Chronic Pelvic Pain - A Quick Guide

Quick Guide: Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain is something I, unfortunately, see all too commonly as a physical therapist, and it is not given enough time and attention. I hope to provide some facts regarding chronic pain as well as tips for what you can actually do about your pain!

If human beings did not have pain, we would quite literally die. Pain is our warning sign to problems in our body. The real offender is chronic pelvic pain. Having pain every, single day is NOT normal.

WHAT CAN CAUSE PELVIC PAIN?

There are many possible causes which can be the START of pelvic pain. Vaginal delivery, episiotomy healing, prostate infection, or even a UTI can cause pelvic pain. However, once these more obvious reasons are properly treated and resolved pain can persist from it. This pain is due to chronic muscle tension. Your pelvic floor is trying to guard against and move away from the pain, BUT in its efforts to do so it is holding constant tension and driving pelvic pain. The more pain, the more it drives the tension creating a vicious pain cycle. A physical therapist can help you retrain and stop this.

WHAT DOES PELVIC PAIN FEEL LIKE?

It can feel like MANY things. Pain in the pelvic region can be described as aching, burning, warmth/hot, throbbing, pressure, heavy, sharp, tingling, ripping, shooting, stabbing, cramping, stiff, tearing, or dull. Sometimes it can feel like multiple of these at once. In addition to it being present in the obvious place, pelvic pain can be tricky and also present as low back, buttocks, abdominal, thigh, groin, or even hip pain. I have pushed on tense pelvic floor muscles and reproduced pain in someone’s upper abdominal region. If you are going to traditional PT, and not seeing improvement within 4-6 visits then a pelvic floor PT might be a better fit for you.

WHAT DOES PELVIC PAIN MEAN?

Pelvic pain can be an indication of a minor infection that needs to be addressed, a disease process that is occurring, or something more than that. If your condition has been cleared by your primary care provider, but your symptoms are lasting more than 4-8 weeks, it is most likely tight and tender muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissue. Our bodies can get stuck into a pain loop that goes on and on, until you get help to retrain your body and break that pain-tension cycle.

WHEN SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT PELVIC PAIN?

Pain is, unfortunately, a normal human experience. It is just your body’s way of alerting you to things going on in your body. If you have symptoms that are lasting more than a few days, reach out to your primary care provider. If they give you the all clear, but the pain persists for more than 4 weeks, get in to see a pelvic floor physical therapist.

DOES PELVIC PAIN EVER GO AWAY?

Yes! You can heal and retrain! Tissues in the body typically heal within 6-8 weeks. The important thing to remember is that pain is a normal human experience, but living in pain is not normal. I usually work with pelvic pain patients for anywhere between 8-16 visits (this is variable on the specific patient needs), spread out over 3-9 months.

HOW IS PELVIC PAIN DIAGNOSED?

This will vary depending on what symptoms you report. Your primary care provider may first start with a urinalysis, abdominal or pelvic ultrasound, and a rectal or vaginal exam. Based on your signs and symptoms and what your primary care provider finds in their physical examination and tests will determine if they need to do more extensive testing as a next step. At your first pelvic floor physical therapist appointment , they will perform an extensive internal and external examination to understand your pain.

WHAT CAN LEAD TO CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN?

  • Adenomyosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hernia
  • IBS
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Levator syndrome
  • Pelvic congestion syndrome
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Pelvic support problems
  • Physiological causes (depression/anxiety/stress)
  • Post vasectomy pain syndrome
  • Prolapse
  • Prostatitis
  • Pudendal nerve entrapment
  • Scar tissue (abdominal adhesion?)
  • Tension following appendectomy
  • Tension following STI
  • Testicular pain
  • Urethral stricture
  • Urinary stones
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Vulvodynia

A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

Medical image of pelvic nerve structures and connections to the spinal cord region

Modern medicine has improved our ability to run tests, scans, and imaging. This has shifted the focus completely to our tissues (ie muscles, ligaments, joints, discs, ect). Within 3-6 months these structures are healed. Which means overall, chronic pelvic pain is less of a tissue issue and more of a nerve sensitivity and brain processing one.

The human body has 45 miles of nerves, with 400 individual nerves!

Modern medicine has improved our ability to run tests, scans, and imaging. This has shifted the focus completely to our tissues (ie muscles, ligaments, joints, discs, ect). Within 3-6 months these structures are healed. Which means overall, chronic pelvic pain is less of a tissue issue and more of a nerve sensitivity and brain processing one.

A PERSISTANT PAIN PROBLEM

NERVOUS SYSTEM RESPONSE EXAMPLE

You are walking across the street and painfully step in a pothole. You will definitely stop right away and make sure it isn’t broken. Test it before you walk on it, turn it side to side, and then slowly hobble to the side of the road.

