Stress and Pelvic Floor Tension
It doesn’t matter what religion, gender, or age you are; you are not immune to the burdens of stress. About 77% of people in the U.S. have physical symptoms that are the result of stress. Roughly 33% feel like they are living with extreme stress.
This has a drastic impact on their personal and professional lives, explains the American Institute of Stress. But, what about stress and pelvic floor tension. Can stress make your pelvic floor tight? If so, will it affect the uterus? How can you manage the tightness? Here, we will answer all your queries.
Stress and Pelvic Floor Tension: How Mental Unrest Affects the Pelvis
Effective stress management is the key to breaking the hold stress has over your life. Once you learn how to cope with it, you can live a more productive, happier, and healthier life. You will build resilience and get better at handling all the challenges life throws at you.
But, when you sweep every problem under the rug, that’s when it can have a notable impact. Stress can trigger pelvic floor tightness. When people feel tense, they often hold their breath. This action tightens the muscles and adds pressure to the pelvic floor muscles.
Now pair that with an already weakened pelvis (either from pregnancy, surgery, or childbirth), and you got yourself one stressed-out pelvis. Ignoring the stress could make the body more susceptible to organ prolapse and incontinence.
Typical Problems From a Stressed Out Pelvis
Many people want to know can stress cause pelvic pressure? The answer is yes. There is an active and passive component to the contraction of the muscles. A reflexive contraction is an active component. Meaning that actual stress will increase contraction with the pelvic stress reflex response.
This could weaken and tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor. Chronic stress could decrease blood flow to the uterus and affect the uterine lining. Patients with a non-relaxed or tense pelvis can develop issues like:
- painful intercourse
- pain to the pelvic floor muscles
According to experts, a hypertonic pelvic floor can happen when its muscles become super tense and can’t relax. This health condition can also come with tension in the hamstrings and hip muscles. There is no definite cause for the problem, but some activities are said to make the muscles very tight.
For example, many people exercise too much by focusing on the core muscles without getting the necessary rest. Overexertion can stress out the pelvic muscles. Another typical problem is holding on to the bladder or bowels for too long.
Countless individuals have trouble using public toilets. So, they tend to hold the need to urinate for hours on end. Whether that is at work, traveling, or going to school. Those with a history of this behavior constantly tighten their muscles.
That anxiety, fear, or stress could lead to a hypertonic pelvic floor. Any scar tissue or birth trauma can have a similar effect. The reason for the problem is relatively simple. If you’ve been holding the muscles tight for a long time, then the brain will accept this action as “normal”.
To manage the tightness, you would first need to identify what’s causing the problem. You then move on to relieving the issues. A doctor can then help you to manage that muscle overactivity and restore normal pelvic floor function.
How to Relieve Pelvic Floor Tension?
The extra tension is causing all types of pain. This pain can affect the perineum, vagina, tailbone, low back, and hips. Muscle strengthening is just as important as active relaxation. To help the muscles relax, you would need to break that cycle of pain. Luckily, there are a ton of options for you to try.
You just need some focus and dedication to get the necessary results. Remember, to relax the pelvic floor, you must first become aware of the tension that’s affecting the body. Then, you slowly move on to practicing to release it.
This relaxing skill takes plenty of practice and patience, which means that you can’t expect to notice some remarkable results overnight. Try a couple of the following relaxation techniques until you’ve found the one that would best suit your needs.
- Visualization – For many patients, visualization brings a sense of peace. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a comfortable setting, which can help set the mind at ease. Picture that setting. Try to smell, feel, and hear its surroundings.
- Diaphragmatic breathing – Also known as a type of deep breathing technique, diaphragmatic breathing is one of the most crucial aspects of a well-controlled pelvic floor. Take a gentle breath through the nose, and let the ribs and belly flare out. Open the pelvic with each inhale. Then, exhale slowly through the mouth. Let the air calm the mind and body.
- Typical relaxation in a quiet environment – Sitting in a quiet environment can be very peaceful for the human mind. Reduce the lighting and sit in a comfortable position. Don’t fall asleep. The goal is to let the body relax without drifting into slumber.
Regardless of the technique you are using; you should make the muscles of the pelvic floor contract and relax. Focus on this exact area and gently let it relax. What this means is your body needs daily diligence. It may not work at first, but with practice, you will quickly get the hang of it.
Experts also suggest Kegels for keeping the pelvic floor strong. With Kegels, patients can mitigate the leakage and better their sex life. Kegels are ideal for incontinence and other pelvic disorders. For a more serious health issue, whether that is chronic pain or pelvic floor dysfunction, consult a specialist.
Stress can cause physical and psychological problems. It can also add tension to the pelvic floor. It’s important that you try to relax and cope with the mental unrest. Otherwise, it can affect your day-to-day life. If you need help to manage the pelvic tension, then some relaxation techniques can help, such as visualization, diaphragmatic breathing, and relaxation in a quiet environment.