Many women suffer from pelvic pain. The condition affects women in their 20s, older women going through menopause, and those who have had children and those who haven't. In many circumstances, the cause of chronic pelvic pain isn't apparent. The pelvic muscles help support the uterus, stomach, bowel, and rectum, and many healthcare professionals may look at the organs before exploring the pelvic floor as the source of the pain. One solution to ease the pelvic floor muscles is through pelvic massage techniques.
What is pelvic pain?
When the pelvic muscles are tight, over time, the tissues and ligaments become weak. The muscle irritation, referred to as myofascial pain, affects different areas of the pelvis, including the vulvar, genitals, vaginal walls, and rectum walls. While pelvic pain conditions may seem like they only affect women, men have issues as well. Men and women experience varying degrees of pelvic floor pain, but commonly described as the following:
Any movement or touch, from sexual intimacy to inserting a tampon, may cause searing pain. One of the solutions to improve pelvic health is pelvic physical therapy.
What is pelvic physical therapy?
Pelvic physical therapy uses massage techniques to loosen and stretch pelvic muscles. You can have the treatment done by licensed pelvic physical therapists, or you can manually relax the flesh with a vaginal wand. Other names for vaginal wands are pelvic wands and vaginal dilators.
As you stretch the muscles with physical therapy, you're strengthening them and, in turn, helping to provide a myofascial release. All of which helps improve your pelvic floor muscles and the conditions connected to the weakening. Pelvic physical therapy is useful, but people may combine it with other treatment options, such as medications, biofeedback, and counseling, to improve sexual health. (1)
Can you massage pelvic floor muscles?
You can massage pelvic floor muscles with a pelvic wand. The curved design of the Pelvic Myofascial Wand makes it easier to reach painful trigger points in the pelvic muscles. One end comes tapered, making the vaginal wand easier to insert and control. When added, you can press down on the painful area with focus. For men, an enlarged prostate may cause tight pelvic muscles, and a rectal wand can ease the tension.
What do they do in pelvic floor physical therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy with a certified and trained pelvic expert involves a vaginal finger manipulation to release the myofascial pain. Most practitioners are women and need to have specialized training. However, you can undergo pelvic floor physical therapy in the comfort of your own home with a pelvic wand designed with physical therapist input.
You’ll want to find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. While lying on your back, bend your knees and open your legs wide enough to insert the pelvic wand. Slowly insert the wand to your comfort level. Only go as far as the pain allows. You should leave the wand inserted for 10-15 minutes and complete the vaginal stretching and massaging 2-3 times per week.
How do you release pelvic floor trigger points?
When muscles are tight and constricted, there are specific trigger points that, when pressed, can release the nagging pressure. A two-sided approach used with the Pelvic Myofascial Wand can help aid in pelvic massage techniques, you can use the smaller end for massaging critical areas in the vagina or rectum.
The wider end can massage a larger area of vaginal or anal tissue at once, making it a better choice for pain that affects wider areas of the pelvis. As you press into tender areas, the tissue becomes more flexible, healthier, and pain eases.
How long does it take for pelvic floor therapy to work?
Each person's reason for needed pelvic floor therapy varies. Also, the level of chronic pain is different for each person. The longer you have the pelvic pain, the more your muscles have adapted and accommodated the pain, resulting in fossilized pain that takes longer to heal. Some men and women may only need treatments for a few weeks, and others will need a few months before the pelvic therapy makes a difference. Even then, therapy treatments may need to complement a long term treatment plan in the form of vaginal muscle upkeep.
What are the benefits of a pelvic massage?
The benefit of pelvic massage therapy is that it improves the quality of life. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome lowers pleasure derived from sexual activity and hurts intimate relationships. It can alter the way you see your body and lower your self-esteem. Pelvic pain is a hidden pain that people don't like to talk about, and while the pain may be elusive, it can be connected to some serious sexual and health conditions, including:
- Interstitial cystitis: It's a chronic bladder condition that causes pelvic pain, bladder pressure, and pain. (2)
- Urinary incontinence: The condition is when urine leaks out uncontrollably because the control of the sphincter is lost. (3)
- Vulvodynia: It's a chronic pain right at the opening of the vagina, including the perineal area of the female anatomy. It may also include the female genitals.
- Vaginismus: The condition is painful pelvic muscle spasms in the vaginal tissues. The response may be chronic or triggered by touch or pressure.
- Vaginal stenosis: It’s when your vagina shortens and changes into an abnormal shape causes pain and discomfort.
- Dyspareunia: It’s painful sexual penetration that may have no discernible cause. The pain may occur when a woman becomes sexually active or already present.
- Endometriosis: The condition is when uterine-like tissue builds up outside of the uterus, resulting in small bleeding. (4)
Your pelvic health and wellness depend on having strong and flexible pelvic muscles to support your bladder, uterus, bowel, and rectum. If you have a weak pelvic floor muscles, you live in pain, which affects your sex life and mental wellbeing.