Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a common condition and at Exhale, we see a number of clients to help manage symptoms. Read more to discover what CPP is, the symptoms, the cause of pain and how we can treat it at Exhale.

What is chronic pelvic pain?

Chronic pelvic pain means pain experienced below the belly button and above mid-thigh for a duration greater than 3 months. Chronic pelvic pain is perhaps more common than you think, with the rates of adults suffering similar to those with migraines and asthma.

Below are some symptoms that may indicate that you are suffering from chronic pelvic pain:

  • Pelvic pain greater than 3 months
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Difficulty using tampons
  • Pain that radiates into the groin and thighs
  • Hesitancy and discomfort with urination
  • Back pain.

Often the consequence or even the cause of pelvic pain and the above symptoms can come from the pelvic floor and wall muscles becoming overactive, short and tight – we refer to this as overactive pelvic floor muscles.

Potential causes

There are many causes of chronic pelvic pain and it is important that you have a thorough review if you suffer with pain, as there are different causes that may require different treatments. Causes of pelvic pain can be divided into:

  • Urological or Bladder pain disorders – such as interstitial cystitis
  • Anorectal pain disorders
  • Gynaecological pain disorders – such as Endometriosis
  • Neuropathic (nerve based) pain disorders – such as pudendal neuralgia
  • Sexual dysfunctions – such as Vaginismus.

How we can treat chronic pelvic pain with physiotherapy

Women’s Health Physiotherapy at Exhale is an excellent first step in managing your chronic pelvic pain.  An important part of your treatment is for you to regain control of your pelvic floor muscles so they can get back their full range of motion of contracting and relaxing, and gentle bulge for bowel emptying.

Physiotherapy treatment options for pelvic pain are varied and dependent on your condition, and can involve a combination of:

  • Desensitisation of the nervous system with movement and manual therapy
  • Relaxation and stretching of the pelvic floor muscles
  • Learning to relax the pelvic floor muscles with feedback
  • Dilator therapy
  • Postural adjustments for bowel emptying.

For further questions or if you’d like to explore physiotherapy to assist with the management of your chronic pelvic pain, contact us here.

Ruth x