WHY IS PELVIC HEALTH SO IMPORTANT?
Before my pelvic pain affected my every day life, I just thought my recurrent bladder infections over the years, were just bad luck. I also blamed my body for always failing me and wished for it to be ‘normal’ for once. I had no clue about the connection that all my organs had to muscles, ligaments and other surrounding tissues. Female pelvic health relies on the health of the bladder and bowel function, pelvic floor muscle function, and visceral sensations (the ability to feel pain or sensation in an organ).
Our organs and muscles in our pelvis share nerves with other abdominal organs and surrounding areas, such as the buttocks, hips and thighs. If there is a malfunction of an organ, muscle or tissue, you are more likely to develop chronic pelvic pain. There is limited real estate in the small female pelvis, so this results in multiple disorders for many individuals. For good pelvic health, finding out what your pain generator is (if disease is present) and seeking a certified pelvic floor physiotherapist that can help you relieve pain associated with your pelvic floor and conditions.
WHAT COULD BE CAUSING THE PELVIC PAIN?
Below are some common pain generators. Many of us who live with chronic pelvic pain live with multiple of these conditions:
- Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
- Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome
- Pudendal Neuralgia
- Bowel related issues – IBS, Proctalgia Fugax, Crohn’s etc.
WHY PELVIC PHYSIOTHERAPY CAN HELP YOUR PELVIC HEALTH
Your pelvic floor is an interwoven series of muscle fibres, tissue, and ligaments that are connected to your pelvis and tailbone. It acts as a support system for the organs located in your pelvic area, including your bladder, small intestine, rectum, the uterus and vagina. If one of these organs has an issue, your pelvic floor will either lose strength (Hypotonicity) or tighten up (Hypertonicity) depending on your situation.
A PFT can access you and create a plan to get those muscles to start functioning correctly which can then lead to complete, or even some pain relief. I have a hypertonic pelvic floor since my pelvic floor muscles have been trying to protect my bladder from repeated trauma for a ridiculous amount of years (Chronic UTI’s). I am currently working with my PFTs (Pelvic Floor Therapists) to teach these muscles to relax.
Some proof that it helps:
On a day when I was scheduled for pelvic floor physical therapy, I had a debilitating flare. It was so bad, that I was in tears walking into the PT office. My PFT was able to get my pain down to a more manageable level which proves to me, that my pelvic floor is playing an important role in my flares, not only my bladder.
This is one of the main treatments I’m currently doing for my pelvic pain. My Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist told me it won’t happen overnight but I should be able to get the pain relief I need and learn all the tools I need to manage my pain without having to go twice a week. I’m willing to keep going and trying so I can get my life back! I understand many people are different and what works for one person may not work for another but at the very least, please try it out.
It could help you get your life back.