Pain and Sexual Dysfunction
Chronic or persistent pain is defined as “pain in the area below your belly button and between your hips which has lasted for 6 months or longer. It can have many causes, be a symptom of another disease, or a condition within its own right”.
The people who I see presenting with this type of pain are those who have seen many doctors,often not found a “cause”, but are still left with a debilitating pain which can profoundly affect their lives on many levels. It may be that a significant event has triggered the pain such as trauma (physical or psychological), infection (often repeated urinary tract infection), lifestyle such as level of training/sport, work and so on. Physiotherapy techniques use the Biopsychosocial model of management looking at the different influences of the 3 systems, physiological, psychological and social to unravel the symptoms so that we can begin to treat them. This is a multi-dimensional approach to treatment which acknowledges the close relationship between the brain and the pain and the influence this has on symptoms or musculo-skeletal dysfunction. It can be hard to relate to a pain felt in the vagina stopping you from having intercourse to something going on in the brain, but once explained, this type of pain education can provide great relief in itself.
The body’s response to pain can result in shortening of soft tissue to create areas of myofascial tension (commonly called trigger points), which can make the pain worse, both internally within the pelvic floor and externally around the pelvic girdle. Manual physiotherapy techniques may be used to release these areas, lengthen soft tissues, down-train overactive muscles and essentially desensitise areas to inhibit the pain response coming from the brain. The principles of these techniques may be summarised as “Release, re-train, re-educate”…and can be highly successful in helping people with pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction (such as vaginissimus and painful sex).
Take The Next Step
Ready to learn more? To request your consultation, fill out the form on the side of this page or call our practice at 0151 669 1114. Sthetix is based in Liverpool, Merseyside UK and also serves Chester and Ormskirk.