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urinary chronic pelvic pain
Impact of Resilience on Chronic Pelvic Pain | Image Courtesy of Anthony Tran via Unsplash

A recent pilot study looked at how resilience affects patients with urinary chronic pelvic pain (UCPP) conditions and chronic overlapping pain conditions (COPCs). Resilience can be defined as the “capacity to adapt successfully to disturbances that threaten a patient's viability, function or development.” (Southwick et al., 2014) Resilience is now an important aspect in the treatment of pain, as it can increase psychosocial well‐being and the quality of life in patients living with chronic pain. (Casale et al., 2019)

Resilience levels and urinary chronic pelvic pain conditions

Previous studies have measured resilience levels in other chronic pain conditions. This was the first study to look at this relationship with UCPP. In this study the participants were placed in two groups, pelvic pain only and widespread pain (WP). All the participants rated their pain as well as answered several questionnaires which included the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), 17 Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS ‐21) 18 and 14 item‐Resilience scale (RS‐14). 

Catastrophizing and Resilience

High levels of catastrophizing were found in both groups of patients (UCPP and WP), but those with widespread pain, and particularly females, demonstrated significantly higher levels of catastrophizing than patients with pelvic pain only. Consistent with other research they found  poor resilience in patients living alone and not engaged in work activity.  This observation demonstrates that emotional and social relationships improve resilience and well‐being. 

Further research needs to be done to determine if  catastrophizing is due to higher levels of pain and number of COPCs or vice‐versa. Other studies have observed that changes in catastrophizing are associated with improvement in pain intensity, depression levels, pain‐related anxiety and physical and psychosocial disabilities. (Giannantoni et al., 2021)  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has demonstrated improvement in patient disability, pain and catastrophizing (Tripp et al., 2011) This supports the need for urinary chronic pelvic pain patients to participate in a multimodal treatment style to address all domains of pain. 

At Femina Physical Therapy, we believe in an interdisciplinary approach to treating chronic pain. In most locations we offer physical therapy, massage therapy, somatic stress therapy and resilience building

Use this link if you are ready to make an appointment with one of our trained physical therapists.


Casale R, Sarzi‐Puttini P, Botto R, et al. Fibromyalgia and the concept of resilience. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2019;37:S115‐S113.

Giannantoni, Antonella, et al. “Resilience in the Face of Pelvic Pain: A Pilot Study in Males and Females Affected by Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 25 Mar. 2021, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/nau.24659.

Southwick SM, Bonanno GA, Masten AS, Panter‐Brick C, Yehuda R. Resilience definitions, theory, and challenges: interdisciplinary perspectives. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2014; 5(1):25338.

Tripp DA, Curtis Nickel J, Katz L. A feasibility trial of a cognitive‐behavioural symptom management program for chronic pelvic pain for men with refractory chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Can Urol Assoc J. 2011; 5: 328‐ 332.

What Our Patients Have to Say


Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

Read more: Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

Read more: Testimonial by T.H.

Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

Testimonial by Jackie W.

I was in multiple car accidents a decade ago, and I have been to many physical therapists through the years without success. They found the root of my lower back pain problems and after nearly a decade of barely being able to walk I finally can again without pain. They are also the best pelvic floor pts and the only ones who found the connection between my pelvic floor and lower back problems. If you need help with physical pain, they are your answer.

-- Jackie W., 1/19/17 via Yelp!

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