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Pelvic Floor Overactivity

Pelvic floor overactivity (your muscles are more “on” then they should be) can contribute to pain, prolapse, and leakage symptoms. When we leak or have prolapse symptoms our instinct is to blame our pelvic floor for being too weak. For not supporting us enough. While it’s possible that it could be weakness driving your symptoms, it’s also possible that your pelvic floor is TOO active, it’s not actually weak at all. Without addressing your overactivity, continually doing your kegels won’t solve your problems.

Why it Matters:

  • Our pelvic floor muscles need to be dynamic, they need to be able to move, respond, and adapt to pressure and impact
  • Pelvic floor muscles attach to your tailbone – if these muscles are always active it can contribute to pain
  • Can’t access your full range of motion = decreased strength
  • Our pelvic floor needs to be able to relax to allow for pain free insertion

5 ways to identify if your pelvic floor is overactive:

  1. Pain with sex
  2. Tailbone pain
  3. Jaw clenching/teeth grinding
  4. High stress level
  5. Low back/neck pain

 

3 Ways to Treat it:

  1. Relaxation breath: place your hands over your lower belly/pubic bone and invite air underneath hands, as you inhale your belly and pelvic floor are lengthening (i.e. relaxing)

2. Hip openers: use your relaxation breath in different hip opening positions to allow for even more pelvic floor lengthening, remain in each position for about 60 seconds

3. Daily check-ins: check in every few hours to notice how you are breathing (shallow or deep?), if you are clenching your jaw or holding tension in your shoulders, or if you are holding your stomach muscles in or gripping your pelvic floor. We cannot change what we don’t notice.

Conclusion:

  • Pelvic floor muscle overactivity can contribute to your prolapse, leaking, and pain symptoms
  • Pain with sex, tailbone pain, and jaw clenching can all be signs of overactivity
  • We can’t change what we don’t notice – simply checking in with your body throughout the day can be a great place to start
Our Mission:

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.