Have you ever considered that the problem down there is because of your pelvic floor muscles? Women’s pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles that help to support the rectum, vagina and bladder. Women of any age can have pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. This “dysfunction” can be the cause for your pelvic pain. Normal function of the pelvic floor muscles allow for normal contraction and relaxation of these muscles. The pelvic floor play a major role in our bladder, bowel and sexual functions. So, sometimes since the pain is down there we assume that the problem is our lady parts when in fact, the pain your feeling may not be related to any of your woman parts at all. If all things have been ruled out with your gynecologist and it is determined that they can not find a cause for your pain, you should consider pelvic physical therapy. Pelvic pain is not “just something you have to live with”. Did you know that about 80% of women with chronic pelvic pain have musculoskeletal issues as the root cause of their pain? Pelvic pain can be a vicious cycle of cause and effect. Typically, there is some cause or injury. This injury will cause release or increase of metabolic activity. This increase in metabolic activity causes an increase release of calcium, histamine, kines, serotonin, prostaglandins (to name a few). Our muscles try to adjust to this increased metabolic activity but can not compensate forever. Eventually, our bodies can no longer compensate and here you are with chronic pelvic pain or weakness.
Pelvic physical therapist specialize in determining where the pain is coming from, and break this cycle. Once this is determined it can be the key to successful treatment. Pelvic physical therapy can help with common diagnoses including urinary incontinence, chronic pelvic pain, constipation and pelvic organ prolapse. The goal of physical therapy is to regain control of the pelvic floor by engaging and strengthening the surrounding muscles.
In a 10 year follow-up survey of women who received pelvic PT and continued home exercise program found that 92% had mild to no current symptoms and 85% reported that their symptoms had greatly resolved. Pelvic Physical Therapy may be the treatment you need in order to address the cause of your pelvic pain.
Hartmann, D. & Sarton, J. (2014). Chronic Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology (28) , 977-990.