The role of physiotherapy in chronic pelvic pain

Many people ask me “what on earth has physiotherapy got to do with healing pelvic pain?” because surely you need to see a Gynaecologist or a doctor of some sort. My answer is yes of course, doctors are hugely important with understanding any pelvic symptoms. However we are learning more and more in recent years about how important it is to consider the relevance of the muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves in pelvic pain. If you think about it, it isn’t so unusual to think this way when we are treating lower back pain. So why is it the case with pelvic pain?

As pelvic health specialist physiotherapists, Charlotte and I have often see and treat women and men with pain in the pelvic region. We always have to start with a full and thorough history… the body’s story as it were. We acknowledge any clear medical diagnoses such as endometriosis or interstitial cystitis, or prostatitis and then investigate other sources of pain generation. We believe another key component to improved pain management is understanding potential pain maintaining factors. For example things such as how you naturally sit or move that may predispose you to certain painful muscle dysfunctions. Treating both elements can help break the cycles of pain that occur in a longstanding condition. Sometimes maintaining issues can be more complex, but with time we can often review the progress and identify patterns.

We aren’t saying it is an easy and quick fix, but certainly our clinical experience shows us patients do really well when they get expert professional help to tie the pieces of the puzzle together.

If you are struggling to make sense of why your pelvic region hurts when you move, sit, stand, have sex, go to the toilet, we may be able to help you.