How does Pelvic Floor Muscle Tone lead to Vaginismus?
Muscle tone can explain the physiology (body’s function) and mechanical (muscles structure) causes of pain. Pelvic floor muscles are like the rest of the muscles you have in your body that you use for running, lifting, and jumping. The muscles have a stretch component which do not depend on the body’s nerves. They also have a contraction component, which do depend on functioning nerves.
It is thought that problems with the stretch and contraction component of the muscles can lead to long term pelvic pain. These can result in spasms and cramps of the muscles. Studies that look at the electrical activity of the muscles show that spasm (tightness of the muscles) is not under voluntary control or posture. These may or may not be painful. However, abnormal contractions will be painful, these are known as cramps.
Vaginismus, for an example, is an involuntary contraction of some or the whole pelvic floor muscle which prevents examination, tampon placement, or intercourse.
- Reverse Kegels
- Electrical Stimulation
- Topical anesthetic creams