After many years of experiencing pelvic pain, discomfort during sex, the inability to wear a tampon and the overly painful experience of pap smears I thought it was about time that I should see a Physiotherapist who specialised in the Pelvic Floor. After all I was advising Mums about pelvic floor health and the importance of maintaining a strong healthy pelvic floor!
I took a trip to see the wonderful Physios at Fitwise where an examination revealed I had an overactive pelvic floor!..
What is an Overactive Pelvic Floor?
An overactive pelvic floor does not relax properly when they should.
Tight shortened pelvic floor muscles can cause painful tension and spasms in the pelvis. The same way a tense muscle can cause you pain in your calf. You may be unwittingly holding tension in your core, doing pelvic floor exercises wrong, or involuntary tensing your muscles, like when you have menstrual cramps or other pain. An overactive pelvic floor can also be related to childbirth, surgery or an accident like falling on your hip or tailbone. Having a C Section or Hysterectomy can leave behind adhesion’s and scars that can make the problem worse.
In my case my pelvic floor muscles were clenched into tight knots and in spasm as a result of a fall I had a few years back where I landed on my tailbone.
I was so so happy to finally have an answer to why I was finding sex so difficult and painful, and simple things that women should be able to do like wear a tampon and be able to have a pap smear without being in tears! It really was such a relief.
An overactive pelvic floor is rarely something that will vanish quickly and will need intermittent follow-up treatment. In my case to start I was prescribed with a relaxation CD to teach me how to relax my pelvic floor muscles, other treatment can include internal and external massage.
My exam and treatment with Fitwise was very professional and I am so grateful to have found someone that has helped me find a cause to my years of discomfort.
Anatomically speaking the pelvic floor is the centre of your physical power and balance. Determining whether you have an overactive pelvic floor or underactive pelvic floor is crucial. Exercising an overactive pelvic floor can lead to pain and nerve irritation whereas exercising a weak pelvic floor will lead to vast improvement in core strength, lower back and hip function… wow! it really is a double edged sword!! It is so important that if you experience any discomfort in the pelvic area or have any concerns at all you seek advice from a specialised Physio.
Author: Ali Broomfield