Let’s Talk About Pelvic Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
December 9, 2022
If you have persistent pelvic pain that disrupts your daily activities or impairs your quality of life, reach out for help. Not only do you deserve answers, but you deserve relief!
Join me as we discuss common causes and symptoms of pelvic pain, as well as what to expect from pelvic pain treatment with our men’s health or women’s health physical therapists in Bethesda, MD and McLean, VA.
What Does Pelvic Pain Feel Like?
When we talk about pelvic pain, we’re generally referring to pain in the lower abdominal and/or pelvic area. Pain here often feels achy, sore, or sharp, and it may be associated with a sensation of bloating, pressure, or “heaviness.”
Other common signs and symptoms of pelvic pain include:
- Pain in the genitals
- Pain, spasms, tender points, and stiffness in the lower back, hips, buttocks, tailbone or sacroiliac joint
- Pain during sex or when attempting to insert something into the vagina (e.g., a tampon)
- Decreased activity tolerance (e.g., sitting, standing, walking or even exercising or performing daily chores can become difficult or impossible)
- Problems with bowel and bladder, such as constipation, diarrhea, incontinence, pain while emptying and incomplete emptying
- Stress life situations often exacerbate your pain and symptoms
We also know that people with persistent pelvic pain often experience psychological and emotional symptoms, including depression and anxiety. And who wouldn’t be dealing with some of these if you were living with chronic pelvic pain?!
Causes of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain affects men and women, and it’s not always possible to pinpoint the exact cause. However, we know from research (and from our own clinical practice) that pelvic pain is often caused or worsened by things like:
- Pelvic joint problems (e.g., pubic symphysis dysfunction or coccydynia)
- Problems with the length, strength, tone, motor control, and overall function of muscles in the pelvic floor, core, and legs
- Compression of a nerve or nerves that travel within the pelvic area (e.g., piriformis syndrome)
- A history of trauma, surgery, or infection in or around the pelvis
- Men’s health conditions including prostatitis
- Women’s health conditions including endometriosis or complications related to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum
- Other conditions affecting tissues and organs near the pelvis, including pelvic organ prolapse and hernias
In rare cases, pelvic pain may be caused by something more serious, such as a tumor, an ectopic pregnancy, or a ruptured ovarian cyst. Be sure to seek emergency medical attention if your pelvic pain is sudden or severe, and always work with a well trained pelvic health provider who will know when and whether to refer you to other specialists.
Physical Therapy for Pelvic Pain: How It Helps
At ITR Physical Therapy, we combine best-practice techniques with our unique, holistic approach to help men and women find lasting relief from pelvic pain! Pelvic health PT can help by:
- Restoring normal function and structural alignment of pelvic floor muscles through individualized exercises and stretches
- Alleviating pain and tension via mind-body exercises, guided breathwork, and manual therapy
- Improving pelvic floor motor control via biofeedback techniques and other modalities
- Education on the latest research and pain science
Non-invasive and personalized, pelvic health PT is also safe for people of all backgrounds, including seniors and children!
Are You Tired of Dealing With Pelvic Pain?
If you’re a man or woman looking for a pelvic health physical therapist in McLean, VA or Bethesda, MD, call ITR Physical Therapy now at 301-770-7060 to schedule an appointment. With two convenient locations, a flexible schedule, and an experienced team, we’re confident that we can help you or your loved one feel your best again!