Pelvic Pain

  1. What is Tibial Nerve Stimulation?

    Tibial Nerve Stimulation is an effective, less invasive way of stimulating the tibial and sacral nerves to provide relief for pelvic pain and incontinence. Visit our pelvic pain treatment page to learn more about solutions to conditions such as endometriosis, vulvodynia, and UTIs.

    What is the Tibial Nerve?

    The tibial nerve is found in the leg and branches off from the sciatic nerve. The tibial nerve runs from your pelvis all the way down into the ankle, and then branches into sensory nerves in the sole of your foot.

    What is the Function of the Tibial Nerve?

    The Tibial Nerve has both motor and...

    Read more »
  2. What is Sacral Nerve Stimulation?

    Sacral Nerve Stimulation can be a safe and effective way of relieving the pain and discomfort caused by a number of pelvic floor disorders. To learn about the other causes of pelvic pain, click here.

    Where are the Sacral Nerves?

    The sacral plexus is an area located in your pelvis where several spinal nerves come together and then brand out to control most of your lower body. The sacral plexus contains 31 nerves that reach from your lower back to your rectum, bladder, sphincter and pelvic floor muscles.

    The nerves in the sacral plexus split to form sensory and motor nerves that then travel to parts of your pelvis, legs, feet, and genitals. Without these nerves, you would not be able to stand, walk, or control your bladder and bowel movements.

    There are 5 main nerves that emerge from the sacral plexus:...

    Read more »
  3. Pelvic Surgery for Pelvic Pain Relief

    If a combination of Physiotherapy and medication has been unable to relieve your pelvic pain, you may consider undergoing a pelvic surgery. Unfortunately pelvic surgeries, as with any surgery, have varying degrees of success. As a result they are often reserved for adults that suffer from chronic pelvic pain that has been unable to be treated through medication, and are finished having children. This is because it may not be possible to conceive following a pelvic surgery, and the benefits of any pelvic surgery are mostly lost in women following pregnancy and childbirth.

    In this article we look at the types of most common pelvic surgeries, how to prepare for your pelvic surgery, how to improve your recovery, and potential complications. All procedures discussed may differ from the exact procedure you are offered, as your surgeon will design your procedure to specifically suit your needs.

    The purpose of this article is to inform you of your options. You should always...

    Read more »
  4. Muscle Relaxation and Pain Relief

    In this guide we explain how to complete exercises to help with pelvic floor muscle relaxation and pain relief.

    Suffering from chronic pelvic pain can cause your pelvic floor muscles to spasm. The muscles can become tight and uncomfortable and worsen your symptoms. A tight pelvic floor can even become an issue in itself. When the muscles spasm they stop functioning correctly, the symptoms of this can be similar to that of a weak pelvic floor. You may be unable to control your bladder and bowels. If you misunderstand this to be a result of a weak pelvic floor you can cause further pain by attempting traditional Kegel exercises. Therefore it is essential that a correct diagnosis of your pelvic floor condition is obtained before proceeding.

    The following exercises can be supported by a Women's Health Physiotherapist to advise on how to make them most effective for you. They will also ensure you are disciplined and committed to the exercises, as consistency is the...

    Read more »
  5. Medication for Pelvic Pain Relief

    Women who suffer from chronic pelvic pain take 3 times the medication than women who do not suffer. Medication is often central to coping and recovering from pain. The aim being to improve the sufferers quality of life by improving their behaviour and mobility, as well as the pain itself.

    A recent analysis of pelvic pain treatments promoted the use of the following medications to treat chronic pelvic pain. The lowest effective dose of any medication will be provided by your GP, and its prescription will stop if there is no improvement in the condition or another drug with fewer negative side effects is available. This will be accessed regularly with your doctor, to prevent ineffective drug use.

    Always check that each drug you are taking is compatible...

    Read more »
  6. Pelvic Pain Treatment

    Pelvic pain is a complex condition. To successfully treat it you will need a formal diagnosis from a doctor, followed by an interdisciplinary approach to treat the original cause of the pain (if known), alongside the symptoms. Counselling will be offered to ensure you are adequately supported throughout your treatment as the emotional impact of suffering can be more substantial than the pain itself. This holistic approach is essential to resolve the full impact suffering from pelvic pain has had on your life.

    In 61% of pelvic pain cases, the original cause of the pain is never known and impossible to identify. In these situations the treatment plan will include dietary and psychosocial (social, environmental and physcological) treatments which look to resolve the symptoms, before turning to medication. The general principles of treating chronic pelvic pain are often added to if further diagnosis becomes available during the programme of treatment.

    You may be referred...

