What is hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction?

Hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction is caused by tightness in the pelvic floor muscles or the “levator ani complex.” This area of taut muscle bands can cause spasms, which decrease blood flow and oxygenation, increases lactic acid, and causes pelvic pain.


There is no clear cause of hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Still, contributing factors may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Hip or low back injury
  • Holding urine
  • Excessive core-strengthening exercises
  • Physical or psychological trauma

Symptoms of hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction

The following are some of the most common symptoms of hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction:

  • Sensations of burning, rawness, throbbing, stabbing, or aching in the vagina
  • Urinary symptoms such as frequency, urgency, and incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Pain during intercourse or inability to have penetrative sex
  • Hemorrhoids or rectal fissures (tears in the anal area)
  • Low back and hip pain
  • Constipation

How is hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction diagnosed?

If you suffer from extreme pain related to muscle spasms, an examination will reveal the cause of your condition. The examination will include a visual inspection of the area to see how easily you can contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles, along with a digital rectal exam and vaginal pelvic exam.

When you work with Dr. Bahlani at her private clinic, you can expect total discretion, personalized care, and understanding rarely found in medical professionals. She forges a positive patient-doctor relationship that is a collaborative partnership, working closely with each patient, focused on helping them achieve their goals for the quality of life they want and deserve.

Banner media


Unfortunately, we cannot treat pelvic floor muscle dysfunction until symptoms are present. However, recovery is possible with early detection and intervention. Treatment for hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction may include a combination of techniques. Your pelvic pain specialist may recommend the following:

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Yoga
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Warm baths
  • Behavioral health approaches
  • BOTOX injections
  • Trigger point injections

Your journey to a better quality of life starts here.

It can be difficult to discuss or even describe the extent of the pain experienced due to vaginismus. When speaking with Dr. Bahlani, you will work with a pelvic pain specialist who thoroughly understands the condition, has treated it successfully countless times, and will talk to you openly, honestly, and compassionately. At Pelvic Pain Doc in NYC, the entire focus of this boutique concierge clinic is pelvic pain. Not only has Dr. Bahlani seen it all, but she has also developed treatment protocols that finally bring her patients the relief they deserve.

Background media

Why choose us?

At Pelvic Pain Doc, your treatment will be under the care of one of the few pelvic pain specialists in the NYC area. Dr. Sonia Bahlani has garnered a reputation for excellence in successfully treating a range of pelvic pain issues, including hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. She is the author of ”Dr. Sonia’s Guide to Navigating Pelvic Pain” and is often called on as a guest on TV and health-related informational podcasts.

Beyond her fellowship training in pelvic pain, her approach is compassionate, caring, and dedicated to helping patients achieve a better quality of life, free from the struggles associated with pelvic pain. Her clinic was established to provide the highest quality of care, with the mission to empower patients with the tools to control their pain and not have their pain control them. Contact us today to learn more.

Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (212) 634-9533.
Contact Us