Updated: Aug 19
Think your pelvic floor muscles might be tight but aren't sure how to tell? Here are some common signs and symptoms that might indicate pelvic floor tightness:
-Constipation: In order to have a bowel movement, your pelvic floor muscles need to be able to relax. Decreased mobility in the pelvic floor can inhibit your ability to release stool and thus lead to constipation.
-Smearing with wiping: Similar to the point above, smearing with wiping (as well as straining to have a bowel movement) might indicate that your pelvic floor muscles are having trouble relaxing and letting your stool pass smoothly.
-Urinary leakage/incontinence: Leakage/incontinence can be a tricky subject. There is a common misconception that if you suffer from incontinence it must mean that your pelvic floor muscles are weak. You might even have been told something along the lines of, "Oh, you pee when you sneeze? You just need to do more kegels!" The problem with this response is that weakness is not always the underlying cause of leakage. There are many potential causes for leakage, pelvic floor tightness being one of them. If you're pelvic floor is tight, you may not be able to fully empty your bladder when you use the restroom. Or maybe your muscles are weak but ALSO tight. If this is the case, it's important to work on MOBILITY of the pelvic floor prior to strengthening in order to achieve maximal results.
-Difficulty starting stream/fully emptying bladder: If you have trouble initiating urination and/or fully emptying your bladder, it might be due to difficulty fully relaxing your pelvic floor to allow the bladder to empty. This often coincides with a muscle coordination issue between your pelvic floor, diaphragm, and bladder. Your pelvic floor physical therapist (PT) will educate you on bladder re-training tips and neuromuscular re-education to help ease the process of going.
-Pain with intercourse and/or pelvic exams: Intercourse should NEVER be painful. If so, this is a common sign of tightness in your pelvic floor musculature. Similarly, painful pelvic exams can also indicate pelvic floor restrictions. Your pelvic floor PT will work with you to identify which structures are contributing to your pain and help you create an individualized treatment plan.
If you have any of these symptoms, you are not alone! Pelvic floor dysfunction is often brushed under the rug and can be embarrassing to talk about, but at Prevail we are passionate about breaking down these barriers and getting you the help you deserve.
URINARY LEAKAGE IS COMMON BUT NOT NORMAL.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH CONSTIPATION OR EXCESSIVE WIPING DUE TO SMEARING.
INTERCOURSE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PAINFUL.
Give us a call or send us a message today. We would love to help you!