    Read more »
  7. Symptoms and Types of Pelvic Pain

    Any discomfort felt in the structures related to the pelvis, below the belly button, is considered as pelvic pain. It may be felt in the lower abdomen, perineum, anus, buttocks, or tailbone. In women it can also be felt in the vulva and vagina, and in men it can be felt in the penis and testes.

    Pelvic pain can be categorised into:

    • Acute pelvic pain - A pain that is sudden and unexpected, but there is often an obvious cause such as appendicitis, inflammation or infection.
    • Chronic pelvic pain - A non-malignant pain related to the structures of the pelvis, that is persistent or recurrent over 6 months and is not associated with menstruation, pregnancy or sexual intercourse. Effected muscles, nerves and tissues may continue to send pain signals through the nerves of your spinal cord, to your brain, even after the original cause has been resolved. The pain itself is now the disease.
    • Chronic...
    Read more »
  8. What is a Vulvodynia?

    Vulvodynia is chronic pain felt in the skin at the opening of the vagina, the vulva (including that felt in the labia, urethra and clitoris), that has been present for at least 3 months. There will be no identifiable cause of the pain as vulvodynia is not related to a skin condition or infection. The pain occurs as a result of the nerve endings in the skin becoming over sensitive. The pain is often present even when the area has no pressure on it.

    Vulvodynia is a constellation of several, sometimes overlapping, diseases and processes - always with no identifiable cause. If the pain is only felt when pressure is applied, it is considered as vestibulodynia (previously known as vulva vestibulitis). The pain felt with vestibulodynia is only in a localised area where pressure has been applied; whether it be a touch, or friction when a tampon is inserted or during sex. At other times there is no discomfort.

    Vulvodynia can affect otherwise healthy women of any...

    Read more »
  9. Vaginismus

    Vaginismus is when the muscles of the pelvic floor, around the vagina, involuntarily contract when it is about to be penetrated. This prevents penetrative intercourse, gynaecological examinations, and the insertion of a tampon or menstrual cup. This is an involuntary reaction, often related to a fear of penetration rather than issues with muscle tone.

    Vaginismus can be categorised by when it began to occur:

    • Primary vaginismus is when you have never been able to have penetrative intercourse or, if you have, it has been extremely painful.
    • Secondary vaginismus is when you have previously had comfortable penetrative intercourse, however that is no longer possible.

    Vaginismus is not a common condition, reports suggest it affects only 0.5 - 1% of women globally. As with most intimate conditions, however, it is likely to be under reported as women do not always seek treatment for fear of embarrassment...

    Read more »
  10. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

    A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very common cause of pelvic pain and discomfort. It is caused by bacteria entering the urethra, which can also travel up to reach the bladder and kidneys. This results in a number of symptoms, including; burning or pain when you urinate, you may need to urinate more often, and you may feel generally unwell.

    Types of UTI

    • Cystitis - When only the bladder is infected.
    • Urethritis - When only the urethra is infected.
    • Kidney infection - When one or both kidneys is infected, which can lead to serious kidney damage if left untreated.
    • Lower UTI - When both the bladder and urethra are infected.
    • Upper UTI - When the bladder, urethra and one or both of the kidneys are infected.

    The urinary tract stores urine for long periods of time. When it is healthy it has a tight...

    Read more »
  11. Tight Pelvic Floor Muscles

    Medically reviewed by Amanda Savage, edited 20/07/2023

    Having a strong pelvic floor is essential for the support and functionality of your pelvic organs. However, like any other muscle, the muscles of the pelvic floor can become "tight" if they are overworked. Having tight pelvic floor muscles, or an ‘overactive’ pelvic floor, can be quite painful, and lead to the muscles not working well. As a result you can develop pelvic floor disorders such as an overactive bladder, orgasmic dysfunction, incontinence, prolapse or pain. Learn more about the role of the pelvic floor and why...

    Read more »
  12. Poor Posture

    Poor Posture

    A leading cause of chronic pelvic pain is bad posture, contributing to 85% of chronic pelvic pain cases. The human musculature and skeleton is reliant on each of its components to support and move your body. This means that if you have poor posture, some parts are overworked to compensate for others. This muscular unbalance creates areas of tension, often concentrated in the lower back and pelvic floor. This tension can be quite painful, and this starts a cycle where to reduce the pain you alter the way you stand and sit, creating further tension and pain. In addition, the muscles that are not worked, become weak and less able to support your skeleton and internal organs correctly.

    Your risk of suffering from poor posture and related pelvic pain is higher if you are pregnant, as the change in weight affects your spine and pelvis. If you have an office job, you may slump in your chair, or crane your neck to look at a screen which is too low. If you...

    Read more »