Overactive Pelvic Floor
And squeeze! We are so often taught about tightening our pelvic floor muscles with exercises involving squeezing and kegels, but what about when your muscles are too tight?
Overactive pelvic floor muscles occur when the muscles involving your pelvic floor keep increased tension at times of rest and cannot relax. This can cause pain during urination, sex or other activities.
Overactive pelvic floor muscles affect 1 in 5 women or 1 in 12 men. For elite athletes, an overactive pelvic floor can affect your training or even be caused by improper training, stretches or poor mobility.
What is an overactive pelvic floor?
An overactive pelvic floor is when the pelvic muscles are continuously working (contracting). It is an inability to relax the pelvic floor muscles, leading to poor bodily function regulation or pain.
What can cause an overactive pelvic floor?
An overactive pelvic floor can be caused by:
- Pain (e.g., excessive period pain, pelvic pain)
- Improper training (e.g., too many pelvic floor exercises without focussing on ‘letting go’)
- Hypermobility in the hip and pelvic mobility
- Stress or anxiety
What are the signs of an overactive pelvic floor?
Some signs of an overactive pelvic floor may include, but are not limited to,:
- Urinary incontinence
- Abdominal and pelvic pain
- Incomplete bladder or bowel emptying
- Pain with inserting or removing a tampon
- Difficulty feeling the relaxation of your pelvic floor muscles
How do I relax my pelvic floor muscles?
Some ways to help relax your pelvic floor muscles include:
- Belly breathing
- Myofascial technique, gentle, constant massage that releases tightness (both internal and external)
- Calming the nervous system (e.g., yoga, mindfulness etc.)
- Stretches, such as child’s pose or frog pose
- Building the glute muscles to offset the pressure on your pelvic floor muscles
When should I seek medical advice about my pelvic floor?
If you have concerns about your pelvic floor health, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We have a network of specialised General Practitioners, gynaecologists and fertility specialists across Australia who will be more than happy to speak with you and discuss your individual circumstances.
With over 50 dedicated specialists across 70 consulting locations throughout the country, our friendly staff can help you choose the right medical professional to guide you and help you achieve your sporting goals. Contact us now.