There is a significant population of women around Australia suffering from debilitating persistent pelvic pain conditions such as vulvodynia, vaginismus and dyspareunia. Pelvic pain is often very difficult and complex to treat in our female population, especially where there is a history of sexual abuse or physiological changes from chronic infections. In some cases of persistent pelvic pain just determining the cause can be challenging or impossible (Newham et al, 1996).
It is known however that in women with pelvic pain, a significant percent of them will have pelvic floor muscle pain and dysfunction (Fitzgerald, 2011). This is where Women’s Health physiotherapy can be of use. Physiotherapy management for these conditions is a speacialised area and requires appropriately trained therapists to perform the modalities. The good news is that something can be done to help these women and conservative management is an appropriate place to start.
Physiotherapy treatment for Pelvic Pain conditions may include;
Internal pelvic floor myofascial release
Trigger point therapy
Relaxation and breathing exercises
Bowel, bladder and sexual education
A multidisciplinary approach to the management of these conditions, have been found to be most beneficial (Peters, 2011). Therefore in conjunction with Physiotherapy; the patient should have access to medical, pharmaceutical and psychosocial assessment, to ensure the best management for the patient. This multidisciplinary approach has been supported by the European Urogynacological Association Guidelines for persistent pelvic pain (EAU, 2012).
Women’s health Physiotherapy is growing in its reputation as an early first line management of persistent pelvic pain. At Nurture Family Allied Health Centre, Physiotherapist Rachael Boniface offers advanced care for persistent pelvic pain. For more information please call 47722555.