If your pelvic floor is overactive, your goal is to find ways to release and relax those muscles.
(If your asking…how do I know if my pelvic floor is overactive? Head over to this post for our guide. If your symptoms sound more like an underactive pelvic floor, stay tuned!)
In an overactive pelvic floor, the muscles are chronically active. Often, they are overworking to create stability in your pelvis. This can lead to dysfunction that includes pain, poorly functioning muscles, leaking urine and a variety of other issues.
These four simple exercises can relax and release those pelvic floor muscles to create balance and reduce discomfort.
Happy Baby Breathing.
This simple breathing exercise starts by laying on your back in happy baby yoga position. Take your feet up and grab the outside of your feet with your hands, if possible.
If this position is challenging for you, just bend your knees and grab behind your thighs. This position naturally stretches the pelvic floor muscles.
From your desired position, allow your back and the back of the pelvis to settle down into the floor. Focus on the breath, particularly the inhale, which naturally expands the pelvic floor.
Begin deepening the breath and try to feel the inhale expand and stretch the pelvic floor. Let the exhale be passive (don’t worry about anything happening in your pelvic floor). Don’t worry if you can’t feel the breath in your pelvic floor at first. It can take some practice to get it to work!
Try to do 5-10 of these breaths per day to naturally relax those muscles.
Myofascial Release With A Ball.
Using a ball for myofascial release is another way you can begin to relax and release these muscles. Using a racquetball, tennis ball, or another small ball you have around the house (play with the size and firmness to find what’s comfortable for you), place the ball to the inside of one of your sitting bones.
(Not sure where your sitting bones are? bend over slightly and you will feel two bony protrusions in the center of your butt. That’s them!!)
In this position, the ball will be on one side of your pelvic floor.
If this feels too intense, place a towel or pillow underneath you to reduce the sensation.
With the ball under you, begin to take deep breaths, imagining you are breathing your pelvic floor into the ball. This will massage the muscles, breaking up some of the tension in the pelvic floor.
Stay there for a few breaths, then move the ball slightly forward, still on one side of the pelvic floor, to just behind your vagina.
Repeat the deep breaths.
Repeat on the second side to get into all the deep muscles in this area.
Internal Massage with a Pelvic Floor Massager
An internal pelvic floor massage tool is a device that you insert into your vagina to release both the superficial and deep muscles of the pelvic floor and deep hip.
It simulates the manual release that occurs when a pelvic floor physiotherapist manually releases your PF.
This is a very direct, and effective way to release tension that is chronically held, and difficult to access, in your pelvic floor.
Next week we will be releasing a guide for Pelvic Floor Massage, including a review of the top pelvic floor massage tools. Stay Tuned!
Meditation is also an effective way to address pelvic floor overactivity. Typically, women with overactive pelvic floors tend to be more type-A, in general.
Implementing a regular, 10-15 minute daily meditation practice in your day can help reduce the level of tension in your body in general, including the tension in your pelvic floor.
These are four simple ways to help reduce activity in an overactive pelvic floor. By doing so, you can improve pelvic floor function which will allow you to get back to your active lifestyle without fear of pain or incontinence!
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