What is a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor?

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By Kaleem Ullah

A Hypertonic Pelvic Floor is a condition that develops when the pelvic diaphragm muscles become too tight and are not able to stretch as much as is needed. Most individuals with this condition experience various pelvic health issues like painful sex, constipation, pelvic pain, and urgency. A hypertonic pelvic floor may also be associated with tightness in the neighboring hip and pelvic muscles such as the obturator internus, hamstrings, piriformis, and coccygeus.

Causes of Hypertonic Pelvic Floor

The condition usually occurs in individuals that have undergone stress, trauma, or other medical issues, although a hypertonic pelvic floor is usually not caused by a specific thing. Various activities can cause muscle tension. A good example is the majority of individuals who exercise a lot and tighten their core muscles. It can lead to them experiencing tightness in the pelvic floor because they keep the muscles stimulated without allowing them to loosen and let go. The condition can also be caused by fear, stress, and anxiety because humans tend to tuck under the tailbone. The tailbone is usually connected to the floor muscles causing them to contract.

It is also experienced by individuals who have a record of holding on to their bowels or bladder. Such individuals hold on to the bladder for long, which indicates the pelvic floor is stiffening to inhibit the loss of control. Pelvic health and various health conditions can also cause hypertonicity of the pelvic floor. For instance, most women with endometriosis can experience tight pelvic floor muscles resulting from the swelling of the pelvis and chronic pain. Additionally, people who have suffered from irritable bowel syndrome before, accompanied by cramping and chronic pain, can also have this condition. Other health issues associated with it consist of pudendal neuralgia, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis,

The hypertonic pelvic floor can also be caused by birth trauma and scar tissues, especially in women that undergo vaginal or perineal tearing. It is because the scarring and the pain lead to the tightening of the pelvic floor muscles defensively. A tear on one side of the pelvic floor can lead to the other side of the pelvic floor tensing due to overactivity. It is, therefore, significant for a medical expert to determine the cause of this condition in every person.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypertonic Pelvic Floor

  • Pelvic pain
  • Constipation
  • Coccyx pain
  • Straining during emptying of the bowels
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Painful urination
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Slow flow of urine
  • Urinary frequency
  • Low back pain
  • Painful sex
  • Vaginismus
  • The slow floor of urine
  • Hip pain

How to Deal with Hypertonic Pelvic Floor

If an individual experiences either of the symptoms, it is advisable to visit a continence physiotherapist. They will determine the leading cause of the condition and offer them the necessary tools to deal with it. The incontinence physiotherapy sessions may consist of a blend of the following;

Sleep regimen for the Hypertonic Pelvic Floor Muscles whereby a healthy sleep comprises controlling the pain, body healing, and hormone regulation. Aromatherapy is another helpful technique that uses oils such as Roman chamomile, Lavender, and Bergamot which are proven to lower stress levels and improve sleep. They are used by massaging them onto the neck and shoulders, incorporating them into a bath, or utilizing a diffuser.

Guided imagery for hypertonic floor muscles is another solution: a stress control mechanism that uses descriptions or storytelling to substitute the negative thoughts and images with the positive ones; this technique successfully lowers the level of stress in one’s body. Other plans include progressive relaxation, stretching for the health of the pelvic floor, deep abnormal breathing, exercises on the pelvic floor muscles, and autogenic retraining, which is an approach that pays attention to physical sensations like the heartbeat and breathing. It is a type of self-hypnosis that teaches the body how to respond to stressful situations, helping one deal with stress and anxiety.

A hypertonic pelvic floor is not a condition that can be sorted out within a short period. However, dealing with the issue by seeking guidance from a continence physiotherapist can help to resolve it. Therefore, if anyone experiences the mentioned symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical assistance to avoid further health complications.