety, stress, or experiences with trauma can be big contributors to the condition. These are some things you also may choose to discuss when speaking with a pelvic floor professional.
What to Do if You Already Have Symptoms of Hypertonic Pelvic Floor
If you feel that you experience these symptoms and your pelvic floor muscles are too tight, there are things you can do to help relieve the issue. You may consider seeing a professional, where they will help determine a likely root cause for your individual case. Then they may discuss with you some tools such as breathing exercises, pelvic floor muscle relaxation techniques, pelvic floor massage methods, and stretching exercises.
There are also some common exercises that you can do at home to help with your bladder-related symptoms from tightened pelvic floor muscles.
These three exercises are recommended to help patients whose pelvic floor muscles are too tight, but please be sure to go slowly and breathe properly while performing them. After all, you’re trying to relax your muscles!
You can also do breathing exercises at home. These are quite easy, and you can find instructional videos online by looking up “360° breathing” or “Diaphragmatic breathing,” for example.
Seeing a Professional for Hypertonic Pelvic Floor
Although you may be tempted to solve the problem yourself by using at-home methods to treat your Hypertonic Pelvic Floor, it is highly recommended that you see a professional to discuss your personal case. Remember, there is not a singular cause of why you may have a hypertonic pelvic floor, but there is a multitude of different factors that could contribute to it, and every person’s individual case is different. Often, treatment is most effective when recommended by a professional who is familiar with the signs, symptoms, and best treatments for hypertonic pelvic floor.
In order to not worsen or further your hypertonic pelvic floor condition, it is recommended to see a professional soon if you have noticed any symptoms. Good bladder health and pelvic floor health overall are achievable, are there are professionals out there who can help you achieve it!
If you are ready to speak to a professional or want to simply learn more about bladder health, hypertonic pelvic floor, or pelvic floor health in general, head over to my Instagram! I am passionate about educating and helping you on your personal health journey. Therefore, I’m always available for questions in my DM’s, and I also offer a free 20-minute consultation if you are ready to get started!
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