Why Learning How to Relax the Pelvic Muscles is so Important?

Learning to relax your pelvic floor muscles may be beneficial if you have:

  • pain in your pelvis, low back, hips, genitals, lower abdomen or rectum or
  • constipation or straining with your bowel movements, or
  • urinary frequency, or stopping and starting of your urinary stream, or
  • painful intercourse, or
  • painful defecation or urination.

Your muscles may be tight and painful because they are overactive. There are several ways to learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles such as inhaling through your nose and as you inhale, imagine you are letting the air fill your stomach and slightly bulge your belly.  Imagine your pelvic floor muscles are a hammock and let them bulge or drop down towards your feet if you are lying down. This is easy to practice sitting on the toilet and imagine dropping your pelvic floor muscles down towards the toilet bowl. Your muscles should move down and out in a gentle manner with no straining.

You can use your Kehel in the Manual Training Mode to learn how to relax, first thing you need to do is set the timer as follows:

  • Contraction Time: 10 seconds
  • Rest Time: 20 seconds.

In this special exercise, during the 10 second contraction time you shouldn’t contract, instead breath normally and when you are cued to “contract quickly”, you will keep sitting quietly without contracting or trying to relax. When you are cued to “relax”, you should try to relax your pelvic floor muscles by inhaling and using the soft belly bulge. Use your imagination and picture your pelvic floor muscles dropping or relaxing. Watch the graph and you want to see the graph dropping lower during the “relax” time. When you are cued to “contract quickly”, stop trying to relax your muscles and sit or lie quietly. Over time you should see your graph indicators lower and drop.

Below is an example of how your graph may look like:

The taller peak is your 10 second resting time (“contract quickly”) where your muscles may be tense and over active, but you are not contracting or trying to relax. The smaller peaks are when you “relax” and attempt to relax the muscles using your inhale and belly bulge. What you hope to see is that the tall peak decreases (hint: watch the number to the left of the peak) AFTER each relaxation practice repetition that you do. You should also see the relaxation graph line when you are practicing relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles, move closer to zero.

*Kehel tip: If you use the manual training mode for relaxation/downtraining then you may not want to sign into the Kehel App so it will not be included in your strength summary.

Lola Rosenbaum

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Elizabeth Bell

Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health

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