By Dr. Brooke Meinema, DPT, FAFS The pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles…
By Dr. Brooke Meinema, DPT, FAFS
Pelvic massage and desensitization can be used as a treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction including hypertonic (aka spasmed or tight) pelvic floor musculature, pain with insertion, issues with urination (pain not related to UTI or STI, asymmetrical stream/spraying, or shy bladder), scar tissue, or other diagnoses that lead to discomfort or tension in the pelvic floor (endometriosis, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, or lichen sclerosis to name a few). This can be a very helpful treatment used by a trained pelvic floor therapist to help reduce this muscle tension, prevent discomfort from scar tissue, and also help to desensitize the pelvic floor muscles to prevent the fight/flight/freeze response that often results in spasming during insertion. While performing this type of treatment during your physical therapy session is good, it is also beneficial to perform at home. This can be performed alone or with a partner using finger pressure or tools such as a wand or dilator. I often will get questions about how to do pelvic massage or internal work on your own, which is why I created some guides detailing the purpose of this form of treatment as well as how to perform this on your own using these tools or with your partner (you can download the PDFs here).
There are different types of dilators and wands on the market. Some of these can be used at different temperatures, some vibrate, some expand, some are rigid plastic, and others yet are soft silicone. If you are struggling with performing internal massage on your own, bring it up to your providers to ask for advice and tricks for making this easier! The more regularly you are able to stretch and massage your muscles, the sooner you will get relief from tension-related symptoms.
Two brands to try:
- Intimate rose offers both dilators and wands on their website: save $5 with code BROOKE7
- Milli is an expandable dilator with vibration options: save $30 with code Brooke30
*Please note: I am not a representative of these companies. These are brands that people report positive results from and have I been able to get a discount code from the company. Each person’s body responds differently, so be sure to look into the materials in the product to make sure they work for your body. You can find these on their respective websites, but you may also be able to find these and other brands on websites like amazon.com.