Physical Therapy for Pelvic Pain

Physical Therapy for Pelvic Pain

The pelvic region is located between the abdomen and thighs. If you experience pain between your belly button and above your legs, then it is pelvic pain. There are several causes of pelvic pain. Though the pain can be cured by following some medications, physical therapy or pelvic floor therapy is considered to be improving the stability of pelvic muscles.

Pelvic pain in women is the main indication of a problem with any of their reproductive organs such as the uterus, ovaries, cervix, or vagina.

Causes of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is more common in women but some men also experience it. Following are the most common reasons for pelvic pain.

       Pregnancy and childbirth affect pelvic muscles

       Abdominal or pelvic surgery that leads to scar tissues

       Pelvic joint problems from causes aside from pregnancy and childbirth

       Changes within the muscles that control the bowel and bladder

       Pressure on the nerves in the pelvis

       Muscle weakness in the muscles of the pelvic floor, trunk, or pelvis

       The condition called prolapse is a shift in the position of the pelvic organs

Symptoms of Pelvic Pain

The common symptoms of pelvic pain may include any of the following and it differs in each individual.

       Pain during bowel movements



       Pain in the pubic bone

       Heaviness feeling in the pelvic region

       Pain in the hip area

       Urinary incontinence

       Difficulty performing daily activities

       Pelvic joints pain

How the Causes of Pelvic Pain are Diagnosed

To find out the cause of your pelvic pain, your therapist may perform a physical exam. He will also ask about your past medical problems, family history, symptoms, and the accurate place where the pain exists. Then your doctor may suggest the following tests and exams.

       Pelvic Examination

       Evaluation of muscles while sitting, standing, walking

       Reflex testing

       Sensation Testing

       Pelvic girdle screening

How Physical Therapy Helps?

Pelvic floor therapy or rehabilitation is done by a specifically trained pelvic floor physical therapist who helps with pelvic floor dysfunction and other functional impairments.

1) Manual Therapy

Hands-on massage will be carried out to relax, and strengthen the weakened muscles. In women, pelvic floor tension occurs after pregnancy and childbirth. Manual therapy helps to ease muscle tension and reduces pain after regular treatment. It also helps to increase the mobility of joints and nerves, improves contraction and relaxation of muscles, and promotes coordination in the muscles.

2) Strengthening Exercises

Your therapist may teach you some exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles that are weakened and affected by the above causes. You may experience pain while performing these exercises but your therapist may assist you in developing strategies to manage the pain These exercises help in retraining the muscles so that they can work together normally.

3) Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation(TENS)

TENS is an electrical stimulation technique that directly addresses the pain associated with pelvic muscles. An electric current sent through the electrodes that are placed in the areas of pain stimulates the release of endorphin which is the natural pain killer of the human body.

4) Biofeedback Therapy

This is a painless therapy that helps to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles to improve bowel or bladder function and reduces pelvic pain. A computer monitor and special sensors are used in this therapy. Muscle activity is displayed on the monitor and the information is used to gain sensitivity and control over the function of pelvic floor muscles.

Your therapist may suggest you some pelvic floor muscle exercises at home which is an important part of biofeedback therapy. This therapy provides you with the knowledge to start using the correct muscles and stop using the incorrect muscles.

5) Dry Needling

This technique is done by a small needle that is used to target a trigger point in the muscle and its connective tissues. It reduces the pain in the hip and the lower back.

Final Thoughts

Pelvic physical therapy sounds unusual and invasive, but it is more effective. Patients see an honest success rate and an improved quality of life after treatment. Patients may also return for periodic therapy for a regular diagnosis and to keep their problems in check.

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