Pelvic pain is a relatively common ailment that many people face, but there is a disproportionate impact on women. The symptoms range from mild to very severe, and they can come from a wide range of different causes. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the more common reasons for this pain and what you can do to find relief, including visiting a pain doctor in Toledo, Ohio.
Types of Pelvic Pain
This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some of the major causes of pelvic pain across the spectrum:
- Sacroiliac Joint Pain.
The sacroiliac joint connects the pelvis to the lower spine. Damage to the sacroiliac joint is caused by injury due to car accidents, hypermobility, inflammation, and degradation due to age.
When the endometrium (tissue that typically lines the uterus) is found inside the muscular wall of the uterus itself, it causes severe menstrual cramps and often is accompanied by heavy bleeding. This is called adenomyosis, and the pain is most often felt between periods, while engaging in sexual activity, or during normal bowel movements. Typically, it manifests like a lower backache or as a shooting pain down one or both legs.
When the endometrium (as mentioned above) grows inside the uterus and attaches to other organs, such as the fallopian tubes or the ovaries, then, we call it endometriosis. These growths can inflame the surrounding tissues and cause stabbing pelvic pain. The pain is most acute during menstruation, but it can also happen throughout the menstrual cycle.
These are noncancerous tissue masses that grow on the inner or outer wall of the uterus. The ones that cause pain are those that are large enough to press up against other organs or nerves. Like the conditions mentioned above, fibroids also can lead to heavy periods as a result.
When a prostate is inflamed, we call it prostatitis. Typically this is caused by a bacterial infection or nerve damage in the lower urinary tract, but there isn’t always a clear cause. The pelvic pain is accompanied by genital pain and often additional pain in the lower back or abdomen.
When tissue is poking through a muscle, this is called a hernia. This presents as a painful lump in either your lower abdomen or groin – causing dull pain within the pelvis itself. The pain tends to intensify when laughing, coughing, or bending over.
- Interstitial Cystitis.
This refers to a chronic bladder condition that causes significant discomfort and often pain. It presents as an urge for frequent urination that comes with mild to severe pain within the bladder itself. The tenderness in the pelvis links it to the other types of pelvic pain here, and while it is sometimes confused with a urinary tract infection, it is, in fact, something slightly different.
- Urinary Tract Infection.
This is when bacteria overgrows in either the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. It manifests in pelvic pain as well as a frequent urge to urinate, bloody urine, and painful urination.
- Ovarian Cysts.
These are noncancerous growths and/or fluid-filled sacs that form in or on a woman’s ovaries. If they bleed or rupture, the patient will experience pain from the pelvis all the way up to the lower back. The pain itself can be sharp and immediate or can manifest in a dull ache due to the lingering pressure that a cyst may be placing on another organ.
- Pelvic Congestion Syndrome.
When a patient suffers from abnormally enlarged veins in the pelvis (also termed as varicose), then, we call it pelvic congestion syndrome. Typically, this is associated with prior pregnancies, pelvic surgery, or estrogen replacement therapy, but often the cause will actually be unknown. The pain is typically a dull ache and is worst when sitting or standing.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
This refers to an infection that affects the reproductive organs – specifically the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The cause tends to be untreated STDs, and it manifests itself as a fever, dull pain in the pelvis, and unpleasant vaginal discharge.
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
This occurs when the key ligaments and muscles within the pelvis weaken or stretch – causing other organs to slip out of place. This can be caused by genetics, but it can also be caused by chronic strain on the pelvis during bowel movements when constipated. The pain is experienced during sex or between periods.
These are just some of the common causes of pelvic pain, and it should give you a sense of the wide variety of causes that might be involved.
How to Find Relief From Pelvic Pain?
Because pelvic pain varies so much, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor to identify the cause and come up with a viable pain condition treatment in Perrysburg, Ohio. Some of the tools that a medical professional will use for the diagnosis include a pelvic exam, lab tests, ultrasound readings, other imaging tests, and laparoscopy.
Once the cause of the pain has been identified, you can then look to various interventional pain medicine and other methodologies.
- In many cases, sacroiliac joint injections provided by Comprehensive Centers for Pain Management will provide relief for patients. In some cases, patients will be eligible for a sacroiliac joint fusion, permanently fusing the pelvis to the lower spine, preventing any movement that causes pain.
- In terms of medication, you might be able to use pain relievers, hormone treatment, various antibiotics, and certain antidepressants for more constant pain. These are often great solutions to help you manage the pain on a day-to-day basis, but it’s important to work with your doctor here to get the right balance and dosage for your needs.
- There are also other functional solutions, such as physical therapy, neurostimulation, trigger point injections, and psychotherapy which can all be helpful in finding relief. These are typically best used for chronic pain, but it really depends on the unique condition and experience of the patient.
- Surgery is often seen as a last resort, but either, a laparoscopy or a hysterectomy can be very useful in more complicated cases where the other solutions have not worked. Doctors will use this sparingly, but when it’s called for, it might just be the solution that is needed.
These solutions all work to varying degrees depending on the type of pelvic pain and its severity. Every case is going to be different, so it’s important to work with our pain management physicians to develop a plan that is going to give you the relief you need. By following this diligently, you give yourself the best chance of a swift recovery. Call Comprehensive Centers For Pain Management now.