Posted in Team Finish Line.
What is a tight pelvic floor and should you be doing Kegels?
First, a quick Review! What Is the Pelvic Floor?
- The pelvic floor is three layers consisting of muscles and connective tissue that generally connect from your pubic bone to your coccyx (tailbone) and sits within your pelvis like a bowl
- This group of muscles have 5 functions!
- Supports our pelvic organs (bladder, rectum and uterus)
- Sphincteric: These muscles wrap around the openings of the urethra and anus
- Stability: Because of where the PFM attach in the pelvis they also assist other muscles of the hip, abdominal, and back in stabilizing the spine and pelvis.
- Sexual: The PFM help achieve arousal and orgasm
- Sump pump: The PF helps move lymph fluid and blood from the pelvis to the trunk
What is a “Tight” Pelvic Floor
- A healthy pelvic floor should be able to relax, lengthen and contract. As with any muscles in your body, the pelvic floor too can hold tension and become “tight” or overactive. This increased tension can cause pain or affect the function of these muscles thereby affecting any of the functions listed above.
- Tightness can present as:
- Pelvic, tailbone or hip pain
- Pain with sex
- Pain with inserting tampons
- Difficulty emptying your bladder or bowel
- What can cause pelvic floor tightness
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Stress or anxiety
- Sexual trauma
Many of us think of kegels when we hear pelvic floor. However, kegels are not always the answer especially if you have a “tight” pelvic floor. Trying to contract an already tight muscle can sometimes cause more pain. Which is why it’s important to learn how to relax and lengthen your PFM first before you train it to contract. Remember tight does not mean strong and those muscles are usually weak too. If you think you are experiencing pelvic floor tightness or pain reach out to a pelvic floor physical therapist.