Pelvic Pain Diagnoses for men & women


Pelvic floor muscular dysfunction presents itself in two ways:

what is a hypertonic pelvic floor? | pelvic floor physical therapy


Characterized by:

overactivity and spasm. 

what is a hypotonic pelvic floor? | pelvic floor physical therapy


Characterized by:

laxity and weakness.

Let’s Break It Down

Common signs and symptoms of a hypertonic pelvic floor:

hypertonic pelvic floor | causes & treatments
  • Achy pelvic discomfort or pressure

  • Dyspareunia (pain during or after intercourse)

  • Vaginal, perineal or rectal pain (sharp, burning, throbbing, or radiating)

  • Pain in the abdomen, lower back, coccyx, suprapubic area, or hips

  • Urinary hesitancy or retention

  • Painful urination

  • Urinary urgency/frequency

  • Pain with prolonged sitting (coccyx pain or seat bone pain)

  • Inability to use tampons

  • Pain with annual pelvic examination

A hypertonic pelvic floor is also known as pelvic floor tension myalgia or pelvic floor muscle spasm.

When a hypertonic pelvic floor is present, patients typically present with various pain syndromes such as Interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, vulvar vestibulitis ( vestibulodynia), coccydynia, painful intercourse (dyspareunia) and pudendal neuropathy.  These diagnoses are among the many pain syndromes routinely treated in our practice.  While each of these conditions is very different in terms of presentation, the common denominator that exists between them is muscular hypertonicity of the pelvic floor.


Common signs of a hypotonic pelvic floor:

what is a hypotonic pelvic floor?
  • Stress urinary incontinence

  • Urge urinary incontinence

  • Mixed urinary incontinence

  • Fecal incontinence

  • Gas incontinence

  • Pelvic organ prolapse - bladder

  • Pelvic organ prolapse - uterine

  • Pelvic organ prolapse - rectal

Treatments for these conditions are very different than those for a hypertonic pelvic floor, as weakness and laxity are often hallmark characteristics. 

Strengthening of the inner core and the pelvic floor is the foundation of treatment for pelvic floor laxity.  Each patient’s individualized plan of care is established only after a thorough evaluation by one of our pelvic floor PT specialists is completed.


Specific Diagnoses We Treat

Click each diagnosis below to learn more

Treatment at Sarton Physical Therapy

Musculoskeletal Dysfunction:


Bladder Dysfunction:

Bowel Dysfunction:


Post Surgical Dysfunction:


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