The Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor is made up of numerous muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue. The intricate muscles work together to support bladder and bowel function along with their specific involvement in sexual health.
Hypertonic vs Hypotonic
Pelvic floor muscles can become hypertonic, meaning too strong and tense, or hypotonic, meaning they have been weakened. Common occurrences that lead to pelvic floor hypotonicity include pregnancy, childbirth, aging, and chronic constipation.
Signs of a hypertonic pelvic floor can include pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, hip pain, and low back pain. If you have hypertonic pelvic floor muscles, your muscles have learned to be in a frequent state of contraction and are unable to relax. Urinary incontinence and urinary urgency can be related to either a hypotonic or hypertonic pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor muscles work in conjunction with the abdominal muscles, back muscles, and diaphragm. Just as you would get knots and trigger points in your back muscles, the pelvic floor muscles can have trigger points as well.
Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor therapy is a technique that is used to treat pelvic floor dysfunction. This therapy may involve lower abdominal and back massage, stretching techniques, and internal pelvic floor work. The pelvic floor therapist or practitioner would assess the muscle strength to determine if strengthening or relaxing exercises are needed. It is a misconception that everyone should be doing Kegels to strengthen their pelvic floor.
There are numerous other symptoms that may be related to pelvic floor dysfunction. Consult with Dr. Cooper to determine if you have pelvic floor dysfunction and would benefit from pelvic floor therapy. Call 480-588-6856 for a free 10-minute meet and greet.