Spoiler alert – Yes, it can! But first…
Pelvic pain is a common but under-acknowledged problem in many girls and women. Any pain or discomfort in the abdomen or pelvic area below the belly button is considered pelvic pain. This type of pain may be sharp and intense, or it may be more dull, and can often persist for a while if it is not addressed. When pelvic pain is associated with menstruation, it is known as dysmenorrhea. When it is associated with painful intercourse, it is known as dyspareunia.
Pelvic pain can have many causes including certain medical conditions, muscular tightness, or problems with the pelvis itself.
Many medical conditions are associated with pelvic pain including:
The pelvic floor muscles, the muscles that sit in the bottom of the pelvis, can also be a source of pelvic pain if they are tight and sore. Pelvic floor muscle tightness can be the result of one of the conditions listed above, leading to more pelvic pain. However, pelvic floor muscle tightness can also be a source of pelvic pain on its own, without the presence of any of the conditions listed above.
Sometimes problems with the bones of the pelvis can cause pelvic pain. For example, separation of the pubic symphysis, or the joint in the front of the pubic bone, can cause pain in the pelvic area. This is common during and after pregnancy. Problems with the coccyx, or tailbone, such as fracture and dislocation, can cause pelvic pain as well.
Your pelvic floor physical therapist can help you figure out what may be causing your pelvic pain, and then work with you to create a plan to lessen your pelvic pain. Your pelvic PT may teach you how to relax the muscles of the pelvic floor if they are tight and painful, and/or use hands-on techniques to improve tightness in the pelvic floor and abdominal areas. You may learn some stretches and other pain management strategies to help improve your pain as well.
If you struggle with pelvic pain we would love to help. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your pelvic PT evaluation so we can start working with you to improve your pain.
For more information about pelvic health and postpartum PT, see our previous blog posts What is Pelvic Health Physical Therapy?, Physical Therapy for Urinary Incontinence, and Postpartum Physical Therapy.
Jess Danahy, PT, DPT