Physical Therapy for Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction in Women
Many women suffer from undiagnosed, chronic pelvic pain. It can be associated with sitting, walking, urination, intercourse and scars from surgery or childbirth. Low back pain and problems with muscles, joints or nerves often accompany pelvic pain. Symptoms can include lower abdominal pain or numbness and pain or tingling in the vaginal area. Over time, the body tries to protect against pain by holding muscles in a tense or rigid position. This unconscious reaction can cause weak and painful muscles, strained joints and compressed nerves, all of which can increase pain.
In many cases, physical therapy can help manage the debilitating effects of pelvic pain. A specially trained physical therapist can work with you to relax tight tissues and strengthen weak muscles. A physical therapist also can design an individual exercise program, help you change poor posture habits and fashion a lifelong fitness program.
Women who have pelvic pain or dysfunction frequently describe:
- A “falling out” feeling.
- Pelvic pain from interstitial cystitis.
- Long-lasting pain after childbirth.
- Pain or burning in the tailbone or vaginal area.
- Constipation or bowel elimination problems and/or difficulty initiating urination.
Treatment May Include
- Stretching techniques and soft tissue work to relax tight tissue.
- Biofeedback training to regain proper use and relaxation of pelvic floor muscles.
- Electrical stimulation to relieve pain and re-educate weakened pelvic floor muscles.
- Special treatments such as heat, cold and ultrasound to relieve pain and promote relaxation.
- A home exercise program to promote normal posture and muscle function.