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  • Writer's pictureNashville PT

Managing Pelvic Pain: How Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Can Provide Relief



(hands in gloves with a pencil pointing at a painful pelvis on skeleton)

Pelvic pain can significantly impact your quality of life, making daily activities challenging and affecting your overall well-being. If you're experiencing pelvic pain, it's important to understand that you're not alone, and there are effective treatment options available to provide relief. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialized approach that targets the underlying causes of pelvic pain and helps manage the symptoms. In this blog post, we will explore how pelvic floor physical therapy can help you find relief from pelvic pain and improve your quality of life.


Understanding Pelvic Pain


Pelvic pain is a complex issue that can affect both women and men, and it's important to understand that it can manifest in different ways for different individuals. You may experience sharp or dull pain, aching sensations, or a feeling of pressure in your pelvic region. It's important to know that pelvic pain is not normal, and it should not be ignored or dismissed.


There are several possible causes of pelvic pain, and it's crucial to work with a healthcare professional to identify the underlying condition. One common cause is pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, which refers to an imbalance or tension in the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles play a vital role in supporting your pelvic organs, maintaining bladder and bowel control, and providing stability to your pelvis. When the pelvic floor muscles are not functioning properly, they can contribute to pelvic pain.


Other potential causes of pelvic pain include endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of it, leading to inflammation and pain. Interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome, can cause pelvic pain along with urinary urgency and frequency. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is another possible cause, which is an infection of the female reproductive organs that can result in pelvic pain, fever, and abnormal vaginal discharge.


Regardless of the specific cause, pelvic pain can significantly impact your life. It can make it challenging to engage in everyday activities, enjoy intimate relationships, and even affect your emotional well-being. It's important to seek help and not suffer in silence.


How Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Can Help


Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in the pelvic area. By addressing the underlying causes of pelvic pain, pelvic floor physical therapy aims to reduce pain, improve muscle function, and restore your quality of life. Here are some ways pelvic floor physical therapy can provide relief:


1. Assessment and Evaluation: A skilled physical therapist will perform a comprehensive assessment to identify the specific factors contributing to your pelvic pain. This may include evaluating muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, and the presence of any trigger points.


2. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training: Pelvic floor physical therapy often involves targeted exercises to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises help improve muscle function, reduce muscle tension, and enhance blood flow to the pelvic region.


3. Manual Therapy Techniques: Your physical therapist may use gentle, hands-on techniques to release tight or overactive muscles and address any restrictions in the pelvic area. These techniques can help reduce pain and improve mobility.


4. Education and Self-Care Strategies: Pelvic floor physical therapy includes education about your condition and practical strategies to manage symptoms. This may involve guidance on posture, breathing techniques, bladder and bowel habits, and relaxation exercises.


5. Collaborative Approach: Your physical therapist will work closely with you, considering your individual needs and goals, to develop a personalized treatment plan. They may collaborate with other healthcare providers, such as gynecologists or urologists, to ensure comprehensive care.


In some cases, lifestyle modifications, such as stress management techniques, dietary changes, and bladder training, may also be helpful in reducing pelvic pain. It's important to remember that each person's experience with pelvic pain is unique, and the treatment approach will be tailored to your specific needs.


If you're struggling with pelvic pain, pelvic floor physical therapy can provide effective relief and help you regain control over your life. Through a combination of targeted exercises, manual therapy techniques, education, and a collaborative approach, pelvic floor physical therapy addresses the underlying causes of pelvic pain. Remember, you don't have to face pelvic pain alone. There is help available, and with the right support and treatment, you can regain control over your pelvic health and live a fulfilling, pain-free life.


Don't hesitate to reach out to our team at Nashville Physical Therapy & Performance to schedule an appointment and start your path to managing pelvic pain and improving your overall well-being. Both Sandy (West Nashville & Franklin) and Sara (East Nashville & South Nashville) treat pelvic floor patients and are accepting new patients.


References


- FitzGerald, M. P., et al. (2012). Update on best practice for physical therapy management of female pelvic floor disorders. Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy, 36(3), 124-144.

- Chiarioni, G., et al. (2017). Biofeedback, pelvic floor re-education, and bladder training for male chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Therapeutic Advances in Urology, 9(6), 157-164.

- Anderson, R. U., et al. (2016). Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and pelvic floor spasm: Can we diagnose and treat? Urology, 87, 9-15.

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