Raising Awareness About Pelvic Pain - Let's Talk About It!

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Blog/Pelvic Pain/Raising Awareness About Pelvic Pain - Let's Talk About It!

Raising Awareness About Pelvic Pain - Let's Talk About It!

      While practicing Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, a common trend I have found is women feel dismissed or silenced about their pelvic pain. Whether that means severe abdominal cramping, pain with urination/bowel movements, pain with intimacy, etc. When the lab results or tests come back negative, medical professionals have been quick to say, “nothing’s wrong”, “everything looks fine”, or “maybe you just need to relax”, OR they try several different medications with minimal success. These are not the answers women deserve. If you feel pain, that is a valid concern that needs to be addressed, regardless of if positive tests are found or not. Women deserve to feel heard and safe in medical care, period.

      Pelvic pain can have a number of different causes such as painful periods, Endometriosis, Interstitial Cystitis, history of abdominal surgery, chronic stress/anxiety, and so on. While the cause is definitely important, the outcome of the associated pain is often the same – resting muscle tension. Our muscles respond to pain stimuli by contracting as a protective mechanism. Over time, this protective mechanism can become your body’s normal resting state. This means the muscles stay contracted or “tight” all the time. This is very common in our abdominals, pelvic floor, upper traps (shoulders), and jaw.
      *Do you feel like you're clenching all the time, are always tight no matter how much you stretch, or can’t get your body to relax?*

      Resting muscle tension can lead to symptoms such as chronic pain/cramping, fatigue, hypersensitivity to touch/pressure, urinary urgency and/or leakage, constipation, and more. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help you decrease your resting muscle tone, while also teaching you how to properly control these muscles so they don’t revert to that overactive state.

      A few examples of treatment include manual therapy, diaphragmatic breathing, stretching, light muscle activation, postural modification, and behavior/lifestyle changes. You do not have to feel alone with your pain, pelvic floor PT can help!

      Have questions about resting muscle tension or anything pelvic floor-related? Email empowerherppt@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!!

Post written by:
Taylor Thompson, PT, DPT
Founder of EmpowerHER Pelvic PT

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