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Anyone else having this problem? Muscles don't stay relaxed after stretching

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  • Anyone else having this problem? Muscles don't stay relaxed after stretching

    Hey all, I was wondering if anyone else is having the same problem I am or has any advice...

    I have been in pelvic floor PT once a week since early February. While I am tight to start, I have gradually over the past few months, loosened up to almost a normal vagina in therapy with stretching. So after using the little ultrasound heat machine thing on the muscles and a little stretching I loosen up pretty well in PT. The problem is it doesn't stay that way. Within a couple hours of my session being over, my pelvic floor tightens right back up to how it was in the beginning. Any improvements just don't last at all.

    I'm not having any better results with my husband stretching me at home either. I loosen up (not as much as in PT though) but it starts getting tight again even quicker than after my PT sessions! I have flexeril/valium/lidocaine suppositories but those don't seem to help much either.

    My PT and my doctor have never seen this issue in an IC patient. Neither one really knows what to think. They say that normally a tight patient stays tight even after stretching or a normal vagina will stay loose. I start off super tight in therapy and loosen up well temporarily and I find it so frustrating that by the time I get home it starts going back to super tight again. What do I do? I can't have a dilator in me at all times! Sheesh!

    Dx: IC, fibromyalgia, PFD, chronic pelvic pain, vulvodynia, endo, ovarian cysts, pelvic congestion syndrome, Vitamin B12 deficiency, hypothyroidism

  • #2
    Your not alone

    My PT notes that one week great, the next awful etc and my Uro said all the Pelvic PT in the world isn't gonna fix it all if the bladder is constantly stirring the pot. SOrry
    I am blessed to have an Indiana Pouch now
    IC since childhood, finally diagnosed at 31 yo
    PFD/Pelvic Pain,SI joint and LBP
    Low Back Pain s/p spinal fusion at 19 with more nastiness in back
    Hydrodistension 2001, 2005, 2011 w capsacian, 2011 with botox/ super pubic tube
    Interstim trial and removel 2002,C-Section 2007 and 2010, Post Partum Depression, post partum hypertension, Idopathic hypothalmic amenorrhea
    Radical Cystectomy with Indiana Pouch 2/3/12--->multiple complications and revision of ureters in pouch due to a giant ball of scar tissue in 8/12, occasional pylo, L kidney small and scarred, low flow
    Hysterectomy 2/3/12 w one ovary removed
    Dry Eyes
    L radical nephrectomy 1//3/14 after a long "what if " the conversation, kidney working 4 %, path said full of absesses
    Still have issues, still take meds.

    I have worked some, been doing pilates, just got a post masters in nursing, learning to pace myself.
    Learning things I can't do, learning things that I need to take a LONG time to master and regain myself, but mostly just so happy to be bladder free.:


    • #3
      I agree with Melanie mostly. I do think that as long as your bladder is still hurting then those muscles are going to continue to "re-tighten". I think if you stay with it after time it will last longer and longer. For me, when my bladder is hurting, all those muscles instantly tense, and my back will start hurting so badly. If I get my bladder calmed down I can then work on getting my muscles back in order, but I do have to continue working on the muscles during a bladder flare. One certainly does affect the other for me.

      Link to the patient information, everything from What is IC? to Disability

      American Urological Association Clinical Guideline
      Diagnosis and Treatment of Intersitial Cysitis/Painful Bladder Syndrom


      • #4
        Hi Sarah ~

        Just this week, my PA examined me and found my muscles to be in such spasms that I need to start my PT again. She also requested me to use my Vaginal Valium up to 2xDay to help relax things. Have you checked with your doctor? It might help.

        Hope you get some relief soon.
        Never heard of IC til suspected....Never knew so many suffer from it. Praying for a cure. I've found can you...keep the hope.

        11/2007 IC Symptoms began during recovery of surgery for bladder susp & hysto: painful/urge/freq urination up to 50 times a day, pain walking, even water hurts.
        8/2009 Susp IC; 1/2010 Treatment began; 2/2010 Diag PFD, PT, Surg remove mesh; 5/2010 Surg, 2nd bladder repair, vag vault/sm int prolapse repair, IC confirmed in surg; 7/2010 Diag Candida Esophagitis, Gastritis, Diviticulosis, Gallstones,
        8/2010 Surg gallbladder
        TREATMENTS (updated 4/15)
        IC Diet since 8/2009 (Able to vary 4/15)
        Heparin/Lidocaine/Bicarb/Kenalog Instills 1xDay
        Aloe Vera Capsules, (2) 2xDay, Loratadine 1xDay
        Pantoprazole, Prelief, Pyridium up to 3xDay, Premarin Cream 3xWeek
        *DISCONTINUED since feeling better: Celexa 10mg daily*, Fiber supp*,
        Gabapentin 12/2011 worked well *, Macrodantin 100mg after instill*, Probiotics*, PT-PFD*, Valium Vag Suppositories: Cyclo/diaz/lido, 10/5/62.5mg *
        PROB MEDS: Elavil, up to 50mg 1/2011 ret&hbp, Urelle ret, Vesicare ret


        • #5
          Tight Muscles

          My muscles tighten back up quickly. It's because my bladder stays unhappy. I have to do letting go exercises thru-out the day, breathing exercises, internal, and yogo to keep them somewhat relaxed. It's a full time job. It is really hard to make the time. Just the act of sitting to long (career requirement) will cause havoc. It's a vicious cycle. I call it my IC band. The bladder is the drummer, the rest of the muscle in the pelvic floor chime in. The best relief I have had was trigger point injections (I had good relief for about a week), and my Empi IF unit (IC program). I'm hoping Cyclosporine-A will help calm my bladder.
          Diagnosis: Endometriosis, IC, PID, PCS, PFD, PN/PNE, VV, fibro, Pelvic Adhesions, DDD, Hysterectomy at a young age. Unable to take estrogen, causes pain—extremely bad pain.

