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Pelvic pain

  • Pelvic floor muscles are located inside the pelvis between the pubic bone in the front and the tailbone (coccyx) in back. They function as support for the internal organs, help control elimination from the bladder and bowel, and are involved in sexual response.

    The pelvic floor muscles may cause pelvic pain when they are tightened for a long period of time. Spasms can cause a dull, aching pain through the pelvis, buttocks or hips and occasionally down the leg.

    The pain may be a pressure, burning or aching that is localized in the pelvic organs, genital region and bones of the pelvis or abdomen. In men, the pain may be in the penis or testicles.

    The causes of this condition are not well understood. A history of pelvic or abdominal surgery and disease may lead to muscle tension. Emotional stress, poor posture or physical trauma may also contribute to subconscious tightening of the pelvic muscles.

    The results are pain and/or problems with the bowel and bladder and sexual function.

    Male pelvic pain may also be a result of prostatitis. In addition, a history of hernia repair and disease may lead to muscle tension or imbalance in the pelvis, ultimately causing pain.

    Treatment for both women and men includes a variety of therapeutic exercises, relaxation, manual therapy techniques, and pelvic muscle awareness training.

    Some patients also benefit from modalities to reduce muscle spasms and improve muscle coordination.