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6 Best Stretches for Pelvic Pain

exerciseprogramming physicaltherapy womenshealth Sep 09, 2020

Our pelvis is the home of many different muscles, tendons and ligaments, connective tissue and blood vessels, not to mention organs. Pelvic pain can affect men and women.  Recent stats say pelvic pain affects 1 in 7 American women ages 18-50. The good news is that current research shows a significant improvement  of pelvic pain symptoms by 77-87% with the right approach1

When you have pelvic pain it can be difficult to tolerate sitting, laying down or exercise. Sometimes you might feel as if your pelvis “has a headache”. You’re not alone, At Inside Out Strength and Performance we have active adults coming to our clinic when they’re experiencing pelvic pain and we are able to provide relief with the following exercises. These stretches are not by any means the magic answer but they are helpful in taking down the path to pain free living. 

Pelvic pain isn’t straightforward, pain in general isn’t straightforward. It’s complex and involves our mind, emotions, our brain’s perception of an event or stimulus in addition to how our body may be feeling given our activity level or lack of activity level. Due to the complexity of pain we must consider getting a birds eye view of your situation and life when your pelvic pain symptoms begin or increase and reduce. By taking a look at your current situation, stress levels, sleep quantity and quality and nutrition we can gather more information to create a plan for you to reduce your pelvic pain. 

 Take a moment right now and check in with your pelvic floor muscles and take a body scan. Are they relaxed? Are you clenching your butt cheeks together? How about if you are clenching your teeth?  Upper traps tense and shoulder creeping up toward your ears?  By answering these questions they can be a helpful tool to check in with where your body holds tension. Many people who experience pelvic pain tend to “tighten” or contract their muscles of their pelvic floor as well as their jaw, shoulders and neck. Having awareness of these habits can be the first step toward symptom relief and pain management. 

From our experience as performance physical therapists we have found the powerful combination of mindful movement and breath work to be helpful for our patients with pelvic pain. These seeming simple movements allow your mind and body to feel safe, protected and tap into the primitive nature of ourselves. It’s a way to relax, reset and be mindful of your thoughts and movements as a strategy for pain relief. 

By completing the following stretches listed below 1-2 times per day and holding each stretch  for 10-20 breath cycles you may be surprised in how you feel. Check out the stretches below and the video with a demonstration to guide you through each of the stretches.   

The 6 best stretches for pelvic pain:

  1. Single Knee to Chest
  2. Figure Four + Single Knee to Chest 
  3. Gentle Spinal Twist + Reach
  4. Butterfly Stretch (supported if needed)
  5. Child’s Pose
  6. Deep Squat (supported if needed)

Bonus Stretch:  Happy Baby 

This is another one of our favorites for pelvic floor muscle relaxation.  It’s playful and effective.  An excellent modification for this is to place your feet up on the wall or rest your lower legs on a chair or sofa seat.  

Like we stated before, pelvic pain isn’t straightforward.  But by learning the tools such as these stretches, we believe you can see positive change. By taking action with this approach to address your symptom it can provide relief and encouragement. At Inside Out, we are here to help you live life strong, confident and pain free. Don’t wait to live your best life, we’d love to help you reach your goals and be a part of your transformation!

Most people don’t know how to stay healthy and fit without getting hurt. At Inside Out Strength and Performance we provide a clear plan to get you in the best shape of your life, without getting injured, so that you can be active and confident that you’ll feel your best for years to come.

We help North County San Diego’s active adults and runners dealing with pain or injury get back to living a pain-free, strong, and confident life.

We are the Strength Docs who help active adults and runners live a strong, confident, and pain-free life. Fill out our contact form here to get a clear plan and get started.

  1. Anderson, R. U., Wise et al. (2006). The Journal of Urology. 176:1534-1539

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