A Different Approach to Pelvic Pain

Los Altos Town Crier
Written by Nancy Dickenson
Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Chronic pelvic pain is not something we like to talk about, yet taboo topics such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction mean that people may suffer in silence for years.

Pelvic pain syndromes can affect anyone. Men, women and even children can be diagnosed with this under-recognized and misunderstood problem.

Among the most common diagnoses associated with pelvic pain are prostatitis, interstitial cystitis, levator syndrome, urethral syndrome, vulvodynia and overactive bladder.

It is often difficult to determine the underlying cause of pelvic pain. A thorough medical examination for gynecological, urological or gastrointestinal origin should be the first step toward diagnosis and treatment. If a medical cause is found, treatment with antibiotics, antidepressants or antiflammatory medication may be warranted. When pelvic pain is not caused by an infection, trapped nerve, autoimmune disorder or degenerative disease, it may be time to explore musculoskeletal involvement.

“A Headache in the Pelvis: A new understanding and treatment for chronic pelvic pain syndromes” (National Center for Pelvic Pain Research, 2008), by Stanford urology professor emeritus Rodney Anderson, M.D., and David Wise, Ph.D., discusses pelvic pain syndromes caused by a chronically contracted pelvis and a treatment modality known as the Stanford Protocol. The Stanford Protocol uses myofascial/trigger point release to relieve this “pelvic charley-horse.”

According to the authors, “Trigger point release is a method of identifying and releasing knots or taut bands in muscles that refer pain either at the site of the trigger point or to a site remote from the actual trigger point. Myofascial release is a name given to stretching the fascia or connective tissue around muscles that over time has tightened up and restricted the muscles that it surrounds.” More…