Pelvic Trigger Point Physical Therapy Reduces Pain

Chronic pelvic muscle tightness can cause pain, pelvic nerve inflammation, and bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction. Physical therapy is proven to help.

CONCORD, Calif., Aug. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- You've probably experienced tense muscles in your back and your shoulders; when they are massaged certain spots may feel especially tight or sensitive. This same type of tension can develop in the muscles that line and support your pelvis. When muscles are repeatedly strained, irritated or remain contracted for extended periods of time, something called myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) may develop. Either a single muscle or a group of muscles may be affected by MPS, which also results in the development of trigger points, spots that are particularly sore and can cause pain to radiate to other areas of the body.

Trigger points are embedded within the muscles fibers; there may be one or more in a single band of muscle. They are sensitive to touch, and initial pressure can cause a trigger point to momentarily spasm. When MPS and trigger points develop in your pelvic muscles, the condition is known as chronic pelvic floor myofascial trigger point pain syndrome. It can happen to both men and women.


There are a variety of stressors that can lead to pelvic MPS. Something as simple as poor posture may cause your pelvic muscles to hold tension; this is because they have to compensate for poor spinal alignment by straining to keep your hips and lower body stable. Sports that overwork the pelvic muscles, chronic constipation, recurrent bladder or vaginal infections, childbirth, pelvic trauma and pelvic surgery may all result in elevated pelvic muscle tone, MPS and trigger point development. Psychological trauma, such as sexual abuse, can also cause subconscious muscular guarding of the pelvic region.


In addition to pain, sufferers of pelvic MPS may experience decreased range of motion, generalized aching, and a sense of tightness. Chronically contracted muscles can irritate the pelvic nerves. For example, the pudendal nerve runs through the pelvic floor muscles. If a nerve is compressed by these muscles it becomes inflamed and a host of additional symptoms may develop. These include pain and inflammation in the prostate gland for men, penile or vaginal pain, bladder discomfort together with frequency and difficulty urinating, painful intercourse, lower back pain, and stress incontinence. Symptoms are unique to the sufferer depending on the underlying cause, and which nerves and muscles are involved.


A body of research demonstrates that receiving physical therapy focused on manipulating trigger points and learning a variety of techniques to relax pelvic floor muscles can be very successful. However, it's important to first complete a full evaluation of the cause of pelvic MPS. For example, if your pelvic muscles are straining because they are compensating for musculoskeletal misalignment, then your musculoskeletal issue needs to be addressed at the same time. This is also true if symptoms are a result of physical trauma or surgery. The cause of the irritation or strain needs to be determined and addressed so your therapy is more likely to be successful.

A physical therapist specially trained in pelvic floor rehabilitation will feel along on the major muscles of the pelvis and apply pressure to identified trigger points. S/he may also recommend at-home exercises and interventions. According to a wide body research, therapy usually lasts between eight to twelve weeks with one or two treatments a week, and has excellent results.

Vaginal Mesh Website ( Resources: 
Anderson, R. (2002). Management of chronic prostatitis—chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Urologic Clinics of North America 29 (1), 235–239. 
Anderson, R., Wise, D., Sawyer, T., Chan. C. (2005). Integration of myofascial trigger point release and paradoxical relaxation training treatment of chronic pelvic pain in men. Journal of Urology 174 (1), 155–160. 
Chaitow, L. (2007). Chronic pelvic pain: Pelvic floor problems, sacroiliac dysfunction and the trigger point connection. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 11, 327–339 
Weiss, J. (2001). Pelvic floor myofascial trigger points: manual therapy for interstitial cystitis and the urgency-frequency syndrome. Journal of Urology 166, 2226.

Media Contact: Greg Vigna, M.D., J.D., Life Care Solutions Group, 888.855.1674,

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SOURCE Life Care Solutions Group



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