Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Vulvodynia
How Pelvic PT Reduces the Pain and Sensitivity of Vulvodynia
WHAT IS VULVODYNIA?
Vulvodynia is simply defined as pain (-'dynia') in the vulva that lasts for longer than three months, in the absence of any infection or obvious cause. The condition is very common, with approximately 1 in 6 women experiencing vulvodynia during their lifetime.
If the pain is confined to the vestibule, it may also be called vestibulodynia. When the pain is caused by physical contact it can be called 'provoked', while a more constant pain is often referred to as 'unprovoked.' Other terms that may be used include vulvar vestibulitis syndrome or simply dyspareunia (painful intercourse).
HOW DOES PELVIC PT HELP?
Pelvic floor physical therapy is the most proven treatment for vulvodynia. Physical therapy is more than twice as effective as lidocaine cream, and women gave pelvic PT a satisfaction rating of 9 out of 10 in one clinical trial.
Often the pelvic floor is tight and contains trigger points, or painful knots in the pelvic floor muscles. These trigger points can cause pain and irritate the nerves that run through the pelvic floor.
Physical therapy works to release these trigger points within the pelvic floor. Both internal and external physical therapy techniques reduce inflammation in the area and restore normal function.
There's also a lot that can be done with a home program of stretching, targeted strengthening, and self trigger point release that can relieve pain and help restore normal sexual activity.
THE PELVICSANITY DIFFERENCE
At PelvicSanity, your physical therapist will be a specialist in the field and an expert in dealing with vulvodynia and painful intercourse. Many of our patients have been to multiple doctors for their symptoms before finding success here at PelvicSanity.
We believe full-length sessions are crucial to success with pelvic PT, so all appointments at PelvicSanity are an hour in length and spent entirely with a pelvic floor specialist. You’ll never be hooked up to electrodes, see an aide instead of a physical therapist, or be told to ‘just do your Kegels.’ We create a positive, calm environment for healing in private treatment rooms.
We also believe the pelvic floor can’t be treated in isolation, so your treatment will address both the pelvic floor and the external muscles that connect and influence the entire pelvis for optimal results.
YOUR INITIAL EVALUATION
Your initial evaluation will be an hour in length, and have three major components:
Consultation: Most of our patients have been to multiple doctors, but have never really felt listened to in their appointments. In your initial evaluation you’ll have a chance to go through your medical history with your physical therapist. We’ll listen to you and ask about your personal goals for physical therapy.
Assessment: Next your physical therapist will do a complete assessment. They will look at your posture, hip and pelvic alignment, fascia, scar tissue, and anything else influencing your pelvis. Then they will do an internal evaluation, looking for trigger points and dysfunction within the pelvic floor muscles.
Treatment: We also want to know how your body responds to treatment, so your initial evaluation also includes targeted treatment. You’ll also leave with ‘homework’ that you can be doing in between your visits to build on the improvements with physical therapy.
"I love PelvicSanity! They have helped me live pain-free, and taught me techniques to manage my pain at home. I don't feel hopeless in pain anymore!"
8.8 out of 10
Women rated their satisfaction with pelvic PT in one published clinical trial.
"I'm so thankful to have found this place. I appreciate the comprehensive knowledge of my condition and the encouragement to keep working toward my goals."
Anatomy of the Vulva and Vestibule