Pelvic Pain and the Kehel

There are several conditions that can present with pelvic pain. These can include heavy and painful periods, adhesions, endometriosis, painful bladder syndrome, menopause, or trauma.

If you have pelvic pain you may also receive a diagnosis of Dyspareunia (painful intercourse), Vulvodynia (vulvar pain), or Vestibulodynia (pain at the entrance to the vagina).  These diagnoses are all different in nature and cause; however, there is one presentation that may be similar with them all and that is overactive pelvic floor muscles.

If you have seen a doctor or a physical therapist, they may have mentioned that you have tight pelvic floor muscles, overactive pelvic floor muscles, or pelvic floor muscle spasms.

You may have noticed increased pain with vaginal penetration during intercourse or using a tampon or pain with pressure on the perineum when sitting or with tight pants. Muscle spasm, overactivity or tightness can be the body’s response to the pain stimulus when pressure is placed on the superficial or deep pelvic muscles.

A pelvic floor physical therapist may try different manual techniques to help decrease the pain and the muscle tightness. They will also teach you exercises to help relax the muscles. These exercises are called reverse kegels, pelvic floor muscle relaxation, or downtraining. Vibration, massage, biofeedback, and pelvic floor muscle releases are all techniques that can help relax the pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic Floor Pain

The Kehel is a biofeedback tool that may be used at home to help you relax or learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles. Once you log into your account, you can click on ‘massage’ along the bottom of the screen. Once you are on the massage screen, you can select the type of massage and adjust the vibration intensity to a comfortable level. Some women respond well to the steady massage, while others find the wave more effective. You may also prefer the intermittent or crescendo modes so experiment and find the one you prefer. It is important to find which setting is the most comfortable for you and we advise starting at a low intensity. The massage/vibration is meant to relax the pelvic floor muscles; however, if it is painful or too uncomfortable, then it may be more difficult for the muscles to relax.

When your pelvic floor muscles are tight, you will find that it is more difficult to rest completely when performing the exercises with the Kehel. If you have pelvic pain, you should not do the grip or contraction speed exercises. Instead of using the grip or the contraction speed exercises, use the manual training mode. This mode is where you can practice the relaxation or downtraining exercises. Instead of contracting the muscles, try to gently bulge or push out with the pelvic floor muscles. The goal is to try to get the line on the manual screen graph down to zero. You can continue to use the contraction and rest periods but do not contract the pelvic floor muscles. Instead perform an inhalation with a gentle belly bulge and see if this relaxes your pelvic floor muscles and drops the line on the graph closer to zero. If you continue to have pain, you will need to see your physician or pelvic floor physical therapist.

Lola Rosenbaum

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Elizabeth Bell

Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health

Do you have any questions about pelvic floor pain? Have you suffered it? Leave us your comments below and share your experience.

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