How to tell if you have a tight pelvic floor?

Pelvic floor muscles are essential in maintaining our bodily functions. They help us control urination, defecation and support the bladder, uterus, prostate gland and rectum. But when these muscles become too tight or weak, it can lead to various complications like urinary incontinence, dyspareunia and even pelvic pain. To avoid these problems altogether one should learn how to identify if they have a tight pelvic floor.

Understanding What is an overactive Pelvic Floor

An Overactive Pelvic Floor or OAPF is a condition where the muscles that support the pelvic organs contract spasmodically without voluntary control resulting in chronic loss of function known as “dysfunction” 1. The sphincters around your urethra or anal canal could be clamped shut thereby creating discomfort/pain when trying to pee or poop respectively.

These symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as standing for long periods, lifting heavyweights (like seriously who needs that?), exercising and yes even sex (sad face) .

Signs of Tight Pelvic Floor

Here’s what you need to watch out:

1. Discomfort

Having persistent lower belly pain especially after sitting for a while? It may suggest something serious going on down there! Women’s Health Hospital recommends checking up with your doctor, seriously.

Another sign of discomfort could be Spasmodic torticollis- also called “wryneck”- which involves involuntary contractions of cervical neck muscles leading them into unnatural positions/movements often mistaken as banal cramps but actually signaling neuromuscular disorder contributing immensely towards Chronic pain

2. Pain during Sexual Activity

Experiencing painful intercourse? Your partner mustn’t take all the blame! This could be because your vaginal/penile muscle has become so contracted/tensed that penetration is near impossible. It’s okay not to pretend like the pain isn’t there, be sure to seek out help

Of course, other factors can contribute to this (emotional baggage anyone?), but if you’re feeling discomfort or pain during intercourse, it may be because of an overly tight pelvic floor.

3. Bowel and Bladder Issues

Do you find yourself constantly running to the restroom? Or are you now being shocked at your child acting in a similar fashion—but seriously the bedwetting needs some medical attention 2 ?

An overactive/tight pelvic floor can leak involuntary urine aka urinary incontinence which could happen when laughing too hard or sneezing also known as Stress Urinary Incontinence(SUI) :).

Or maybe it’s bowel movements—constipation OR diarrhea might strike more often than usual. Not pleasant right?

4. Bloating & Abdominal Pain

Let’s be honest’ve probably ignored these two signs quite a bit: A bloated stomach accompanied by abdominal cramps mostly before menstruation for women! But If yes-menstrual cramps included – consider talking with physician about solutions for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

And This Is Where Evaluating Your Pelvic Floor Comes First

The first step towards tightening that muscle baby is understanding them better!

There are different methods/tools employed by specialist clinicians who assess symptoms and advice physical exercises suited according according the severity of condition .
Do-It-Yourself ways include attempting “Kegels” using simple contractions!
Inhale relax; exhale contract then tense pelvis muscles as though holding pee(remember back from duty calls), release then repeat on “inhale”.

Undergoing Proctalgia Fugax Treatment?

Proctalgia fugax treatment procedures involves several steps:
1 Selecting PT specializing in Treating Pelvic Girdle Pains & Dysfunction.
2 Medical review of symptoms
3 Learning Self-help techniques

Other Options Still Exist?

Of course! Vaginal Dilator Therapy (easy-peasy insertion/just kidding) Slowly widens up the opening vaginally and pelvic physiotherapy which target removing stiffness in your pelvis muscles.

So that’s basically it— Checking for signs, identifying causes, testing methods to evaluate conditions —and now you are well on your way towards improving health.

  1. Teloken PE. Men’s Health: The Overactive Pelvic Floor – What Is It and How Can We Manage It? 2016;8(1):9-12. 

  2. Järvinen R, Aukee P, Takala T et al. Daytime urinary urgency and frequency +7 years after randomized n=241 TVT versus polypropylene transobturator-tape for stress urinary incontinence surgery. Int Urogynecol J 2020;31:1205–1212. 

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