Stabbing. Shooting. Burning. Throbbing. These are all words by real patients to describe pelvic pain. Whether chronic or acute in nature, pelvic pain can be devastating.
Getting to the root cause of your pelvic pain and seeking treatment is the key to making things right.
Read on to learn about the five most common causes of pelvic pain and how to treat them.
Pelvic Pain Affects Women and Men
Pelvic pain is more common in women than men. 15% of women and 2% of men are affected in the U.S. Pelvic pain can be so severe it interferes with daily living. Work, exercise and sex become impossible.
Pain can be present intermittently or constantly. Different people may experience a throbbing pain, others a sharp, stabbing sensation. It can radiate to the back, buttocks or thighs. Chronic pelvic pain is when the pain lasts for three months or more.
In women, pelvic pain may only be felt in relation to the menstrual cycle or it may be completely unrelated. Often this leads to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
Five Causes of Pelvic Pain in Adults
These five conditions account for most cases of chronic pelvic pain:
4) interstitial cystitis,
5) irritable bowel syndrome.
Some of these conditions only affect women whereas some can cause pain in both men and women. More than one source of pain can be found in the same patient. The doctors at Garden State Medical Center will perform a thorough history and exam to help to diagnose the cause of pelvic pain.
Hormonal therapies can be used when the pain has a component related to the monthly cycle. An approach from several disciplines works best. Medical management of the condition looks at environmental factors, diet, medication, physiotherapy and psychotherapy.
Underlying Causes of Pelvic Pain in Women
The growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus is called endometriosis. It causes intense pelvic pain and painful menstruation. It can also cause painful sexual intercourse and infertility. As many as 10% of reproductive aged women suffer from the condition.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. Chlamydia, gonorrhea or other sexually transmitted diseases can affect the organs. It can cause pain in the pelvic region, fever, discharge with a bad odor , pain and/or bleeding during sex, burning sensations during urination, or out of cycle bleeding.
Scar tissue can form within the abdomen, causing painful adhesions. Often this is due to surgery but can be due to inflammatory bowel disease.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous overgrowths of muscle cells and other tissues that grow within and around the wall of the uterus. Many are painless however not all are. This condition can be associated with heavy and painful menstrual periods, back pain and pain during intercourse.
Other Common Causes of Women’s Pelvic Pain
Interstitial Cystitis or Inflamed Bladder is painful or frequent need to urinate. This can be caused by infection, irritation or sometimes it is idiopathic. Vulvodynia is the sensation of rawness, soreness, fullness or pain in the outer genitalia. It can be caused by infection, irritation or other causes.
Pregnancy and childbirth cause pelvic pain in approximately half of women experiencing pregnancy. Some women will go on to develop chronic pelvic pain after childbirth.
Most Common Cause of Pelvic Pain in Men
Disease and irritation of the prostate gland is the most common cause of pelvic pain in men. Prostatitis can be caused by infection, disease or of indeterminate cause like vulvodynia in women. It can have an effect on urinary urge, incontinence and sexual function.
Prostatitis can lead to pelvic floor disorders. There are two types of disorders. The first type is prolapse, where the bladder, rectum or sex organs droop or fall to a lower position, causing a feeling of pain and pressure.
The other type is pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. The muscle can be overactive, meaning that the muscle contracts, causing pain, trigger points, and tension. A low-tone or underactive pelvic floor muscle causes urinary and fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The lower back and abdomen are unsupported, leading to fatigue and pain.
Pelvic floor disorders are more common in women than men, but the effects in men are just as devastating.
IBS Affects Women and Men
Irritable bowel syndrome affects the large intestine. Sufferers have cramps, pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. Some symptoms can be controlled with diet, lifestyle changes and stress management. Severe symptoms may require medication and counseling.
Illness or injury can trigger IBS, but the pain and symptoms can linger long after the original insult to the bowel is forgotten.
Treating Chronic Pain
Chronic pelvic pain is related to many different structures of the body. While treating the underlying causes of the pain, pain treatment also looks at the supporting and overlapping body systems.
Stress level and psychological support, immunology, musculoskeletal treatments, physical therapy and medication are all part of a successful plan. Much like treatment for Complex Regional Pain, you have several options.
Medications, biofeedback, nerve blocks or spinal stimulation may help you find relief. Other answers such as direct trigger point injections to the pain site, like knee pain treatment are something to discuss with your medical practitioner.
Call Us To Get Started
As the premier pain treatment center in New Jersey, our clinic offers knowledgeable and sympathetic treatments for chronic pelvic pain. We treat patients holistically. We use state of the art diagnostic techniques and listen to our patients.
To discuss your chronic pain and how we can help you defeat it, please contact us at 1-888-376-2661 today.