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Women Wellness

Techniques to Relax Pelvic Floor Muscles

How to Relax Pelvic Floor Muscles? 7 Easy Techniques

Written and Reviewed by Dr. Uzma Qureshi
Published on: 08/06/2024
How to Relax Pelvic Floor Muscles with Squats
Healthy lifestyle. Exercising at home. Doing fitness online. Beautiful young woman doing sport in garden outdoors following guide of online tutorial or trainer on laptop.

How to relax pelvic floor muscles? It is a common concern among females like you who are experiencing symptoms of tight pelvic floor muscles. These symptoms may include pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, as well as difficulty controlling urine and stools. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms firsthand, do not worry. Recent statistics reveal that in the UK, above 60% of females have at least one symptom of poor pelvic floor health. And 69% of females had never spoken to the doctors about pelvic floor health. It’s weird, isn’t it? Taking care of your pelvic floor is as crucial as taking care of any other organ in your body. 

To maintain the health of your pelvic floor and save you from unpleasant symptoms of its dysfunction, it is important to understand what the pelvic floor is, what makes it tight, and how to relax pelvic muscle.

What Are Pelvic Floor Muscles?

The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles that are attached from your pubic bone to the tailbone and make a sling. This sling of muscles supports important organs like your bladder, uterus, prostate (in males only), and rectum. 

The pelvic floor muscles have different parts. The levator ani, a crucial component, contains the puborectalis, pubococcygeus, and iliococcygeus. These muscles help control bowel movements. There are also other muscles, such as the bulbospongiosus, ischiocavernosus, and external anal sphincter. These muscles, all together, build the foundation of your pelvis and play a role in important activities. 

What Are The Functions Of The Pelvic Floor Muscles?

The functions of pelvic floor muscles include supporting:

  • Your abdomen’s organs.
  • Passage and storage of urine and stool. 
  • Sexual functions, such as arousal or orgasm.
  • Pelvic organs: the bladder, uterus, prostate (in males), and rectum. 

 Now, do you know how to tell if the pelvic floor is tight or weak? Let’s learn!

What Causes Pelvic Floor Muscle Tightness?

Understanding the causes of tightness will help you learn how to relax pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscle tightness is a state where the muscles in your pelvis are continuously tight or contracted, also known as hypertonic pelvic floor. These tight muscles find it difficult to relax and coordinate to perform various bodily functions like passing urine, stool or pain in the pelvic region. 

The following factors can increase the risk of causing pelvic floor muscle tightness:

  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Abnormal posture
  • Sexual abuse
  • Stress/depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Muscular problems from prolonged sitting 
  • Habitually controlling urine or stool for longer durations
  • Trauma or injury to the pelvic floor muscles

How To Tell If The Pelvic Floor Is Tight Or Weak?

Before learning how to relax pelvic muscle, it is important to distinguish if the symptoms you are having are due to tightness or weakness of the pelvic floor. 

Tight pelvic floor muscles cannot coordinate well, and certain activities related to pelvic organs are compromised.

Tight pelvic floor muscles can cause a variety of symptoms, like:

  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Pain when urinating and passing stool.
  • Frequent urination
  • Hesitant to start or maintain the urine stream
  • Hesitant to start passing the stool
  • Feelings of incomplete bladder or bowel emptying
  • Constipation or difficulty passing stool 
  • Painful sex
  • Difficulty reaching orgasm

Symptoms of weak pelvic floor muscles include:

  • Leaking urine when coughing, sneezing or laughing
  • Involuntary stool leakage
  • Uncontrolled bowel movements
  • Bulging (vaginal or rectal) or pressure sensation in the pelvic region
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Decreased sensation during sex

What Are The Benefits Of Relaxing The Pelvic Floor Muscles?

pelvic floor relaxing

How to relax tight pelvic floor muscles in females? Before learning this, you must know why this relaxation is important. The following are the benefits of a relaxed pelvic floor:

The relaxed pelvic floor muscles:

  • Strengthens the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Coordinate well with each other.
  • Resolve the chronic pelvic pain.
  • Treats urinary incontinence and urgency.
  • Treats chronic constipation.
  • Promotes a better sex experience by decreasing pain during sex.
  • Treats irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. 

How To Relax Pelvic Floor Muscles?

Now that you have a complete understanding of how to relax the pelvic muscles and why their relaxation is important, here are some techniques that you can incorporate into your daily life to promote pelvic floor health and relaxation.

1. General exercise

If you have had pelvic pain for more than 6 months, it would be hard for you to stay generally active and fit. You may think that exercising might increase your pain. Fear not, because there are a few exercises that help reduce your pain. These exercises do not put too much strain on your pelvic muscles. They include things like working your posture and mildly activating your muscles. 

Following are some general exercises that you can perform to stay active and reduce your pelvic pain and tension:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Clinical pilates
  • Gentle core training.
  • Gentle squats 

2. Apply Warmth

Research has shown that applying heat to your pelvic floor can release tension in the muscles, relax and reduce pain. Before doing any of the relaxation exercises:

  • Lay down straight with a pillow under your knees.
  • Apply a mild heat pack to your pelvic area.
  • Take the heat for 15–20 minutes.

