Why Physical Therapy for Pelvic and Sexual Pain?
Physical therapy is a key component for those who have pelvic pain. The pelvic floor muscles and other muscles within the pelvis and abdomen often tighten in reaction to the pain. Over time, tight muscles can become weak and, as a result, not function properly. This cycle can limit walking, sitting, recreation, and normal activities of daily living, including sex.
We evaluate these muscles and develop an individual program that may include external and internal pelvic floor massage, relaxation training, biofeedback, strengthening, bladder retraining, and home exercises. We teach you strategies to manage flare-ups and give you the tools to create a healing environment for your body.
The physical therapy evaluation includes a complete postural assessment, low back screening, and testing of the pelvic floor for strength, coordination, tension, and tenderness in the muscles. We use both biofeedback and palpating (feeling) the muscles of the pelvic floor as part of our evaluation. Based on our findings, we develop a treatment plan to help restore your pelvic floor health. Be assured that our treatment plan always takes your goals into account. The frequency and duration of physical therapy varies per individual and is estimated on completion of the evaluation.
What Role Does a Pain Management Anesthesiologist Play?
A pain management anesthesiologist treats pelvic, bladder, or vulvar pain by attempting to identify specific nerves, organs, or muscles involved in the pain syndrome. Treatment modalities may include medications, anesthetic nerve blocks, trigger point injections, and surgical implantation of electrical stimulation devices and infusion pumps. Some of these procedures are utilized for diagnosis, some for treatment, and some for both. Although pain is, by nature, complex, certain treatments may affect the overall level of pain, making it possible to manage and/or control the pain.
These treatments are offered in the context of a multidisciplinary program, and are individualized after performing a thorough review of the history and a detailed physical examination.