If you are already on your pelvic floor healing journey, then this article here should be your next step after learning about kegel exercises.
When you consistently experience urine incontinence, and your pelvic muscles are too loose and weak, then you are experiencing hypotonic pelvic disorder. On the other hand if you feel a burning sensation during urination, that makes your pelvic muscles too tight and tense then that is a hypertonic pelvic condition.
The complexity of pelvic muscles and how exactly your muscle groups work is dependent on how your pelvic floor muscles function. Knowing which muscle groups are affected in your pelvic region, greatly helps in initiating the right exercises and treatment. This is why knowing about hypertonic vs hypotonic, their key differences and hypotonic vs hypertonic solution should be on your priority list.
What is Hypotonic Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Hypotonic pelvic floor dysfunction is when your pelvic floor muscles become too weak to fulfil basic body responsibilities such as supporting your core muscles and lower pelvic organs. The cause of this particular type of pelvic floor disorder is not always identifiable, but it can be due to ageing, obesity, complicated pregnancy and childbirth. Usually hypotonic pelvic floor dysfunction is treatable and reverses on its own when the external factors are fixed. However, in extreme cases hypotonic condition can cause pelvic floor prolapse and hinders your body’s sexual functioning.
What is Hypertonic Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
In contrast to hypotonic pelvic floor dysfunction, hypertonic pelvic floor muscles are too tight, and rigid, despite being weak. The tightness of pelvic floor muscles can cause complications in healthy bowel movement causing constipation from time to time. Yet, again the direct cause for hypertonic pelvic floor dysfunction remains unless it's influenced by external factors such as excessive cycling or performing pilates (a lot of exercise is required for this). Unlike hypotonic floor muscles, hypertonic is not well studied or well-established with enough scientific findings and facts, although a number of conditions are associated with hypertonic such as;
- Dyspareunia (a medical condition where you experience intense pain during sexual intercourse)
- Vaginismus (a medical condition where the muscles of vagina involuntarily contract whenever something is inserted)
- Vulvodynia (a medical condition where an individual experiences intense chronic pain raising from clitoris, or tissues of vulva)
- Chronic pelvic pain syndrome a type of prostatitis that causes intense genital pain in men)
Hypotonic vs Hypertonic- What are the key differences between these two pelvic floor dysfunctions?
The most obvious difference between hypertonic and hypotonic pelvic floor muscles is the way muscles function, more specifically rigid contraction and loose contraction. In general hyper and hypo stands for high and low, and that is how you should remember the difference between these two conditions.
In hypertonic pelvic floor dysfunction, the muscle tones are much tighter and more toned than normal. As a result, you have more problems in relaxing your muscles and experience troubled bowel movements.
In hypotonic, your muscles are way too flexible and loose to hold the organs and involuntary response fully. Poor muscle tone results in urine leakage or even stool leakage in some extreme cases, whenever you increase your mobility, cough or exercise.
How does Hypertonic and Hypotonic Pelvic Floor Dysfunction affect your daily function?
The hypotonic pelvic floor dysfunction can be a really tiresome condition to deal with when you have to rush to the washroom every few minutes or are always conscious of urine leakage anytime you want to laugh a little harder. In contrast, any sexual encounter can be really painful experience when you have hypertonic condition. Not to forget the constant nudge of constipation and the discomfort you experience.
How can different exercise and physical therapy help?
Before you undergo any exercise or treatment, you must fully educate yourself on all the relevant information that can support your condition. The first step on your pelvic floor healing journey should be to consult with a good health practitioner who will recommend you lifestyle changes based on what kind of condition you have. Your activity may involve keeping track of your overactive bladder health, listing your leakage patterns and overall writing down your dietary changes.
You will also be recommended to start with kegel exercises using a good kegel ball for fast and effective results.
Your doctor may try other physical therapy or even recommend other medications if they find your muscles to be more affected by the pelvic floor dysfunction. However in any shape or form, it is always best to get the right treatment at the right time and not live with your pelvic pain or incontinence leakage problems.
For the best results, start your kegel exercises with Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weighted Exercise Balls, specially designed for women who suffer from pelvic floor disorder, for fast recovery and gradual pelvic pain relief.