Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) is pain in the pelvis, back, buttocks and/or abdomen that lasts 6 months or longer. It is a complex problem and may have several causes.
Some causes include:
- Urinary tract problems – examples are interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections
- Gastrointestinal problems – such as irritable bowel syndrome or constipation
- Uterine problems – examples are endometriosis, prolapse
- Post-surgical scar pain or abdominal adhesions
- Problems in the muscles and joints of the pelvis that refer pain to the region
- Non-infectious prostatitis leading to muscle spasm in the pelvic floor
- Over time, unmanaged pelvic pain tends to become complicated. Symptoms may start in one place, spread to nearby areas, and eventually become a larger physical, emotional and social issue. A major goal of treatment is to interrupt the pain cycle and to prevent localized pain from progressing to a bigger problem, so you can avoid excessive suffering.
Discuss your problem with your physician. Ask your doctor if physical therapy might be appropriate for you.
Pelvic pain is closely connected to problems in the muscles, joints and nerves. Organs and muscles can communicate a “pain message” via nerves, so that when an organ hurts, it may cause a nearby muscle to go into spasm. Over time, these tense muscles can become primary problems of their own.
Hilary Garrett, MSPT and Diana Spring DPT specialize in the muscle, neurological, and joint problems associated with pelvic pain. They will begin by determining which muscles between your waist and your knees are painful, weak, or in spasm.
Various treatment options may include:
- Education about what is causing your pain and how you can help yourself.
- Myofascial release and massage for overworked muscles.
- Treatment to reduce pain.
- Exercise program specifically designed for your needs.
- Restoration of movements in tight joints.
- Softening of scar tissue.
- Neuromuscular re-education