Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- Bladder pain
- Feeling of pressure or heaviness, deep within the groin area
- Burning or numbness inside the shaft or at the tip of the penis
- Painful intercourse
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pelvic floor muscle tenderness
- Tail bone pain with sitting
- Urinary urgency/frequency
- Urinary incontinence
- Testicular pain or heaviness
If you answered “Yes” you may have pelvic floor dysfunction or pelvic pain
How to assess:
1.) Are you a “butt clencher”?
What are your gluteal muscles and the muscles and surround your rectum doing right now? Are they tense? Chronic holding in these muscles could lead to many of the above symptoms. Relax the tension now.
Quick fix: Allow the gluteal and rectal region to soften, lower, and relax. Focus on imagery that is relaxing to you, such as a beach on a beautiful day or laying in a hammock on a breezy spring day.
2.) Are you a “slouchy sitter”?
Are you sitting with all your weight on the tail bone in a posterior pelvic tilted position?
Quick fix: Have a co-worker take a picture of you at your work desk. This will help you adjust your posture. First, have your feet firmly planted on the floor. Sit up straight on your “Sit bones” you should be able to feel them if you sit on your hands. These bones are made to bear you body weight, not the tiny tail bone that is smaller than your pinky toe bone. In order to maintain this upright position, you may need a small towel roll or lumbar roll placed in the small of your low back for support.
3.) Are you a “chest breather”?
Take a nice deep inhale. Did your chest, neck, and shoulders do most of the work to inhale? If so, you are not breathing as effectively as you could.
Quick Fix: place your hands on your belly, and take a deep inhale focusing on expanding the rib cage and belly as the air comes into your lungs. Exhale, letting the belly relax back to your resting position. Take 10 of these deep belly breaths once an hour.
Did you find the above self-assessment helpful?
You may be a candidate for a thorough assessment by a pelvic floor physical therapist. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Tell your MD or Physical therapist what you are feeling in order to get the help you need, and seek an evaluation from a physical therapist trained in pelvic floor PT. Healing time will vary, but you do NOT need to live with pelvic floor pain! Your healing journey requires a team approach; your enthusiasm and effort combined with physical therapists, nutritionists, urologists, gastro-intestinal MD’s, acupuncturists, and massage therapists. It’s time to take your health into your own hands.
- Anderson, R. U., Wise, D., Sawyer, T., & Chan, C. (2005). Adult Urology: Infection/Inflammation: INTEGRATION OF MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT RELEASE AND PARADOXICAL RELAXATION TRAINING TREATMENT OF CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN IN MEN. [Article]. The Journal of Urology, 174, 155-160. doi: 10.1097/01.ju.0000161609.31185.d5
- Bø, K., Berghmans, B., Mørkved, S., & Kampen Van, M. (2007). Evidence-based physical physical therapy for the pelvic floor. Bridging science and clinical practice Evidence-based physical physical therapy for the pelvic floor. Bridging science and clinical practice B2 - Evidence-based physical physical therapy for the pelvic floor. Bridging science and clinical practice. New York: Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann
- Dorey, G. (2006). Pelvic Dysfunction in Men: Diagnosis and Treatment of Male Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction Pelvic Dysfunction in Men: Diagnosis and Treatment of Male Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction B2 - Pelvic Dysfunction in Men: Diagnosis and Treatment of Male Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Tanner, Holly. Introduction to Female and Male Pelvic Pain. com continuing education.