Pelvic pain is a kind of pain that stems from problems associated with pelvic floor muscles, bones, joints, and reproductive organs. You can also get pelvic pain due to issues related to the urinary tract and digestive tract. Although, both males and females experience pelvic floor pain, it is slightly more common among women.
According to a report, about 15% of women of childbearing age in the United States reported having pelvic pain that lasted at least 6-months.
The same report says that “Worldwide, the rates of chronic pelvic pain for women of childbearing age range from 14% to 32%.”
If you are experiencing severe pain in your pelvic area, it could be because of gynecologic disease, so you must consult a reliable healthcare professional who can address your problem. You can either see an experienced gynecologist or a well-trained physical therapist if your pain is preventing you from performing the daily activities with comfort.
According to Rebound Rehabilitation, “A trained physical therapist can help you find relief from a variety of ailments related to pelvic conditions. He or she will likely assist you with several forms of exercise and massage to reduce pain, lessen symptoms, and potentially heal your problem.”
Those who experience pain below their bellybutton for more than three months are suffering from chronic pelvic pain. It can stem from various reasons, so you should seek the treatment accordingly.
Here are the most common causes of pelvic pain.
Appendicitis is a problem associated with the appendix, a thin tube attached to the large intestine. It’s an inflammation of appendix characterized by symptoms like sharp pain and swelling.
People with this condition experience severe pain in the center of their abdomen, and within a short time, it radiates to the place where the appendix lies, which is the lower right-hand side.
The pain that stems from appendicitis worsens due to walking and coughing. Apart from that, if you carry out any physical activity that puts pressure on appendix will aggravate the pelvic pain.
Appendicitis is a problem that needs quick medical attention, so if you are having abdominal pain that’s getting worse gradually, then you need to consult a doctor without wasting any time.
Mild to severe abdominal pain is quite common among women during their periods. It occurs due to the contraction of the uterus while shedding the lining (off the uterine wall) that it prepares every month for pregnancy.
The thick lining that the uterus grows for pregnancy is called the endometrium.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Common among sexually active females, the pelvic inflammatory disease is nothing but a bacterial infection that affects a woman’s pelvic organs such as the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
Women with this problem experience pain and discomfort in their pelvic area. They also struggle with painful sex and bleeding at an inappropriate time or between the periods. Some women with pelvic inflammatory disease complain of having heavy periods and bleeding after sex.
They also struggle with pain during urination and experience abnormal vaginal discharge. Apart from that, some women also get symptoms like fever, vomiting, and nausea.
Endometriosis is a long-term condition that mostly affects women above 30 and below 50. Women with this problem experience the growth of tissue in their ovaries and fallopian tubes. It is similar to the endometrium.
The most common signs and symptoms of this problem include painful sex, severe period pain, and pain during urination only at the time of periods.
Some women with this condition also experience symptoms like diarrhea and constipation. Apart from that, a lot of women get heavy periods, and some of them also experience difficulty in conceiving a child.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a term that describes a wide range of disorders linked to pelvic floor muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Women with this problem have difficulty enjoying sex because it leads to pain and discomfort.
They also experience symptoms like incontinence and inadequate emptying.
Pelvic pain can also occur due to the formation of a fluid-filled sac called ovarian cyst in one of the ovaries. Sometimes ovarian cysts will disappear without any treatment within a couple of months, but that doesn’t happen always.
They are of two type: functional ovarian cysts ( that are associated with the menstrual cycle and cause no harm) and pathological ovarian cysts, that occur due to abnormal cell growth. Only cancerous cysts are dangerous.
You will not experience the symptoms of ovarian cyst until it splits. However, if it ruptures, you may experience mild to severe pain in your pelvic area.
Apart from that, you can also get pain in your pelvic area due to peritonitis, constipation, ovarian cancer, and a urinary tract infection.
Treatment For Pelvic Pain
Seek Treatment From a Gynaecologist
Your gynecologist will suggest pelvic exam, lab tests, ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI, etc., to identify the root cause of your problem. For example, ultrasound helps in detecting cysts in pelvic organs such as ovaries and fallopian tubes. Similarly, X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) help in discovering abnormal growth in the pelvic area, so it’s essential to perform these tests.
Your gynecologist may also perform a laparoscopy to detect the underlying cause of your pain.
Once your gynecologist arrives at a diagnosis, they will then start the treatment process to address the root cause of your problem. They may use pain relievers, antibiotics, antidepressants, and hormone treatments to cure your problem.
However, if medicines alone can’t treat your problem, then your gynecologist may suggest surgical treatments such as laparoscopic surgery or hysterectomy. They will include the surgical procedure in your treatment plan based on the actual cause of your pain.
The treatment that your gynecologist will provide will relieve your pain quite fast, but if you want a drug-free treatment, physical therapy is the best option.
Here is why you should consult a physical therapist for pelvic pain.
The reason you should see a physical therapist over a doctor is that they try to address the root cause of your problem naturally. Your therapist will use pelvic physical therapy , which is a non-invasive treatment that helps in strengthening your pelvic organs such as uterus, bladder, vagina, and rectum, etc.
Pelvic rehabilitation is highly beneficial for improving muscle, ligament, and tendon health in the pelvic area. If your pelvic muscles become weak or tight, you will end-up experience a variety of pelvic conditions. However, if you consult a physical therapist, they will address your problem quickly.
Based on the root cause of your problem, your therapist will use the most effective physical therapy technique to address it. They use myofascial exercises, postural exercises, and relaxation techniques to relieve pelvic pain.
So, whether you are experiencing pain in your pelvic area due to constipation, postpartum conditions, endometriosis or urinary frequency, you must consult a physical therapist immediately.