The psoas (said like so-az) is an extremely important muscle. It plays an important role in postural and structural stability as well as in respiration. This muscle attaches from the front part of your lower spine to the front part of your hip allowing you to bring your knee to your chest.
Several interconnected factors going on in the psoas and surrounding areas can affect pelvic, genital and sexual pain. For instance, because there are nerves that run through the psoas, if the muscles are too tight they could be pressing on the nerves and contributing to pain. In another instance, if this hip musculature is too tight it forces the angle of the pelvis forward, causing excessive curvature of the lower back which affects our ability to regulate the tension of the pelvic floor.
Therefore, a properly functioning, released, and relaxed psoas muscle is crucial in the process of healing the pain "down there" and maintaining health and functionality in the pelvis.
If you have specific questions about painful sex or pelvic pain and aren't sure where to turn, we want to introduce you to Maven: the first digital clinic for women. Through the Maven app you can schedule and connect with a women's practitioner directly via video appointment. And use the Maven app for other questions you might have about yourself or you kids (nurse, nutritionist, psychologist, etc.) Maven's goal is to make healthcare more accessible for women.
Fees are stated upfront and start at $18. And the App is super user-friendly.
1. Pick a practitioner
2. Book the appointment and confirm the cost then meet via the app in real time
3. Have access to history and appointment notes from your provider. Easily schedule another appointment.
Our own Physical Therapist, Karen Liberi, can meet with you over the Maven digital clinic app. Download the app to your Apple device and use promo code: KARENLFRIEND for 10 minutes free between now and August 31, 2015.
The long-awaited Video Guide Healing the Pain 'Down There': A Guide for Females with Persistent Genital & Sexual Pain is now available for purchase.
A woman with chronic pelvic pain brought together a team of multidisciplinary professionals to create this instructional and educational DVD guide for those suffering with “pain down there”. The team represents over 50 years of experience in women’s health related fields including OB/GYN, physical therapy, mindfulness techniques, and human sexuality with their focus being on the treatment of pelvic pain. This educational video is intended for women of all ages who are experiencing pain during intercourse who want to learn why they have their symptoms and learn strategies to improve them. This video is also for teens and young women who may be at risk for developing these symptoms, and for clinicians who are practicing in the field of women’s health.
“Groundbreaking … “
Jill Osborne, MA
ICN Founder & CEO
“A well designed comprehensive view of pelvic pain from a multidisciplinary perspective and clear options for returning to health and well being.”
Sandra Hilton, PT, DPT, MS
“A very important resource for many women...”
Frank Tu, M.D., MPH
" Respected pelvic practitioners create a road map to navigate the challenging path of healing pelvic pain."
Dustienne Miller PT, MS, WCS
An important way to promote or restore function and control of the pelvic floor is through the breath. Clenched abdomen and habitual breathing from the chest directly affects the pelvic floor, making it too tight/tense and "turned on" which can contribute to sexual pain. Shallow chest breathing also cues our bodies into the tensing, fight or flight mode of the nervous system (see previous blog).
Breathing is meant to come from the abdomen/diaphragm, not from the chest. If you've been taught by sports or cultural influences to suck in your abs and breathe from your chest you may need to re-train your body to breathe appropriately. Musculoskeletally, the respiratory diaphragm and the pelvic floor work together.
As you inhale .... the diaphragm lowers and the pelvic floor expands.
As you exhale... the diaphragm and pelvic floor return to their elevated positions.
Therefore, if you are constantly breathing from your chest, your pelvic floor never gets a chance to relax and expand. Mentally check into your breath pattern throughout the day to ensure proper breathing techniques. We go more in depth about how to do this in the DVD, Healing the Pain 'Down There': A Guide for Females with Persistent Genital and Sexual Pain.
Stephanie Yeager: Passionate about spreading the word of hope and healing for those like her, influencing a paradigm shift in the medical community toward greater understanding of chronic pelvic pain disorders, and prevention initiatives that may protect young women before onset can occur.