Chronic pain can often be misconstrued as being fabricated by the patient and may even be dismissed. Many patients are told to just “relax” or drink some wine. These solutions do not begin to cover the larger picture of “why” someone is experiencing this certain pain, nor does it validate their feelings that what they are feeling is real.
Chronic pelvic pain unfortunately tends to receive similar treatment. Chronic pelvic pain is a general term for pain or discomfort lasting several months or longer in the pelvic or abdominal regions. This term is typically used when other diagnoses or infections have been ruled out by a doctor.
Chronic pelvic pain can be the result of a previous injury to the pelvic area, muscular trigger points, nerve entrapment, or stress – to name a few. Chronic pelvic pain can also accompany conditions such as endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, inflammatory conditions of the pelvis, and even during menstruation.
Pelvic pain can manifest itself as pain during or after intercourse, muscle spasms, pain around the vaginal opening or perineum, tailbone pain, as well as many others. Pelvic pain can be associated with abdominal and low back pain, bladder and bowel dysfunctions, as well as post-surgery.
Pelvic or abdominal surgeries can result in scar tissue restrictions, weakening of pelvic floor musculature, or increased muscular tension in the pelvic floor. This can cause lingering pain or even cause accompanying bladder/bowel symptoms to reveal themselves.
Post-childbirth pain can result from episiotomy or tearing, muscular or nerve damage during labor, and other potential complications that result in pelvic floor dysfunction. Many women experience pain or tenderness around the episiotomy scar or c-section scar that can be improved with the help of a pelvic physical therapist.
Your pain is real and valid. The good news is – it can be treated, and your symptoms improved no matter how many months or years you have been experiencing them.