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PELVIC PAIN

PELVIC PAIN

Pelvic pain can be a complex condition. As women, most of us feel pain at some time or another in our pelvic region, such as with our monthly menstrual cycle.

Some women experience pelvic pain at other times, and this is when it becomes a little more complicated. Pelvic pain is a hidden problem and often women suffer for many years both physically and emotionally before finding help.

Chronic pelvic pain can originate from a variety of sources in the pelvis; you may have been diagnosed with vaginismus, vulvodynia, endometriosis, pudendal neuralgia, painful bladder syndrome or coccydynia. You may have never spoken to a doctor and have no diagnosis.

Typically in women with chronic pelvic pain, pelvic floor muscles are found to be tight or in spasm - much like a muscle in your neck can spasm or tighten up after a long day in work in front of the computer. This tension within your pelvic floor muscles can cause pain.

If you have difficulty relaxing your pelvic floor muscles, sex can be painful. Sometimes these muscles spasm involuntarily in anticipation of pain or penetration.  Tense, tight or overactive muscles can lead to ongoing pelvic, vulval, coccyx and bladder pain.

Common symptoms

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    Painful sex either on penetration or during

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    Pain inserting a tampon

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    Pain having a smear test

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    Involuntary pelvic floor muscle spasm

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    Pain with sitting & tight clothing

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    Pain on emptying your bladder

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    Pain with a full bladder

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    Difficulty and pain having a bowel movement

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    General chronic pelvic pain

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    Tail bone (coccyx) pain

Feeling tired, depressed, hopeless or anxious with your pelvic pain

Possible causes of pelvic & sexual pain

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    Tense, tight pelvic floor muscles

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    Over training of core / abdominal muscles

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    Irritation, injury or compression of a nerve

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    Inflammatory conditions of the skin and vulva

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    A musculoskeletal cause such as sacroiliac joint dysfunction affecting the pelvic floor muscles

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    Hormonal changes associated with menopause affecting the tissue

Psychological factors such as mood, relationship issues or past abuse

How can we help?

We will assess for structural and alignment changes to the spinal and pelvic joints, pelvic floor weakness or spasm and vaginal structure.

The protective guarding response that can occur in women with chronic pelvic pain needs to be unlearned, so that the body begins to remember that inserting something into the vagina does not need to be painful. This can be achieved through physiotherapy to desensitise the area and gently stretch any contracted vaginal tissues.

What to expect

After an internal vaginal examination (with your consent), physiotherapy treatment may involve

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    Massage and soft tissue release of your

    pelvic floor muscles

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    Massage and soft tissue release of your

    pelvic floor muscles

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    Management strategies to reduce muscle tension, encourage relaxation and reduce any factors exacerbating the problem

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    Breathing techniques

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    Education and instruction on how to use vaginal dilators to help to stretch and release your pelvic floor muscles at home

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    Re-alignment techniques and exercises to correct poor pelvic and spinal postures that contribute to your pelvic pain

4a Westgate, Cowbridge, CF71 7AR

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info@salveophysiotherapy.co.uk | 07526 269480 | 01656 651545

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