Pelvic pain affects the lower abdomen and the pelvis. While pelvic pain is common among women, it can also affect men.
Female pelvic pain can indicate a problem in one of the reproductive organs surrounding the pelvic area, such as the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. On one hand, pelvic pain among men could be a sign of an infection in the internal organs, like colon or gall bladder.
Female pelvic pain
Female pelvic pain is characterized by the sudden or acute pain felt below the belly button. Some cases are considered mild as the pain lasts only for a few months. However, chronic pain could last for more than six months. Whether the pain is acute or severe, it is strongly recommended to seek medical advice to check the underlying cause of the pain. The most common causes are:
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)– frequent urinating that may also trigger a burning sensation
- Constipation – could be brought about by changes made in diet
- Ovarian cyst – a sac filled with fluid that grows in the ovary, and triggers pelvic pain as it bursts or when it becomes twisted
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pelvic abscess – pus collected inside the vagina and womb that requires urgent hospital treatment
- Endometriosis – a condition where tiny pieces of lining in the womb are found on ovaries and often leads to painful menstrual periods.
Prostatitis or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS)
Men with pelvic discomfort are often diagnosed to have prostatitis. It is a condition when the prostate gland becomes swollen. The inflammation of the organ is then directly associated with an infection among patients suffering from prostatitis. However, this diagnosis is easier to rule out after getting a positive culture of prostatic fluids from men suffering from chronic pain syndrome.
Research studies on this condition found that nearly 95% of male patients diagnosed with prostatitis were found to have no infection in their prostate glands. It has led to the discovery that these patients do not have issues with their organs but rather, with the muscles around the pelvis area. These muscles are in a state of severe contraction which is highly caused by stress over the years, resulting to severe spasm that triggers pain in the pelvic floor. Hence, this condition has been renamed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1995 as chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS).
This disorder is considered to be both systemic and a local problem.
A systematic disorder occurs when the pelvic muscles chronically tighten up when it is frequently aroused. The local disorder happens when severe anxiety, worry, and nervousness among certain individuals will lead to a dysfunction of pelvic muscles.
Patients who seek for prostatitis treatment from urologists mainly want to be relieved of the chronic pain syndrome, however, modern medical treatment does not completely understand the nature of the syndrome. The conventional prostatitis treatment method provides most patients with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories because it is mainly focused on the organ’s pathology. The remedies are given to patients only provide short-term relief. Moreover, remedies through certain injections and surgical intervention can only worsen the problem.
Prostatitis symptoms include:
- Frequency and urgency in urination
- Burning pain during urination
- Frequent urination during nighttime
- Perineal pain
- Sitting discomfort
- Genital pain
- Testicle discomfort
- Pain above pubic bone
- Tailbone pain
- Lower back pain
- Groin pain
Psychologist David Wise, Ph.D., together with Dr. Rodney Anderson, M.D., found a new method of treating pelvic pains, called the Wise-Anderson Protocol. It is the leading modern treatment developed for over eight years in the Department of Urology at Stanford University. The main focus of the treatment is to train patients with pelvic pains in the rehabilitation of severely spastic and contracted muscles of the pelvic floor. Moreover, it aims to relax tension in the pelvic muscles as well as arousal of the nervous system which continues to trigger severe pelvic pain.
Wise-Anderson Protocol offers a six-day immersion in a clinic and is dedicated to resolving both systemic and local disorders of the dysfunction of the pelvic floor.
The Wise-Anderson Protocol administered to train patients in a highly-advanced external and internal physical therapy for local treatment and to practice relaxation protocol called, Extended Paradoxical Relaxation, which targets to reduce daily arousal of the nervous system. This treatment is made available all year round.
Six-day Clinic Immersion
In the six-day clinic immersion, medical evaluations for every patient are done by associated physicians of the clinic before the onset of the intensive program. During this time, the severity of conditions of patients is being evaluated to determine an appropriate treatment protocol.
Patients will go through a training of self-treatment using a particular system of physiotherapy which includes Trigger Point Release. It is designed for the dysfunction of pelvic floor and instruction for self-treatment physiotherapy for daily use.
The six-day clinic immersion will also teach patients on how to use Internal Trigger Point Wand, an FDA approved a device that allows patients to effectively and safely loosen their pelvis that has been made available only through professional and competent treatment.
The Wise-Anderson Protocol also provides full training for one year in Extended Paradoxical Relaxation. This kind of prostatitis treatment is vital during clinic immersion as it aims to train patients to use recorded lessons at home. A part of this prostatitis treatment includes learning cognitive strategies that are specific to reduce the effects of frequent catastrophic thinking which often accompanies severe pelvic pain. This is regularly done along with pelvic floor physiotherapy.
The main objective is to equip patients in doing self-administration of physiotherapy as well as behavioral components of the home-based treatment on a daily basis. Patients are given maps of their restricted areas and trigger points.
Training is administered in small groups and treatment consists of 20-30 hours in approximation, done in a six-day period.
Photo by Racchio