Persistent pelvic pain is known to be continuous pain that can be cyclical or non-cyclical that occurs for at least 6 months. In many suffers underlying issues such as endometriosis can be attributed to this type of pain pattern.
What is endometriosis?
This is known as an inflammatory condition that is known for the presence of endo-like tissues outside of the uterus that commonly affects the ovaries and lining of the pelvis. As a result, pain can be associated with the surrounding compartments that are the bladder and/or bowels, and dyspareunia (pain associated with sexual intercourse). It is suspected this inflammatory state affects the pelvic floor muscles and other muscles inside the pelvis becoming a source of pain or creating referred pain.
The muscle’s length-tension is often comprised, impacting its range of movement. Limited movement may in turn influence the pelvic floor muscle to function properly, leading up to problems with bladder and/or bowel control, or emptying and/or penetrative pain.
Given the nature of this condition it often needs a multidisciplinary approach. That is a gynaecologist, psychologist, dietician, and pelvic physiotherapist. Physiotherapists trained in pelvic health are able to assist those with endometriosis in a number of ways.
This may include assessment of bladder and bowel habits, education of fluid intake, and known irritants. Assessment of the pelvic floor muscles to determine their contribution to symptoms. Treatment options may include stretching of the external muscles, pelvic floor down training, internal soft tissue manipulation, desensitization, relaxed breathing, and mindfulness. Further strategies can be employed to help reduce inflammation such as TENS, pain neuroscience education, and a graded exercise program.
As the month of March continues with endometriosis awareness month, our hope is that the awareness continues to improve and women continue to arm and advocate for themselves in their health journey and recovery.
Get the care you deserve.
If you would like to see one of your pelvic health physiotherapists to assist you with pelvic pain contact us here