Got pelvic pain? Watch this video about how to relax your pelvic floor.
You know those times when you’re super busy working away at the computer for hours on end – you get tight shoulders and a headache? Your shoulder muscles get tight when you’re typing for hours and the knots and muscle tension can cause aching and a muzzy headache.
It’s exactly the same in your pelvis. When the pelvic floor muscles are ‘on’ or tight all the time you can get an aching or pain in the pelvis. Sometimes it can be really severe with stabbing pains up in the middle or into the back passage, tenderness or acute burning soreness on the outside or at the genitals and things like sex or going to the toilet can also be painful.
If this is something you’ve been experiencing then it’s worth getting it checked out. See your doctor and get a referral to your local Pelvic Health physiotherapist.
Relaxing your pelvic floor – or learning how to – is your first step to getting control of your pelvic pain. It’s the same for women and men.
Sit in a comfortable position. First try it sitting upright, you can then always try it lying down with your knees bent or lying flat if that’s more comfortable.
Gently pull in your back passage as if to stop from breaking wind – not the bottom muscles just your bottom hole. Really think about isolating that back passage so it’s the only thing that moves.
Now try relaxing your back passage all the way down. Imagine your sitting bones spreading out sideways and everything in the middle between them relaxing all the way down to the chair or bed.
Thirdly try some diaphragmatic breathing – breathing out as you pull in your back passage and breathing a lovely deep breath in to a soft belly as you let your pelvic floor muscles relax and release down. You can watch more about that here.
When you breathe in with a soft tummy you should feel a very gentle pressure between your legs – it’s not a big pressure and you’re not bearing down. Just a slight pressure. Don't push.
Practise every day! The more of the day that you can spend relaxing your pelvic floor the better. It’ll help your physio treatment be more successful and you’ll feel the benefits as your pain eases. Every time you catch yourself gripping your pelvic floor - let it go!