What is it and how to treat it
The muscular contracture is that state of stiffness or permanent contraction, lasting. Pelvic floor problems do not only have to do with the fact that the muscles are weakened, since hypertonia or excessive tension of the muscles can also cause discomfort.
The pelvic floor, remember, is the set of muscles that hold organs such as the bladder, rectum and uterus, closing the abdomen in its lower part. Maintaining your tone is important to avoid problems such as incontinence, and even to enjoy a healthier sex life.
What is pelvic floor hypertonia
It is often believed that hypotonia, the lack of pelvic floor tone, is what is behind the pain and other abnormalities. But nevertheless, specialists frequently meet in consultations with excessively tense muscles. This is explained by Laura Rojas, a physiotherapist specializing in pelvic floor and co-author of On firm ground, a project born from the collaboration of three women specialists (including a nurse and a physiotherapist) that informs and helps to work the area, with courses, consultations and other resources.
Hypertonia occurs when the musculature is permanently with excessive tension, does not relax, and pelvic floor contracture occurs. It can result in situations of urinary or anal incontinence in sudden moments or urgently, since the musculature cannot maintain that tension all the time. And it is not possible to speak of healthy muscles if they have an excess of tension.
Many cases of hypertonia or contracture on the pelvic floor also lead to pain during sex and dyspareunia, that is, inability to carry out penetration. In fact, inserting a tampon will also be painful. More complex symptoms, as Rojas says, are overactive bladder, pudendal nerve neuralgia, cystitis or prostatis.
What symptoms does hypertonia or pelvic floor contracture have?
It is therefore advisable to know the symptoms to be alert and consult a specialist when the time comes. These are:
- Increased urinary frequency. There is an increase in urination during the day and / or night. A frequency of six or seven times a day is considered normal, depending on fluid intake. Arriving at 15 or 20 daily urination means talking about increasing frequency.
- Urinary urgency. It is a sudden and sudden desire to go to the bathroom that cannot be contained.
- Choppy urination. Urination begins, is broken, continues ... In short, the process is irregular, which has to do with the pelvic floor has not completely relaxed to give normal passage to urine.
- Incomplete bladder emptying. Physiotherapist Laura Rojas also cites this as one of the usual symptoms when there is pelvic floor hypertonia. The urination is cut, but does not leave the feeling of being over.
- Constipation and / or pain during or after bowel movements. Since the muscles surrounding the anus are in tension, the process can be painful, involve a lot of effort and leave discomfort later.
- Relationship pain. Sexual intercourse involving penetration is annoying, but the mere insertion of a tampon can also result.
How to treat the problem
The above symptoms may appear due to other problems, that is, they do not always derive from hypertonia in the pelvic floor. Only a specialist can diagnose the origin of the discomfort after the corresponding assessment, and will make appropriate recommendations as appropriate. They can be done by internists, gynecologists, urologists, physiotherapists, sex therapists or psychologists.
From On firm ground indicate that the use of vaginal or anal dilators It usually has positive results, since it trains and stretches the muscles so that they achieve greater elasticity and control of the contraction, through a progressive use of the different sizes.
Can also help personal massagers, which has a diameter of about 30 mm and also help to relax and stretch. Other accessories that are usually used are electrostimulators or biofeedbacks. In the first case, they can be programmed for the relaxation of the musculature and, in the second, they provide information so that the patient knows when and how he contracts and relaxes the muscles.
When it comes to relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, different activities can be done, which are included among the most common treatments:
- Diaphragmatic breathing. The abdominal breathing technique focuses on the movement of the diaphragm for deep breathing. It has benefits such as improving the level of oxygen in the muscles and blood, increasing the coordination of the core muscles (deep abdominals, diaphragm and pelvic floor) and reducing tension, fatigue, blood pressure and even stress and anxiety
To perform diaphragmatic breathing exercises, follow these Steps:
- Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent, place one hand between the sternum and the navel, and the other on the ribs on one side.
- Inhale slowly and deeply. Feel the abdomen rise.
- Also exhale deeply, until the rib cage relaxes and the abdomen falls.
It is recommended to perform this practice for five to ten minutes daily. Disciplines like yoga and pilates are goodBecause they place special emphasis on breathing control, they help to become aware of it.
- Long exhalation in “S”. It is also an exercise in breath control, which contributes to the coordination of core muscles. Consists in take a breath through the nose and expel it through the mouth long and deeply, making the sound of the "S" as long and as strong as possible. Its practice is also recommended for five minutes.
- Kegel inverse exercises. Is about drop, looking for that feeling similar to relief after going to the bathroom. Try to stand and then sit, visualizing the moment and helping you with a deep diaphragmatic breathing. It is considered that acquiring the ability to consciously relax the muscles is essential in the rehabilitation process, in order to free yourself from pain.
Stress, anxiety or trauma can be reflected in the physical and attitude. Hence, on many occasions, the intervention of a psychologist is necessary. In other cases, the tension of the muscles can be a consequence of something physical, such as the presence of a scar, a hormonal change or having undergone pelvic surgery.
Yes, Before using any accessory or undertaking any activity, consult the specialist. Any treatment on your own and without supervision can be counterproductive and worsen the symptoms.
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What practices to avoid if there is contraction of the pelvic floor
If it has been found that it is a hypertonia, we must avoid certain practices to prevent it from going further. The normal kegel exercises, since they propose the contraction and relaxation of the muscles to increase the tone, they should be avoided in this case. A professional can invite the activity of contracting and relaxing with a didactic purpose, so that his patient becomes aware of what each movement consists of, but will not prescribe the series.
The classic abdominal exercises They are also contraindicated, in principle. The same goes for practices that include muscle thrust, for example, but also weight bearing. In this type of exercise you can usually hold your breath, but you should always exhale the air.
It should also discard the use of very tight clothes, such as leggins, girdles or corsets, very tight jeans, as they favor the contraction of the pelvic floor. In addition, specialists cite the bad postures They are maintained for a long time. If the spine remains curved, it transfers pressure to the muscles.