Biological, psychological, and social factors all contribute to a person’s pain experience. No two people are the same, so each person experiences CPP differently.
When someone has pain for a long period of time, the brain and spinal cord begin to change. This phenomenon is called central sensitization.
In short, central sensitization lowers the threshold for the person to sense pain in the pelvis. This means that someone can have pain from a stimulus that would not normally be painful.
What can pelvic physical therapy offer to people with chronic pelvic pain?
Pelvic physical therapists are an important part of a multidisciplinary team. They can assist in diagnosis of CPP, and help rule in or rule out musculoskeletal contributors to pain.
A pelvic PT visit could include exercise, hands-on therapy, in-depth conversation about coping skills – and everything in between! Someone with chronic pelvic pain might be squatting a barbell or practicing mindfulness techniques. Each person’s needs are unique, and may change between visits!
How is chronic pelvic pain treated?
Even without finding an exact cause of someone’s pain, we know there are many ways to influence it.
Psychiatric medications like antidepressants can reduce pain as well as be used to address mental health concerns
Specialists in bowel, bladder, and sexual health can help address specific medical contributions to pain.
Massage therapists, fitness professionals, mental health counselors/therapists and others are also important parts of the team! They can help you build coping skills, improve function, and manage pain.