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what experts want you to know about pelvic pain
How do you know that pelvic pain treatment is finally getting the recognition it deserves? Coverage like this from Vogue is one sure sign. When Anne Lora Scagluisi reached out to me for this article I was of course excited to be able to speak directly to the Vogue readership about how to reverse pelvic pain for not only a better sex life but a better overall sense of well being. That said, here are some excerpts from the article. There will be a link to the full article at the end.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

What Experts Want You to Know About Pelvic Pain

With women’s health concerns often brushed under the carpet by society, there is no better time to get health authorities’ attention and start an honest conversation. A recent survey found that more than four in five women were not listened to by healthcare professionals.

Many women reported that their symptoms were not taken seriously, that they had to persistently advocate for themselves to secure a diagnosis, and if they did secure a diagnosis, there were limited opportunities to discuss or ask questions about treatment options.

According to an article published in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, women with chronic pelvic pain use three times more medication, have four times more surgery and are five times more likely to undergo hysterectomy than women without the condition.

So in short, mainstream medicine not only has trouble diagnosing pelvic pain issues, but when they do reach a diagnosis their blanket approach is often either pills or the knife - or both. At Femina Physical Therapy, we believe there are often better solutions that don’t involve drugs or surgery, with treatments tailored to each individual depending on not only the diganosis but other factors such as diet, lifestyle, history of injuries, and the woman’s particular symptoms:

Symptoms of pelvic pain

Los Angeles-based Dr Heather Jeffcoat, President of the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy and Advisory Board at International Pelvic Pain Society, lists nine symptoms of pelvic pain:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Severe or chronic constipation
  3. Bladder pain (also presents as urinary frequency and formerly known as interstitial cystitis)
  4. Rectal pain
  5. Heavy periods with clots larger than the size of a Singaporean 20 cent piece
  6. Extreme bloating
  7. Missing school or work because of pain
  8. Painful tampon insertion or penetrative intercourse
  9. Painful orgasm

With a myriad of potential causes and symptoms, it’s no wonder that practitioners who are not specifically trained in pelvic health can sometimes dismiss and/or misdiagnose certain symptoms? From the article:

A misdiagnosis often leads to a delay in care. Endometriosis has an average of 11 years from first symptom until formal diagnosis. A lengthy delay like this can lead to long-term changes in the central nervous system—a process known as central sensitisation.

The difference between acute and chronic pain is that when we have a temporary instance of acute pain, our body can disassociate itself from the threat, and therefore our brain does not really have to process much beyond the moment of pain followed by the resolution.

When we have chronic pain however, our body can’t continue to ignore the ongoing threat (e.g. endometriosis or other chronic pelvic pain) and our brains are continually processing this pain input. This phenomenon can turn lingering pain into becoming unbearable which can be exacerbated by such things as riding a bike, wearing tight jeans, etc. Additionally, the pain can spread to a larger area. So the longer the pain goes on, the more important it becomes to discover the underlying causes of the pain and seek proper solutions.

Click here for the full article on what experts want you to know about pelvic pain, or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.

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    • Testimonial by S.H., age 24

      I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be. It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally...

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    • Testimonial by P.M.

      I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of...

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