Your "Pun-ny" pelvic floor muscles are like any other in the body they are just internal, so nobody really talks about them! They are located at the base of your pelvis and support/surround your openings (penis urethra, anus). Because these muscles don’t “move a limb in space” or provide “external feedback” (i.e. you don’t see or feel them) during their use throughout the day, dysfunction can go “unchecked.” One dysfunction that commonly appears for my male identified pelvic floor owners is too much tension!
Below are 5 signs that your pelvic floor muscles may be too tense!
This can include pain internally or externally such as penis pain, urethral pain, testicular pain, tailbone pain, rectal pain, lower abdominal pain, or any of the above combined! Now obviously some of these pains can be due to other causes (STI, infection, etc.) and will need to be ruled out by Urologist or other MD. However, many times once infections are ruled out the TRUE cause is pelvic muscle tension!!
2. Difficulty with peeing or pooping
As mentioned above, the pelvic floor muscles surround your “poop and pee holes” (as well as travel up to mid-shaft of your penis). These muscles need appropriate resting tension as well as ability to contract AND lengthen to allow for poop, pee, or good sexual functioning.
3. Strong or frequent peeing
I see this ALL. THE. TIME. clinically but I feel this connection is often missed by clinicians! Abnormally strong urge to urinate or peeing too frequent is often a sign of too much tension/poor mobility. Picture this: I give you a 50 lb. dumbbell and tell you to hold it in your right hand but with your elbow straight and arm raise above your head. I then tell you to hold if there for 20 hours. Eventually your shoulder and arm muscles will signal an “overwhelming URGE” to let go or set the weight down. Now think of that scenario as it applies to your pelvic floor and a sustained squeeze or muscle tension----eventually your body will signal an “overwhelming URGE” to pee and can often lead to frequent peeing.
4. Difficulty (or Pain) during or after Intercourse/Sex
As mentioned above, the pelvic floor muscles surround your openings, travel up mid-shaft, and provide support to your pelvis. In men, specifically the anterior pelvic floor muscles are responsible for getting and maintaining an erection (as well as rhythmically contract with an orgasm). If these muscles are too tense you can have difficulty achieving an erection (ED or erectile dysfunction), sustaining or maintaining an erection, or experience premature ejaculation. ALSO, if these muscles are too tense you can have pain before/during/after masturbation AND/OR pain before/during/after sex.
Hot take—This one may seem a little counterintuitive but let me blow your mind with this knowledge BOMB! Most people assume that having leakage equates to “weak or loose” pelvic floor muscles. Now while this is the case in some scenarios, it can be the opposite! Picture this: I ask you to flex your elbow at 90 degrees and hold it there for a YEAR straight. Do you think you would be able to straighten it out after a year of holding it flexed? NO! Your muscles adaptively shorten from chronic tension. Would this very same arm be able to do as many bicep curls as an arm that has full range of motion! NOPE! Would you get dressed, shower, or go through daily life the same using that “shortened” arm? NOPE! In order to have “good strength” you need to FIRST have “good length!”
If you think your pelvic floor may be too tense or you are dealing with any of the 5 signs below, contact us so we can help! Check out the 2 other blog posts in this series including 5 signs your Pelvic Floor is too tense for WOMEN and CHILDREN.
© Amanda Moe 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Moe and/or COM-Physical Therapy 2022 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.