Did you know these were solvable symptoms of an over-recruited pelvic floor?
Have you ever wondered why intercourse often feels burny or painful?
Or why you struggle to keep a tampon in or why it’s painful to insert?
What about spasms in your pelvis?
Painful feelings in and around the vagina?
ALL of these symptoms can present together or alone and can be indicators of an “over-recruited” pelvic floor.
What does that mean?
Well, basically it means that the muscles of your pelvic floor are working too hard, too often or in an imbalanced manner.
This can be due to breathing habits, nervous system stress, inflammation in the body, movement mechanics, and other stressors.
In a sense, your pelvic floor is lifted, tight, tense and it needs to relax.
In fact, your pelvic floor needs to relax and recruit, move UP and DOWN like a trampoline, all day long everyday.
That’s called “moving through its full range of motion”.
When it can’t relax, insertion of anything (tampon, etc.) will be painful.
There is also a persistent tugging on the tailbone/sacrum that can start as pain during sitting and then radiate all the way down the lef.
Elimination is also difficult. The pelvic floor needs to relax in order for stool to exit the rectum.
Without that routine relaxation that makes regularity happen, stool hangs around, becomes dry and more difficult to excrete.
I know. I know. You’ve been told that a “tight” vagina is a good thing, “strong” pelvic floors are better for sex and for not peeing your pants.
But the truth is that supple, responsive, pelvic floors that move their their full ranges of motion (recruit AND relax) are what you want for good sex, strong bodies and insurance against incontinence.
Why it’s time to take action!
Let’s be real here.
If you are dealing with ANY of the above listed symptoms, your quality of life isn’t what it could be.
I’ve worked with MANY women that shy away from becoming intimate with their spouses because they just can’t seem to enjoy sex.
They often blame themselves or on occasion, their partner’s inability to make sex enjoyable.
But either way they are avoiding sex because let’s face it, it stinks.
Which puts that aspect of the relationship in an awkward place.
I mean enjoyable sex and sustainable intimate relationships HAVE to be based on a “give and take” system.
White knuckling it and tolerating sex just to get through it even though it’s really uncomfortable and not enjoyable is just one giant problematic elephant in the room.
I also have clients that find sex can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable due to constipation.
Gas, bloating, and discomfort that is associated with constipation or sluggish elimination causes us to lose confidence in our bodies and not wish to be touched in any way.
But EVEN if you can push all that suffering aside, the truth of the matter is that your ENTIRE body relies on a healthy pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor is the BASE of your torso.
It stabilizes that body all day long every day and impacts the health of everything from your neck to your ankles.
Think of your house or apartment.
If you found out that the foundation was over-stressed and incapable of it’s job of supporting everything above, would you feel confident and safe?
Would you continue to invest in the house by say remodeling your kitchen, when you knew at any time you could have MAJOR support and balance problems?
The longer pelvic floor problems persist the more likely it is that you will begin to experience problems up and downstream from them.
Shoulder injuries, foot pain, ankle and knee issues can ALL stem from a torso that’s struggling to move and stabilize well, which stems from a pelvic floor that ain’t going its job.
What to do if this is you?
Step 1. See a pelvic floor physical therapist.
This is a type of PT that specializes in muscles of the pelvic floor.
She will evaluate your hip and glute strength, check your posture to help you understand some possible reasons why your pelvic floor is working overtime.
She can also manually release those tight muscles to give you instant relief.
You can search for one local to you here.
No access to a PT?
Check out this program!
Step 2. Watch this video to learn more about why you may be over-recruiting your pelvic floor!
Step 3. Take action and begin to change your breathing and movement mechanics.
The BEST way to start down-training and relaxing your pelvic floor is with your BREATH!
Breathing deeply with the diaphragm will:
calm your nervous system
begin to relax your pelvic floor while moving it through its full range of motion
increase your core strength so your pelvic floor isn’t doing all the work..
I know that breathing seems soooo simple and you may thing that it’s not enough action to make big change and impact your pain/
But you’ve GOT to TRY IT!:
Set an alert on your phone and spend 3-5 minutes practicing your diaphragmatic breathing 3 times a day and take note of your symptoms.
For you focusing on the INHALE/ RELAX part of the breathing cycle will be ESPECIALLY important.
Don’t know how to breath with the diaphragm?
Click here! To Grab my Breathing For Pelvic Health Jump Start Guide to start TODAY!!!
Sarah Smith is a Functional Pelvic and Gut Health Educator Level, Strength Coach, Original Strength Pro, Level 2 Russian Kettlebell Instructor and postnatal fitness specialist and functional pelvic floor and with a Masters in Soil Science and Agriculture.
She helps women feel confident, capable, content and STRONG in their bodies!
Sarah is a published author and has a decade experience conducting research at The National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, University of Arizona and North Carolina State University.
She uses evidence-based strategies to help her clients grow strong, and conquer their pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse, diastasis recti and gut health complications and other injuries or health conditions.
Sarah is a mom to three wild boys and one English Bulldog.
She loves kettlebells, leisure walks, chickens, soil, coffee, not folding laundry and watching people move-in a non-creepy way.