Pelvic Pain

What is pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain is a complex condition which can trigger a range of uncomfortable symptoms. It sometimes develops following an injury. At other times it may be triggered by stress, emotional trauma, or social issues such as discrimination or job loss.

Approximately 5% of men will experience pelvic pain at some time in their lives, and it frequently becomes a source of stress in its own right.

Some of the terms that are commonly used to describe pelvic pain are: prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), and pudendal neuralgia.

Symptoms vary widely but typically include one or all of the following:

  • Pain when sitting.
  • Pressure or throbbing in the pelvis, genitals, and/or rectum.
  • Burning sensations in the scrotum, penis, or perineum.
  • Bladder and bowel changes.
  • Sexual function issues.
  • Pain in the hip, groin, and abdomen.
  • Anxiety, loss of self-esteem, and social withdrawal.

A study which assessed 112 men with pelvic pain found that:

  • 66% reported testicular pain, 65% perineal pain, 46% penile pain, 36% bladder related pain, and 29% rectal discomfort.
  • 80% reported high levels of stress.

What contributes to pelvic pain?

It is important to understand that pelvic pain is not typically associated with an isolated event. Instead, it results from a range of biological, psychological and social triggers such as:

  • Past injury or trauma (either physical or emotional).
  • Prostate, bowel, bladder and urinary tract issues.
  • Stress or burnout.
  • Depression or low mood.
  • Fatigue.
  • Exercising too much or too little.

Tension in the pelvic area and difficulty relaxing the pelvic floor muscles is found in up to 80% of individuals with persistent pelvic pain, with most unaware that this is occurring. Muscles that are constantly overactive become tight and eventually painful. This can result in increased sensitivity in the structures in and around the pelvis.

How do we treat pelvic pain at APC?

Research supports that successful treatment looks beyond the belief that there must be a single isolated cause, and instead embraces the full range of the patient’s lived experience, including their medical history, social history, work life, relationships, and beliefs about causes and management.

At APC we adopt a multidisciplinary approach which may include one or all of the following in-house specialists: pelvic floor physiotherapist, psychologist, urologist, pain specialist.

In our experience, when a multidisciplinary approach is adopted, most patients who follow our protocol will experience improvement in their symptoms within a three-to-six-month time frame.

Become a Patient at the APC

You can access complete treatment and care at the Australian Prostate Centre. All you need is a GP referral.

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