Last Thursday, Best of Health featured Mags Matthews, PT, speaking on pelvic health, physical therapy treatment and Mayan Abdominal Massage. Unfortunately if you missed the show, there are no podcasts or rebroadcasts scheduled. However we will highlight some of the discussion in this blogpost!
Host Arly Helm, MS, IBCLC (Certified Lactation Consultant) and Mags discussed the many ailments that women or men may suffer from while not knowing that conservative treatments may offer hope and relief. Mags specializes in pelvic physical therapy, treating diagnoses diverse as prenatal and post-partum discomfort, prostatitis, incontinence, constipation, urgency/frequency, prolapse, and pelvic pain. She also treats the wellness end of health for injury prevention, fertility support, and fitness.
Pelvic pain drives many physicians to believe that pelvic organs are the source of pain with fibroids, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder lining) or prostatitis. Sometimes the pain goes away, and sometimes it comes back, or there is no relief at all. When pain persists every after removal of pelvic organs, we know that the organs were not the culprit. (1)
Myofascial pain, or dysfunction in the muscles and connective tissue, may cause pain in genitals, abdomen, back, buttocks, and upper thighs. Conversely, when you experience pain in any part of your body, the muscles tend to tighten up. Just like you can get “knots” in your neck, the muscles of your pelvis may develop painful “knots” of trigger points that often refer pain to other areas. When trigger points persist for months or years, and after sometime, the tissue actually changes. Trigger points may be so tight that the muscle tissue are unable get proper nutrition, or remove waste. The body tries to “scar over” the painful area, much like a sore blister develops a callous. This hardened area may develop adhesions that stick to other tissues and organs, and create more pain. Adhesions and trigger points may cause tension on nerves going to the pelvis, and trigger points within muscles of the pelvic floor, hips, abdomen, and back. can also refer pain to other areas of the pelvis. It can become a vicious cycle of pain, making patients unable to sit, stand, have intercourse with their spouses, work, or take care of themselves and their families.
Physical therapy disrupts the pain cycle to restore your body to an energetic work, family, and sex life. We works first on the trigger points, mobilizing tight areas, and stabilizing over-loose areas. Then we retrain the pelvic and deep core muscles to do the job they are intended to do- to relax and contract at the right times, during the right activities. We work with patients to identify what environmental or behavioral activities contribute to pain, like a bad chair, always holding a baby on one side or straining to have a bowel movement. If pain worsens when you are stressed, then stress management is imperative to staying out of pain. And every time your body is out of pain, the tissues are allowed to heal. Once pain levels are consistently low or gone, we can manage from a wellness and prevention model to get you back to the activities you love to do.
If you have pelvic pain with movement, intercourse, toileting, or certain postures you may have myofascial pelvic pain. Often pain diagnosis of the organs (Irritable Bowel, Interstitial Cyctitis, and endometriosis) have a myofascial pain component. Contact your physician or physical therapist to determine if Pelvic Physical Therapy can help you. Pelvic rehabilitation is certainly worth a try before you try surgeries or become dependent on pain medication.
Have questions? Call 530-362-8181 or email mags@alivePT.com to set up a FREE 15 minute phone consultation. We will bring you beyond rehab into a life lived more fully
(1) Baskin LS, Tanagho EA. Pelvic pain without pelvic organs. J Urol. 1992 Mar; 147(3)683-6 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1285730