Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain affects a significant number of women; unfortunately, it also is poorly understood and rarely discussed. Pelvic pain is an “umbrella term” that may include conditions such as:

  • vulvodynia: pain in the vulvar area, which refer to the female external genital organs including the labia, clitoris, and entrance to the vagina; and pain that also may extend to the area between the vagina and anus, thigh orbuttock and is often associated with discomfort in the urethra and rectum
  • vaginismus: vaginal tightness causing pain with penetration and makes intercourse painful, difficult and sometimes impossible
  • vulvar vestibulitis: inflammation,redness and pain at the opening of the vagina
  • pelvic muscle tension syndromes: pain, tightness or spasm in the pelvic muscles
  • coccydnia: pain in the tailbone/coccyx
  • endometriosis: tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, also found elsewhere in the body, mainly in the abdominal cavity, with associated pain, especially during menstruation
  • dysmenorrhea: pain with menstruation
  • dyspareunia: pain with intercourse
  • interstitial cystitis: recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region
  • irritable bowel syndrome: pain associated with IBS

What Causes Pelvic Pain?

A number of body systems may be involved in pelvic pain. These include the reproductive, urinary, gastrointestinal, neurological, psychological, and musculoskeletal systems. Situations that women experience that can facilitate pelvic pain include:

  • Childbirth, vaginal or cesarean section
  • Surgery, abdominal, pelvic, or spinal
  • Trauma, such as a car accident or sexual abuse
  • Injury, like a fall on the sacrum or tailbone
  • Habitual postures, positions, or movements
  • These situations often affect the muscles, connective tissues, organs, nerves, blood supply and joints of the pelvis. Muscles, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissues can get overstretched, partially torn, or cut during trauma, childbirth, injury or surgery. Muscles can become weak or tight, joints may be hypomobile (unable to move as much as it should) or hypermobile (allowing too much motion).

    Habitual postures, positions, or movements can slowly stretch or tighten structures around the pelvis and lead to dysfunction and pain. Organs have particular movements and rhythms and may be scarred down or have too much movement, affecting their function. If the abdominal, low back, pelvic floor, and hip muscles weaken or tighten, the pelvis will respond accordingly and develop all kinds of dysfunction and pain.

    How does Michele work with pelvic pain?

    • Soft tissue mobilization including myofascial release, connective tissue release, trigger point therapy, massage therapy techniques to pelvic floor and other pelvic muscles
    • Vaginal stretching
    • Movement reeducation, reinforming habitual movement patterns
    • Pelvic floor education
    • Organ Massage, visceral manipulation, and Maya Abdominal Therapy
    • Instruction on self-care techniques
    • Relaxation and breathing techniques
    • Vaginal Dilators
    • Biofeedback and electrical stimulation

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