Pelvic pain may be elusive for many women despite plenty of scans and tests. In a few cases, the symptoms are linked to a problem, which is generally overlooked. Pelvic pain may be the result of a pelvic floor muscle problem, and it can be treated by a physical therapy called pelvic physical therapy. This therapy may not work for all people, but it can be highly effective for some individuals. The pelvic floor is a bowl-shaped muscle that offers support to your bowel, bladder, uterus, and rectum. Pelvic pain occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become too tight. This results in a medical condition known as myofascial pain or pain due to muscle irritation.
Myofascial pelvic pain goes undetected as it can be identified only by internal examination. Doctors usually focus on organs and not muscles. When the matter involves pelvic pain, doctors ignore the muscles and look for problems with the uterus, bladder, or vulva. This pain affects nearly all women, right from teenagers to women who have children to women who have gone through menopause. Some women develop pelvic pain after menopause mainly because the tissues become sensitive due to hormonal changes and make women feel discomfort. Once doctors diagnose myofascial pelvic pain, pelvic floor therapy must be considered. Medications may reduce pain temporarily, but they do not address an underlying muscle problem.
Pelvic physical floor therapy provides relief
Pelvic physical therapy helps with myofascial pelvic pain and also minimizes symptoms of other medical conditions that are caused due to pelvic floor problems including painful intercourse, sexual dysfunction, and fecal and urinary incontinence. To treat this pain, a trained physical therapist performs internal and external manipulations of pelvic floor muscles using the hands, and these are accessed through the rectum or vagina of a woman. Relaxing shortened and contracted muscles can help alleviate pain in the pelvic floor just like other muscles. A therapist recommends internal vaginal massage and manipulation. This treatment may not be used for women who have had gone through sexual assault or abuse.
Though this therapy is a little unusual and invasive, it’s highly effective. It has an outstanding success rate. This treatment takes about 6-8 hours. It may take longer and at times, several months too to help women with severe symptoms. If you feel hesitant to try internal pelvic physical therapy, you can also try external physical therapy. Pelvic physical therapy isn’t the only treatment as it may be an adjunct therapy too. It may be performed in combination with other kinds of medications or pain treatments including muscle relaxants or Botox injections. However, getting early treatment is highly significant.
Pelvic physical therapist
Pelvic floor therapy is done by physical therapists who have specialized training. The states regulate individual practitioners where they are given licenses. According to APTA or the American Physical Therapy Association, state rules differ. Physical therapists who have undergone a particular kind of training that includes lab training can perform internal pelvic procedures and examinations. It’s a challenging job to find a pelvic physical therapist as they are very few.