Tight pelvic floor muscles are not always a result of trauma or injury and can occur from lifestyle and habits. Tight pelvic floor muscles are not gender or age-specific unlike what most people think. Finally, tight pelvic floor muscles can exist without you having any pain or symptoms for a long time. This blog is about tight pelvic floor muscles and some of the basics to know, however, I strongly recommend you visit my blog page and become familiar with the many blogs I have written on the subject of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Where Is The Pelvic Floor?
To stay focused on the blog title, I refer you to my blog which reviews the anatomy of the pelvis and pelvic floor; however, I want to remind you that the floor is NEVER tight or relaxed as a separate entity! In other words, a relaxed or tight pelvic floor is a result of the attached anatomy (lower back, hips, overall posture) when the tightness is biomechanical. Everything is connected and tight pelvic floor muscles impact your full body movement and mechanics as well.
How Do Pelvic Floor Muscles Get Tight?
You can be a runner, cyclist, desk worker, a stay-at-home parent. You can be fit, overweight, or in between. You can be male, female, transgender, and you can be old, young, or in between. Tight pelvic floor muscles happen only when there is a:
- Biomechanical dysfunction
- Neurological issue
- Surgical intervention
- Compensation for something else that exists
The key should not be just the treatment but what caused it to begin with. If we don’t find that out, its return is only inevitable.
Best Treatment For A Tight Pelvic Floor?
If pelvic floor dysfunction was a book, tight pelvic floor muscles and their associated issues would be a chapter of that book. Unfortunately, since the symptoms vary, most often, the subtle signs and symptoms of a tight pelvic floor are overlooked and considered as something else. That means by the time pelvic floor tightness gets ‘loud’ in its presence, so many opportunities for treatment were missed, and then the patient is sent to a pelvic floor therapist (which btw can be a trained physical therapist, chiropractor, occupational therapist, or nurse to name a few), for internal manual work.
As stated in my previous blogs on why internal manual work should only be a part and not the whole treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, the full treatment is rather extensive, necessary, and easy to tackle. To learn what the treatment entails, please visit my blog where the subject is extensively explored, and bear in mind that in the case of tight pelvic floor muscles, Kegels and Emsella Chair should be avoided. The extensive treatment should include:
- “Behavior modification which is always part of the solution list to all issues (your behavior about life changes how you do everything in life), is not going to correct any dysfunction fully but addresses some of the feeders of the problem.
- Postural Neurology: Movement is like a concert and the body parts are like the musicians; in that the musicians not only need to know their part but to know when to chime in and phase out. That means the pelvis and pelvic floor need to know how to ‘play’ with the rest of the body if they are to sustain their strength and integrity. This is what Postural Neurology is all about.
- Functional Movement: Common sense says that the most authentic way to move is the way babies move. After all, all babies from all over the world go through the same developmental stages of movement (Developmental Kinesiology) which means that we are hard-wired to move that way. So if the issue is movement-related or supported, then we should see how we compare to the way we moved as babies. All discrepancies are then highlighted and can be corrected through Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) exercises which are baby movements.
- Breathing is what babies do automatically and that is what we need to do in order to sustain the bottom of the breathing apparatus, the pelvic floor!
- Internal manual work which ideally should be done to assess the muscles inside the pelvis BUT does not have to be done in all cases.”
What Should I Do If I Have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Ask around, go to the practitioner’s website, call their office, ask questions, and find out what the treatment entails. If it is primarily internal manual work, know that you will feel better but the issue is deeper than that. Movement, posture, lifestyle, and habits need to be addressed or your problem will return. At our clinic, we review the type of sport the individual may be playing to make sure it is not feeding the dysfunction, and train our patients to catch themselves making the mistakes that feed their issue.
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction that is lingering or other treatments have not worked, make sure to contact me.