Vulvar Vestibulitis (Vestibulodynia) Symptoms and Treatments
- Written by Heather Jeffcoat, DPT
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Vulvar Vestibulitis/Vestibulodynia is a form of vulvodynia with tenderness specific to the vulvar vestibule. This occurs with pressure to the site causing pain at the vaginal opening with touch or attempted penetration (provoked vestibulodynia) or can also present as constant or frequent pain, irritation, or itching of the vulvar vestibule (unprovoked vestibulodynia). Tissues may also be red or swollen at times.
PHYSICAL THERAPY TREATMENTS FOR PELVIC PAIN SYNDROMES:
Many of the pelvic pain syndromes as described are related to over activity of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles typically have a high resting tone and have difficulty in relaxation. Increased muscle tone can also lead to overall muscular weakness.
Trigger points are commonly found when palpating these muscles. They contribute to the urologic and gynecological pain syndromes listed above, preventing pain free sexual intercourse and other pain free activities of daily living.
Physical therapy treatments play an integral part in restoring optimal muscle function with manual therapy interventions, stretching/strengthening exercises, pain management strategies, patient education, and home program instruction. Biofeedback is often utilized when appropriate to restore the normal functioning of painful muscles.