Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain can have many different names – vaginismus, vulvodynia, penile pain, vestibulodynia, dyspareunia, and many others.  Pelvic pain usually is linked with sexual activities, but is not limited to them.  It can be complicated to treat because many times patients do not seek a solution for this issue for many years.

There are lots of terrible advice around pelvic pain when it happens during intimacy – drink a glass of wine, just use more lubrication, take meds. Sometimes doctors recommend dilators and send patients on their way.  There is a LOT more than stretching those muscles to overcome pelvic pain. There are a lot of muscles in the pelvic floor and your therapist should guide you to find the ones that need the most attention. There are also contributing factors outside of your pelvic floor that need to be addressed.

Chronic pelvic pain can be very blurry and confusing for patients.  Just know that you are not alone and there is help. Pelvic floor physical therapy should 100% be a part of your care plan.

Pain can also be attached to when having a bowel movement or urinating.  Please see the bowel and bladder section here.

Other Orthopedic Pain

Many times, patients can suffer from unresolved, chronic low back or hip pain.  They have tried regular physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, steroid injections and nothing seems to fully heal the problem. If this is you and you have been trying for years to get a handle on your pain, you should try looking into pelvic floor therapy!

The muscles of the low back, the hips, and abdominals are neighbors to the pelvic floor. These muscles don’t function independently of each other because your muscular and skeletal system is one big interconnected highway. Sometimes releasing or strengthening those pelvic floor muscles can be the missing puzzle piece!

Tailbone pain or coccydynia : This is a fairly common symptoms in pregnancy and especially postpartum.  The tailbone needs to be able to flex and extend with whole body movement and with functions like having a bowel movement.  When a mother is giving birth, you can imagine the tailbone needs to get out of the way to let baby out of the vaginal canal! Guess what muscles connect to the coccyx? Yes, pelvic floor muscles connect there! If those muscles are not flexible, the tailbone will not be able to functionally move either.