Pain in the pelvic floor area or pelvis can affect men and women, young or old. It is distressing, debilitating and very often not well understood. The pain can affect the whole lifestyle – our intimate and family relationships, bladder and bowel function, ability to have or enjoy sex, working life, ability to exercise or be physically active, choice of clothing and underwear, even just to sit can be a trial.
Painful Conditions Treated by Physiotherapy
There many conditions where physiotherapy is a recommended part of successful treatment, including:
- nerve entrapment
- pelvic joint problems
- scar tissue
- lichen sclerosis or lichen planus
- pain with sexual arousal, penetration or orgasm
- erectile pain
- coccydynia (tailbone pain)
- menstrual cycle pain
- pain after surgery or procedures
How Does Physiotherapy Help?
Treatment may involve a combination of relaxation, manual therapy and release techniques, biofeedback, use of dilators, desensitisation, a home programme as well as addressing other factors such as bladder and bowel health, prolapse issues, skin care and diet, pelvic floor muscles- usually involving downtraining, posture, general exercise and lifestyle activities.
Chronic pain – persisting pain of 3 months or more, after healing of the original injury has occurred – is often the result of changes in the nervous system and brain. Ordinary touch or movements that are not actually causing any damage, are felt as painful and there is fear of causing further damage. There can be unusual sensations, sweating of the skin or even change in colour of the skin. Pain management programmes are very particular in this case – desensitising and retraining the nervous system – and can restore normal life.