Pelvic Pain Syndromes
Pelvic pain may be acute (lasting less than three months in duration), recurrent (pain coming and going over a period of time) or chronic (lasting longer than three months in duration). Both men and women can experience all types of pelvic pain. At ITR Physical Therapy the majority of our patient population deals with some form of chronic pelvic pain and with our holistic philosophy receives much needed relief. Pelvic pain can range from pain, pressure or discomfort in the groin, lower abdomen, sacrum, coccyx (tailbone), vagina, testicles, or rectal regions that can spread to the thighs, lower back or buttocks. People with pelvic pain should be evaluated by a medical physician to rule out any possible contributing pathology. Chronic pelvic pain can be a combination of issues or disease process that can include not only musculoskeletal sources, but also gynecological, urologic, gastrointestinal or neurological in nature.
When a person has pain in and/ or around their pelvis they tend to unconsciously muscle guard and tighten their pelvic floor muscles, often with their pelvic floor muscles literally getting stuck in a position of tension (called hypertonic pelvic floor muscles or pelvic floor dysfunction). This can be the sole source or a contributing factor to a person’s pelvic pain and should be evaluated and treated by a pelvic floor physical therapist. AT ITR Physical Therapy, each patient will receive a detailed evaluation and assessment of their entire body with an emphasis on the pelvis and surrounding areas. Posture, joint alignment, muscle and fascial tightness/restrictions and muscle imbalance will all be assessed.
Your physical therapist will determine if there are musculoskeletal factors affecting pain such as muscular or fascial restrictions, spasms or trigger points, muscle imbalance or alignment issues as well as possible connective tissue restrictions in the tissues surrounding the viscera (organs). Each patient will receive the manual therapy needed to realign joints, improve muscle function and coordination as well as release fascial restrictions that could be affecting pain. When appropriate, patients will receive education on body mechanics and healthy posture, dietary management, individualized stretches, strengthening and stabilization exercises. A tailored home program will be designed for each patient. It is critical that patient and physical therapist work together as partners through this healing process. The more time and effort a patient puts in to their own healing and home program, the better s/he will feel. For those living with chronic pelvic pain, it is absolutely essential to find time every single day to help calm down their upregulated Autonomic Nervous System. Your ITR Physical Therapist will assist patients in determining the best methods to help in this critical process.