Pelvic Pain & The Pelvic Floor Muslces





  • Endometriosis

  • Interstitial Cystitis

  • Vulvodynia

  • Pudendal Neuralgia

  • Stress & anxiety

  • History of trauma in the pelvic region

  • Chronic thrush or infection

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Menopause


"People who have pelvic pain commonly have Overactive Pelvic Floor Muscles"


The “pelvic floor muscles” are a group of muscles that are arranged within the pelvis like a sling or hammock, connecting the front, back, and sides of the pelvis and sacrum.  The main function of these muscles is to provide support to the organs of the pelvis (bladder, uterus in women and bowel) and prevent incontinence of the bladder and bowel. 


These muscles must be able to contract fully and relax fully to allow for normal urination, bowel movements, and sexual intercourse.


Overactive pelvic floor muscles are muscles that have lost the ability to relax fully and can have tense, tender or trigger points which refer pain through the pelvis and abdomen







































Addressing and correcting the dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles is an important part of treating pelvic pain and the symptoms outlined above.


A specialized Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist will comprehensively assess the pelvis and pelvic floor muscles to identify any dysfunction. Assessment should consist of a vaginal examination of the pelvic floor muscles.


 Treatment for overactive pelvic floor muscles may include:

  • Education

  • Diaphragmatic breathing exercises

  • Manual therapy or massage to the pelvic floor, abdominals and surrounding muscles

  • Relaxation exercises for the total body, pelvic floor & abdomen muscles

  • Stress reduction techniques

  • Some women may also benefit from vaginal trainers/dilators


Regular pelvic floor exercises can aggravate pelvic pain and an appropriate exercise program should be prescribed by a specialized Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist after a detailed assessment. Treatment sessions may be more frequent in the beginning, depending on the level of muscle tension and trigger points, however the ultimate goal is self-management by means of a home exercise program.

If you have some or all of the following, you may have overactive pelvic floor muscles:


  • PAIN: Unexplained lower back pain or pain/tension in the pelvic region, genital area, or rectum


  • BLADDER: Urinary urgency, frequency, hesitancy, stopping and starting the stream of urine, painful urination, inability to empty the bladder or constant feeling of a urinary tract infection


  • SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION: Pain during or after sexual intercourse, orgasm, or sexual stimulation


  • BOWEL: Constipation, straining, pain with bowel movements


  • SPASM: Uncoordinated muscle contractions causing the pelvic floor muscles to spasm


  • In women: Discomfort using tampons & difficulty tolerating speculum examination


  • Chronic Prostatitis

  • Interstitial Cystitis

  • Stress & anxiety

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • History of trauma in the

      pelvic region

  • Chronic Infection