One of the most challenging urological disease conditions for patients and physicians alike is chronic pelvic pain. Chronic pelvic pain includes the syndromes chronic prostatitis and interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. The disease can occur in both men and women, with symptoms that include frequent urination and bladder pressure. Frequency typically involves urinating several times throughout the day and night, and in more severe cases, several times an hour. Pain associated with bladder filling can often be swiftly relieved by voiding the bladder, but in other cases, the pelvic pain will persist.
In women, chronic pelvic pain may be associated with the onset of a menstrual cycle and is commonly found to be associated with other conditions, such as:
- Endometriosis – a disorder in which tissue that normally grows in the uterus instead forms outside the uterus
- Chronic Bladder Infections
- Interstitial Cystisis – a chronic condition causing pain in the bladder and pelvic region of the body
- Pelvic trauma or adhesions from a previous surgery
- Vaginismus – the natural response of the vaginal muscles to squeeze or spasm in anticipation of pain
Many people may suffer with other chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and painful intercourse and pelvic floor spasm – all of which can be traced as a root cause for chronic pelvic pain.
Treatment plans commonly take on a multidisciplinary approach. Pharmacology, behavior and lifestyle modification, and dietary changes are often implemented. Medications used to treat chronic pelvic pain include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, tricyclic antidepressants, and oral contraceptive medication that treats pelvic pain linked to endometriosis or menstrual issues. In more severe cases, sometimes your doctor may recommend exploratory surgery.
If patients exhibit myofascial pain, a disorder in which pressure is put upon sensitive muscles that causes pain in other unrelated parts of the body, or a hypertonic pelvic floor, the tensing of pelvic muscles that cause moderate to severe pain, then physical therapy is very beneficial. For this treatment option, a certified physical therapist utilizes soft tissue mobilization of the pelvic floor muscles to relieve pelvic pain, as well as exercises to improve posture and relaxation techniques.
The team of urologists, urogynecologists, and nurse practitioners at UCA are highly-trained, board-certified experts in their field, and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our practice. If you or a loved one are experiencing chronic pelvic pain, call today to set an appointment with one of our specialists. Through our thorough diagnosis and testing process, our specialists can craft a multidisciplinary treatment plan uniquely crafted for your condition to help you overcome chronic pelvic pain and take back control of your life.