          Thankful: For all the support and comfort I receive on this site.


          • #6
            I had that problem, too when I was in PT. Do they have you doing any strengthening exercises? I know it seems like opposite of what you should be doing, but by doing some kegels, and then after each kegel, you do the relaxation, deep breath in, let it all go on the outbreath... after a while that really helps. The problem is that you have to teach your muscles how to operate correctly again. I gradually started implementing exercises at the gym. Like outer and inner thigh workouts. At first it got me all tied up down there, like vaginal cramping sort of. It felt like a charlie horse. But over time I was able to do more and more because my muscles learned how to operate correctly and thus how to relax properly. I think the key is to contract the muscles, then relax them with the breathing technique, over and over.
            Update! Feeling much better these days and no longer on any meds!

            Pelvic pain began July 2008. Urinary frequency began in November of 2008. IC Doctor says I'm one of the worst frequency patients he has had.

            Things that helped me the most: IC Diet, Elavil (30mg), Elmiron since June '09 (500mg/day).

            Previously tried and quit: one series of six instillations, Neurontin, Ditropan, Oxytrol, electric stimulation to the pelvic floor, Desert Harvest Aloe, Cystoprotek and Flomax, Hydroxyzine (50mg), Alesse Birth control (this helped my period flares when my symptoms used to be bad), PTNS (I think this helped).



            • #7
              Mine do that too, really badly. I have an unbelievably bad PF. I will think good thoughts for you; try to take the long view and be really patient and I think improvement will come bit by bit. You'll have peaks and valleys so look for the bad times to be gradually shallower :-) How far away is your PT's office? Do you have to ride far and are you driving? That undoes mine pretty quick. Can you sit on a heating pad with a cushion in the car? I have to come home and have a hot bath and do the relaxation positions I have right away.
              "When fear seizes, change what you are doing..." --Jean Craighead George, Julie of the Wolves

              --Dx: IC, PFD, V, PN irritation, yeast, and "IBS-like symptoms" that includes a lot of difficulty with that order. Pleased to report that "it's something new every day" includes great things as well as painful things.


              • #8
                I started practicing meditation over a year ago and I've found it to be the thing to keep my pelvic floor and other muscles relaxed. It takes practice, but the control I now have over my muscle tension is pretty amazing.
                Anyway, it is something to look into that is free and has no side effects and can give some incredible results if you're willing to put some time into it I'm finding it to work better than any muscle relaxer ever did for me!


                • #9
                  That is a great idea Briza! I recently downloaded a guided meditation on itunes. I will have to try it.
                  current meds- ditropan 5mg xl, neurontin 300 mg. zanaflex for pelvic floor spasms Most meds, IC meds included, cause me bladder pain

                  previous med- elmiron( nothing after 8 months), atarax ( to sleepy), ditropan ( retention), Cymbalta, cystoprotek( worsened flare) has helped many others, aloe vera ( worsened flare), lyrica( irritated bladder.

                  interstim implant (reduces my ic pain)January,2007


                  • #10
                    Hey everyone! Thanks sooo much for taking the time to reply! I am still having trouble but this past week my pelvic pain has been much worse than usual. So that doesn't help things either. My doctor is switching my physical therapist because he's not happy with the lack of progress and I see my new PT for the first time tomorrow. Hopefully she may have a different perspective or trick up her sleeve. But all this PT costs money and if it's not going to help I'm not sure if it's worth going to anymore. But at the same time, my marriage is worth me trying to get this under control. I'm just so frustrated and amazingly it's my husband who is the most patient and supportive. Thank goodness. I'm going to definitely try all of your suggestions given to me as well. I will keep ya'll posted

                    Dx: IC, fibromyalgia, PFD, chronic pelvic pain, vulvodynia, endo, ovarian cysts, pelvic congestion syndrome, Vitamin B12 deficiency, hypothyroidism


                    • #11
                      It took about a year of PT for me to get to the point that my muscles could stay relaxed for longer than 24 hours. This involved me doing stretches for at least a 1/2 hour every day and daily using a dilator.

                      Some things that I think made a difference:

                      Strengthening exercises for my abdominals. Do not do this w/o PT instruction though--my muscles were so weak I needed to start with really, really simple exercises. They support your pelvic floor muscles, so strengthening them helps.

                      Re-alignment exercises. Tight pelvic muscles shorten over time, which makes it really easy to get out of alignment--causing lots of pain. Doing the re-alignment exercises are really a preventative measure. When I do them and I'm already in pain, it can take another hour for things to calm down afterwards.

                      Doing stretching exercises and dilations at home every day.

                      It took over a year before I had a completely painfree feeling (but long before that I was experiencing a lot less pain!). Now, it's to the point that I can tell exactly when the pain starts (before, I was in pain so often that I couldn't tell.) Pain definitely is related to me getting out of alignment which is caused by sitting, standing, or lying down in a bad position. Fortunately, now I can tell when something is hurting me and I can make adjustments before it gets worse--and do my realignment exercises too because I obviously need them. Just knowing that has made a huge difference in my recovering b/c I tell when pain is about to start big time.

                      I hope that helps. I'm not sure it really answers your questions, but, my big advice is to be patient and make sure your PT is covering all the bases.