This technique will not only offload your pelvic region but also relax it with the help of heat.

3. Diaphragmatic Breathing

A diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle that separates your lungs and abdominal cavity. It takes part in breathing. 

How to relax pelvic floor muscles? You can incorporate the diaphragmatic breathing technique to promote relaxation, improve muscle coordination and reduce pain. Here is how you can perform diaphragmatic breathing. 

  • Place one hand on your belly (below your ribs) and the other hand on your chest.
  • Deeply inhale for 3 seconds, and feel your belly rising and filling with air. 
  • Exhale slowly for 4 seconds and feel your belly letting out all the air. 
  • Feel your belly move up and down with each breath.

You can also perform this breathing technique in happy baby poses and child poses for better results. While you breathe in, your pelvic floor relaxes, and as you breathe out, it returns to its normal position. You can practise this exercise technique daily for 5–10 minutes.

4. Stretching

Stretching exercises target the muscles in the pelvic area. They promote flexibility and relieve stiffness. How to relax pelvic muscles? You can stretch! Incorporating these pelvic floor exercises into your routine can contribute to overall pelvic health and well-being.

Butterfly stretch

  1. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching. 
  2. Let your knees bend outward. 
  3. Hold your feet with your hands.
  4. Gently press your knees towards the floor.

Butterfly stretch in a lying position

  1. Lay straight down on the floor. 
  2. Touch the soles of your feet to get further. 
  3. Let your knees bend outward. 
  4. Gently lower your knees to the floor. 
  5. If you feel strain near your inner thighs, you can put a pillow under your knees. 

Piriformis stretch

  1. Lay down on the floor or plinth.
  2. Bend both your knees.
  3. Put your right ankle on your left knee (Figure 4). 
  4. Now grasp your left thigh under your knee and gently pull it closer to your chest.
  5. You’ll feel a stretch outside your right hip. 
  6. Count till 30, and then go back to the starting position. 
  7. Repeat it on the other side. 

5. Stress management

A relaxed mind relaxes your body. Living with chronic pain, especially with the bothersome symptoms of a tensed pelvic floor, can be exhausting. Try using the following stress management techniques to promote the health of your pelvic floor muscles:

  1. Breathing exercises
  2. Practising mindfulness
  3. Taking proper rest and getting a good night’s sleep
  4. Taking medication, talking to your friend, or using therapies

6. Bowel management

Chronic pain and constipation can be bothersome side effects of pelvic floor muscle tension. Relaxing the pelvic floor during a bowel movement is necessary for a better experience. 

Keep the following points in mind to promote pelvic floor relaxation:. 

  • Keep your stool soft by eating foods that help; for example, increase your fibre intake.
  • Drink plenty of water to help your bowels move smoothly. Aim for about 2 litres (67 ounces) of water each day.
  • Sit properly on the toilet seat.
  • Position your knees higher than your hips.
  • Lean forward and place your elbows on your knees.
  • Bulge out your abdomen as you exhale; do not pull your abs.
  • Relax your anus as you use your abdominal muscles as a pump to gently push the stool out of the external opening.

7. Posture correction

Improving how you sit makes a big difference and can help reduce tension in your pelvic area. Here’s how:

  • Avoid prolonged sitting. Stand up and walk around to give your body a rest.
  • Avoid slouching, as this can make pelvic tension worse. Sit up straight in good posture.
  • Keep your lower back curved inward when sitting.
  • Don’t sit on round rubber rings, as they can strain your pelvic floor.
  • Consider using a special cushion that supports your pelvis. This can help ease pressure and pain in your pelvic area.

Now Hope You Know How to Relax Pelvic Floor Muscles!

In conclusion, it’s important to relax pelvic floor muscles to ease symptoms of tightness or weakness. How to relax pelvic floor muscles? You asked. Recognising signs like pelvic pain, urinary issues, or discomfort during sex is key to effective management. Techniques such as gentle exercises, applying warmth, breathing exercises, and stretching help relax muscles. Stress management, good bowel habits, and sitting properly all contribute to pelvic health. Using these methods regularly boosts well-being and lessens pelvic floor problems. you can always opt for pelvic floor therapy as well. Taking care of your pelvic health is vital for your overall wellness.

FAQs:

  1. How to relax pelvic floor muscles (female)?

You can do exercises like walking, swimming, gentle squating and stretching your pelvic floor muscles. Apply heat to the pelvic region for 15-20 minutes and try managing your stress. 

  1. How do you know if your pelvic floor is tight?

Know that your pelvic floor is tight when you experience chronic pelvic pain and constipation. Other symptoms of tight pelvic floor muscles include hesitation while peeing or passing the stool, difficulty emptying the bladder and bowel, and pain during sex. 

  1. Can a tight pelvic floor go away?

Yes, a tight pelvic floor can go away but it requires time and proper care. You have to talk to your doctor and follow their prescription. Moreover, you can use these given techniques on ‘how to relax pelvic floor muscles.’ The techniques include exercising, stretching, and managing your stress bowel movements.

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