How Do You Fix a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor?

How Do You Fix a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor?

Consider your pelvic floor as a tightly wound ball of rubber bands, with each band symbolising a contracted and tense muscle – this is an accurate analogy for a hypertonic pelvic floor and you might be wondering how to unwind these bands and restore flexibility.

Addressing a hypertonic pelvic floor requires a multifaceted approach, including targeted pelvic floor relaxation exercises, manual therapy, and biofeedback.

But where do you start, and what techniques are most effective? Let’s explore the fundamental steps and strategies to help you achieve relief and improved function in this vital area of your body.

Understanding the Hypertonic Pelvic Floor

Understanding a hypertonic pelvic floor starts with identifying its hallmark feature: continuous muscle contractions or spasms in the pelvic region.

When you have tight pelvic floor muscles, you’re likely experiencing pelvic floor muscle pain due to these overactive muscles. This condition, known as a hypertonic pelvic floor, can lead to significant discomfort and interfere with daily activities.

The spasms of pelvic floor muscles can make simple tasks feel overwhelming. It’s crucial to focus on therapeutic techniques aimed at relaxing these muscles. Engaging in diaphragmatic breathing exercises can be very effective.

Working with an experienced pelvic physiotherapist can provide you with personalised strategies to alleviate the tension and improve your quality of life.

pelvic floor
A healthy and well-functioning pelvic floor is a crucial for your quality of life.

Hypertonic Symptoms and Diagnosis

Recognising the symptoms of a hypertonic pelvic floor, such as:

Is vital for seeking timely and effective treatment.  As a female, you might also notice tight pelvic floor symptoms like painful sex and urinary urgency.

Diagnosing this condition involves a detailed assessment by a pelvic floor physiotherapist, who’ll identify the root cause of your muscle tightness.

Based on their findings, you will receive an individualised treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan often includes muscle relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.

Physical Therapy Techniques

Physical therapy techniques are critical in releasing muscle tension and improving coordination when treating a hypertonic pelvic floor. Techniques like the following are essential:

A pelvic floor physiotherapist can tailor a plan that fits your unique needs, helping reduce pain and improve bladder and bowel function. Stretching exercises target tight muscles, offering immense relief and promoting muscle balance.

Consistent practice of these exercises, guided by a professional, ensures gradual relaxation and strengthening of the pelvic floor. By actively participating in these therapeutic techniques, you’ll gain more freedom and improve your overall pelvic health.

For the best results, trust the process and embrace the expertise provided – a hypertonic pelvic floor is very common and thankfully readily treatable with evidence-based care.

Relaxation & Breathing Exercises

Building on the foundation of physical therapy techniques, integrating relaxation and breathing exercises can greatly aid in releasing pelvic floor tension:

Start with like diaphragmatic breathing, focusing on expanding your diaphragm with each inhale. This practice helps coordinate and relax your pelvic floor muscles.

Here is a clear and easy to follow tutorial from the University of Michigan on how to effectively perform this exercise:

Progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense and then release each muscle group, can also reduce hypertonicity.

To hgelp you better understand this valuable exercise, here is a video tutorial from Dr. Adam Rosen to walk you through it:

Integrate guided meditation or mindfulness practices to calm your nervous system and pelvic muscles.

There are many fantastic guided meditations available (at no cost) that will help you greatly in your hypertonic pelvic floor therapy – here is one we recommend from Calm:

Seeking guidance from a pelvic floor physiotherapist guarantees personalised advice and targeted exercises. Consistent practice of these techniques promotes greater ease and freedom from discomfort, leading to improved pelvic floor health.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes

Adopting a lifestyle and making dietary adjustments can greatly alleviate the symptoms of a hypertonic pelvic floor.

Incorporating fibre-rich foods and staying hydrated helps regulate bowel movements, reducing strain on pelvic muscles. Regular physical activity (and good quality sleep), like walking and yoga, promotes circulation and eases muscle tension.

Avoid heavy lifting and high-impact exercises to prevent additional stress. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation to lower stress levels.

Adjustment Benefit Action
Balanced Diet
Regulates bowel movements
Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Prevents constipation
Drink 8–10 glasses of water daily.
Physical Activity
Improves circulation and reduces muscle tension
Engage in daily walks or yoga.
Reduces stress and muscle tension
Practice deep breathing or meditation daily.

These adjustments can enhance your pelvic health and overall well-being.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you’re still experiencing pelvic pain or discomfort despite making lifestyle and dietary adjustments, it’s time to seek professional help. 

Consulting a pelvic floor physiotherapist is essential for a thorough assessment and a tailored treatment plan. 

They can pinpoint the root cause of your hypertonicity and provide effective muscle relaxation techniques.

Here’s when to reach out: When you experience persistent pelvic pain or discomfort, painful sex or difficulty with penetration, urinary urgency or incontinence, or ineffective self-management despite consistent efforts, it’s time to seek help.

Persistent pelvic and lower back pain can stop you from enjoying your daily activities. You don't need to put up with it, speak to us about getting the help you need.

Professional guidance ensures you receive personalised therapeutic techniques to address your specific needs. By collaborating with a healthcare professional, you can gain the freedom to live without the burden of a hypertonic pelvic floor, enhancing your overall quality of life.


To address a hypertonic pelvic floor, think of it like untangling a knotted rope. You’ll use techniques like physical therapy, relaxation, and breathing exercises to gradually loosen tight muscles.

Lifestyle and dietary adjustments also play a key role. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed.

Just as a rope regains its flexibility, your pelvic health can improve with patience and the right strategies. Remember, effective treatment is a blend of these evidence-based, patient-centred approaches.

Please book appointment here or call us on (03) 4821 5023 if you have questions and want to learn about our pelvic floor physiotherpy services – book in for an assessment tailored to your care, needs and well-being.  

Our North East Melbourne metro based physiotherapy clinic is open six days a week and you can book your appointment online for convenience.

Rosanna Physio

Rosanna Physio

Rosanna Physio has been serving the people of Rosanna and its surrounding suburbs since 1989. We have the education, qualifications and experience to effectively treat any muscle or joint injury that requires expert physical therapy care.

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