Take control of your Pelvic Pain
Do you see yourself in these situations?
- I have pain around my genitals (vagina, penis, testicles).
- I have pain around my pelvis, tailbone, abdomen, thighs and buttocks
- My pain can be described as burning, aching, stabbing or shooting pain.
- My pain worsens when I exercise, cycle or sit.
- I find using a tampon or getting a pap test very painful.
- I have pain, irritation and burning sensations around my genitals when I wear certain types of clothing.
- I have pain during and after intercourse.
Are you frustrated by:
- Seeing many doctors and specialists?
- Trying different treatments with no results?
- Not understanding what is happening to your body?
Facts about Pelvic Pain
- It can take time to diagnose.
- Affects 10-15% of North American women and men.
- Pelvic Pain that is present for over 6 months will be called Chronic Pelvic Pain.
- Pelvic Pain can start for no reason.
- Pelvic Pain can be triggered by an infection (prostatitis, yeast, urinary tract, sexually transmitted), allergic reaction, trauma or stressful event.
- Pelvic Pain is often present with people who have medical conditions like Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, Irritable bowel syndrome, Endometriosis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Can you get relief from Pelvic Pain and manage your symptoms with the help of a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist?
Yes, you can.
Are you getting confused by all these terms?
Vulvodynia – Pain in the vulva. Often described as a burning, itching pain and mistaken for a yeast infection. All your medical tests will be negative for infections but the burning pain will persist.
Coccydynia – Pain in and around the tailbone. There can also be rectal pain and problems with bowel evacuation.
Dyspaneuria – Painful sexual intercourse.
Provoked vestibulodynia – Most common cause of dyspaneuria. The pain is located at the entrance of your vagina (base of the vaginal opening) and will be produced when there is pressure at this location from a finger, tampon or during penetration with intercourse.
Vaginismus – Uncontrolled spasm of the pelvic floor muscles that prevents any attempts of entry into the vagina. This makes intercourse, insertion of a tampon or a gynaecological exam almost impossible due to the pain.
Chronic Non-bacterial Prostatitis – Symptoms of an inflammation of the prostate gland but the tests are often negative. The pain can cause symptoms of bladder urgency and pain with urination. Men can also experience pain in the testicles, penis and groin area.
Levator ani syndrome – Muscles spasms and tightness in the pelvic floor muscles.
Why am I having pelvic pain?
What do all these conditions have in common?
When you are in pain, your body reacts and tries to protect you. Muscles around the pelvis, lower back, tailbone, upper thighs, hips and buttocks tighten as a protective response to pain. But, this reaction, in itself, can worsen your symptoms.
Other areas, like the pelvic floor (see below), also protects and tenses, causing vaginismus, dyspaneuria and pelvic pain. A tight pelvic floor muscle causes pain, urgency, frequency and loss of bladder/bowel control (a tight muscle is also a weak muscle and cannot work as efficiently to keep us from leaking).
Whatever the initial cause of your pain:
- Infections (urinary, vaginal or prostate infections)
- Trauma (physical and emotional) and stress.
- Irritable bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis or Interstitial Cystitis.
- Difficult birth, episiotomies.
- Scar tissue from past abdominal surgeries.
Your body wants to protect you and it's this protective muscle tension within or around the pelvis that can continue the viscious cycle of pain. In some people, the pain can continue even after the initial cause of pain has been treated.
You may not even be aware that your pelvic floor is under tension. If you are not aware of your pelvic floor, then it is very difficult to know how to relax this muscle. But a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist can help!
Chronic Pelvic Pain
When you have pelvic pain for more than 6 months, your condition is labelled "chronic" meaning that it is persisting longer than we expect. With persisting pelvic pain, changes occur within the brain that affects how your nervous system works.
Nerves transmit "danger" signals from your everywhere in your body to the brain. Your brain takes the information from the nerves and decides if you should feel pain. So pain is, in fact, completely decided by the brain! But when pain persists, the nerves get quite good at sending more danger messages to the brain causing the brain to become very alert to everything happening in your body.
This increased alertness of the brain can cause:
- Pain with light touch - you can't tolerate wearing tight jeans, underwear or use a tampon
- Pain even when you just anticipate intercourse or have a pap exam
- Diffuse pain that is often hard to pinpoint
- Pain that "flares" with very little movement
The good news is that the nervous system and the brain is "plastic" and can unlearn this sensitivity!
You can learn, with the help of a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, how to retrain your brain and nervous system when you have chronic pain.
Change your brain. Change your pain.
It’s time to take control of your pelvic pain.
Our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist can help you find the strategies to help break the cycle of pain.
Benefits of Pelvic Health Physiotherapy:
- Improve your awareness of your pelvic floor muscles to decrease pain and tension. Learn to relax your pelvic floor to break the cycle of pain.
- Regain pain-free, intimate relationship with your partner.
- Decrease stress, anxiety and improve your emotional well-being.
- Improve your bladder and bowel function.
- Give you the confidence that you can manage your symptoms of Endometriosis, Interstitial Cystitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
There is no need to suffer.
Call us at 474-4440 to make an appointment with our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.
For further information, read our article on Chronic Pain