How Does Physical Therapy Help with Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic Pain is often described as a discomfort or painful/abnormal sensation anywhere around the pelvis, including but not limited to the abdomen, pelvis, and perineum. This covers a vast amount of different diagnoses, but there is one thing the majority of them have in common; pelvic health physical therapy can drastically help improve symptoms and quality of life.
Some examples of common sources of pelvic pain that we work with include:
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Gender affirming bottom surgery
- SI joint dysfunction
- Pubic symphysis dysfunction
- Pregnancy/Birth related pelvic pain
- Neural tension/irritation or entrapment
- Pudendal neuralgia
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Coccydynia/tailbone pain
The signs and symptoms typically include:
- Pain in tailbone or pubic symphysis
- Burning sensation in or around vaginal opening
- Sensitivity to tight fitting clothing/certain fabrics
- Pain with sitting or standing for any amount of time
- Pain in pelvis with standing on one leg or walking up/down stairs
- “lightening” feeling in pelvis/vulva/penis
- Inability to maintain urinary or fecal continence
- Pain with intercourse/insertion, either deep within the pelvis or at the insertion
- Painful periods
- Inability to initiate urine flow
- Pain with urination or orgasm
- Low back or hip pain that has not improved with other treatments
- Constipation or the need to strain to have bowel movement
How does pelvic health physical therapy help?
As a pelvic health specialist, I provide an in-depth screen to determine the source or driver of your pain. This often includes a movement screening, soft tissue mobility screening, reflex and sensation testing, strength and mobility testing, and external/internal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles to determine relation to symptoms.
After the assessment, we determine an individualized plan created to meet your personalized goals. This often includes improving the function of the pelvic floor and “deep core”, how to use the involved muscles/structures correctly for your everyday activities, and other tools you can use to manage pain.
Our main goal at Absolute Kinetics Physical Therapy is helping people understand that they are not alone and that there is help. Too often people are prescribed medications or surgeries before trying more conservative approaches, like physical therapy. Want to learn more about how pelvic health physical therapy can help you address your pelvic pain? Take advantage of our free 10 minute consultation to learn how.
Written by Dr. Tyler Kornblum, PT, DPT, ATC