Now, what if the same time you stepped in that pothole, a bus is catapulting your way? You are not going to assess your ankle right away, because your brain has decided it is more important to get out of the way of the bus.

Your brain quiets the information from your ankle so you can get safely to the side of the road in time. Then, it will remind you of the pain in your ankle, so you can assess it and seek medical attention if needed.

This causes stress and confusion constantly as you try to identify and resolve your concern. It becomes a constant distraction and makes it difficult to clear your mind.

THE TENSION SOLUTION

I recommend that my patients begin with the resources below. These can help you begin to understand your pain and get on the path to healing! Give it a try and reach out.

Once you begin to learn about and identify your pain, and get on a path to healing and retraining, I recommend some self care as well! My patients love mindful massage and meditation combined with some of these quality items for at home pain relief!

The great news? Learning more about how your brain processes pain and what contributes to your pain picture, helps to lessen the sensitivity of your nerves.

MORE CONTENT YOU MAY LIKE

Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Laura Meihofer’s LLC is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and others, as an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products Laura organically uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Laura will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps her spread her message!

Follow And Stay Connected

17 Comments
  • Jacques
    Posted at 12:15h, 09 March

    Hi there Dear, are you truly visiting this site on a regular
    basis, if so then you will without doubt get fastidious experience.

    Feel free to surf to my webpage: Medication for diabetes control

  • Preston
    Posted at 09:26h, 19 March

    best supplements for women’s hormonal balance
    women’s health nutrition supplements
    instant access to hormone supplements online
    hormonal supplements prices at a fraction of the cost

    Take a look at my page :: over the counter hormonal therapy for menopause

  • Fermin
    Posted at 21:49h, 27 July

    For the reason that the admin of this site is working,
    no doubt very rapidly it will be famous, due to its
    quality contents.

    Also visit my website; compra de somníferos dexona en España

  • Elsa
    Posted at 16:28h, 04 August

    If you want to get a good deal from this article then you have to apply these methods to your won weblog.

    Here is my website :: obtenir du sildenafil sans ordonnance en Suisse

  • Andra
    Posted at 04:25h, 25 August

    Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and
    posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    Also visit my web-site Jesenia

  • Ezequiel
    Posted at 06:28h, 01 September

    What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It
    absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & aid other customers like its helped me.

    Great job.

    Also visit my web page … Ola

  • Emery
    Posted at 08:59h, 05 September

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a nice thought, piece
    of writing is fastidious, thats why i have read it completely

    Review my web blog :: climopax enviado rápidamente

  • Cassie
    Posted at 06:56h, 24 September

    Hello i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this post i thought i could also create comment due to this good
    piece of writing.

    Also visit my page: compra de flavoxate en Marsella

  • Jacqueline
    Posted at 14:49h, 29 September

    Howdy very cool web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing ..

    I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?

    I am glad to seek out numerous helpful information here in the publish, we want work out extra strategies
    in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

    Feel free to visit my webpage: encuentra kamagra sin necesidad de receta en Lima

  • Vince
    Posted at 17:40h, 30 September

    Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my blog thus
    i came to go back the desire?.I am trying to find issues to
    enhance my website!I guess its adequate to use some of
    your ideas!!

    my website informeer naar de prijs van nolvadex met medisch voorschrift in Nederland

  • Silas
    Posted at 04:53h, 10 October

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for hair loss solutions

    Here is my website lovenox ohne Rezept in Österreich erhältlich

  • Eva
    Posted at 16:02h, 27 December

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as
    with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you
    modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s
    rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

    Check out my site; albuterol a prezzo competitivo a Roma

  • Tawnya
    Posted at 08:39h, 12 January

    I visited multiple web sites however the audio quality for audio songs present at this site is truly excellent.

    Visit my web site – zakup quibron-t online w Warszawie

  • Virgilio
    Posted at 14:10h, 12 January

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It
    truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and
    help others like you helped me.

    Also visit my web blog :: online verkoop van Evoxil

  • Alberto
    Posted at 17:08h, 12 January

    It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I am glad
    that you just shared this helpful info with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Look into my web blog Infórmate sobre el precio de los somníferos gymiso 100 mcg

  • Amie
    Posted at 09:56h, 03 February

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I have
    discovered till now. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are
    you sure concerning the source?

    My web site compra de symepezil en México

  • drospirenone autentico senza prescrizione in Italiar
    Posted at 17:44h, 16 February

    I adore this site – its so usefull and helpfull. Encuentra kytril sin necesidad de receta en Bolivia

Post A Comment