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What is myofascial pelvic pain (and can physical therapy help)?

Myofascial Pelvic Pain
3 minutes, 35 seconds

Myofascial pelvic pain syndrome (MPPS) is a chronic condition that involves recurring pain in the pelvic region including the pelvic muscles and connective tissue. The type of pain felt by someone with this condition can vary, with some experiencing sharp pain and others experiencing dull, throbbing pain. One study showed that gynecological tests for MPPS are not frequently carried out, and that women who have MPPS often visit several health care professionals before receiving a diagnosis. The rate of chronic pelvic pain is estimated to be anywhere from 14% to 32% for women across the world.

If you’ve been experiencing myofascial pelvic pain, keep reading to learn more about the condition and how physical therapy may be able to help you manage your chronic pain.

What are the symptoms of myofascial pelvic pain syndrome?

It’s important to know that the symptoms of myofascial pelvic pain syndrome vary from person to person. The symptoms for one person may not mirror the symptoms of another. This means that the list provided below is not the complete list of symptoms, nor does a person need to experience all of these symptoms to be diagnosed with MPPS.

  • Constant pain — One symptom of MPPS is pain that does not ebb and flow, but rather pain that remains constant. The pain a person may experience with this condition may be felt continuously and without break.
  • Intermittent pain — Another potential symptom of this condition is intermittent pain. Instead of continuous pain, a person may experience pain that comes and goes.
  • Aching pain — Some people with myofascial pelvic pain syndrome experience heavy, aching pains that throb and pulsate throughout their pelvis.
  • Sharp pain — Other people with this condition may experience sharp, stabbing pains in their pelvis instead of throbbing and aching pains.
  • Piercing pain in certain regions — Many people with myofascial pelvic pain report experiencing sharp pains in the rectum and their clitoris.

What are some of the triggers of MPPS that may exacerbate symptoms?

  • Exercising for a prolonged period of time — One of the triggers of this condition that may make symptoms worse is exercising for an extended amount of time. For instance, taking a long walk might make a person’s symptoms flare up.
  • Sitting for a prolonged period of time — Another potential trigger is sitting for a prolonged period of time, like when going to the bathroom or sitting at a desk for too long.
  • Going through a menstrual cycle — Those who experience menstrual cycles may notice that their symptoms get worse while they’re on their period.
  • Having bowel movements — Another trigger that some individuals report is having bowel movements. Using the restroom may make symptoms flare up for some people.
  • Having intercourse — Intercourse is another potential trigger for some, causing the painful symptoms of MPPS to appear.

What are the potential causes of myofascial pelvic pain?

  • Repetitive motions.
  • Poor posture.
  • Trauma to the pelvis from sexual assault.
  • Birthing a child.
  • Past injury to the pelvis.

How can myofascial pelvic pain be treated?

  • Physical therapy.
  • Pain-relieving medication.
  • Trigger point injections.

Why should you choose physical therapy to treat myofascial pelvic pain?

  • It’s a noninvasive treatment option — Physical therapy is the preferred treatment method for most people because not only is it effective at helping people manage their pain, but it also is one of the least invasive treatment options. 
  • You’ll receive myofascial release therapy — Myofascial pelvic pain can often be targeted through certain trigger points in the body, which is what myofascial release therapy aims to address. This is a type of treatment method that can be performed by a physical therapist to relieve some of the pain and pressure from a trigger area. It’s effective not just for MPPS, but for other conditions too, like sciatica.
  • You’ll receive pelvic floor therapy — Another method for addressing myofascial pelvic pain during physical therapy is by performing pelvic floor exercises. These exercises are intended to benefit anyone with areas of weakness in the pelvic floor and support pelvic health while decreasing pain and other bothersome symptoms.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for your myofascial pelvic pain

Are you looking for treatment for myofascial pelvic pain syndrome? At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address your myofascial pelvic pain. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


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