Today I saw a Physical Therapist who specializes in women's health issues (Pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence, pelvic pain etc.). This was the first time I had ever seen a PT with this speciality. It was recommended by the Pelvic Pain Specialist I saw a month ago. They are a rare speciality in the city I live in... she was the only one I could find and she was not on my health plan but I decided to check it out anyway.
Anyway, she checked my pelvic floor muscles and they are tight and tense... no surprise, she said, since I had pelvic pain and it is part of the natural response to tense the surrounding muscles. She also noted that my rectus abdominals, obliques, and iliacus were all very tight as well as several of the gluteal muscles. Then she did an internal exam very slowly to check the "internal muscles" which are primarily little muscles that make up what is generally called the Levator ani (the sling of the pelvis as I understood her). No surprise but these muscles were also exceedingly tight and painful. I have had pelvic pain for 13 years and this was the first time anyone checked my pelvic floor muscles to see how they might be contributing to the problem (my ab muscles had been checked etc.)
It is unclear whether this is my primary problem now (since the hyst) or whether it is in response to something else that is actually the primary problem (like maybe endo or pelvic congestion on my left side or adhesions etc.).
Anyway, the plan is to try 6 "treatments" and if I notice no improvement that probably indicates that the muscle problems are secondary to something else (as mentioned previously).
I thought I would let everyone know about this in case some of you ladies thought you might want to check out your muscles. It would be a shame to keep suffering or undergo more surgery that doesn't help if the problem was actually hypertonic pelvic muscles as a result of years of pain from your GYN problems. At least in the case of this PT if it doesn't help you have ruled that off that list without having something irreversible done.
I wish everyone a great a hopefully pain free weekend.
I too noticed that after a horrible uterine infection and 2+ years of severe pelvic pain from adenomyosis, I developed alot of muscle tension that has been very slow in going post-hyst, though it does seem to be going. It is much less than pre-hyst, though. I am very interested in PT to try to get rid of the rest of this pain.
How did you find the physical therapist (oh, I see, did you need a referral from the Pelvic Pain Specialist?)? What kind of treatments will she be doing? How often are you going to have treatments? Are you travelling very far to see her? We don't have many options like this where I live, so I am sure I would have to travel.
Thank you so much for sharing! I have hopes and prayers for you that this will work and relieve your pain.
SBlumen, I did 12 sessions of PT for levator ani syndrome and it was the best thing to come out of having a hyst. My PT specialized in this area (Ob/Gyn PT) and she was tremendous. She was part of a large group of PT's practicing together. If anyone in the Quad Cities (IA/IL) would like her name, please PM me.
Thanks for the good story. I hope this turns out to be my one remaining problem and I have a good result.
To find the PT specialist I called several physical therapy places and asked if any of the PTs were trained and specialize in women's health issues specifically things like Pelvic Floor dysfunction. Eventually I found someone. THen I talked to her on the phone for about 45 minutes to make sure before I set up an appointment. In this area of PT practise I would hesitate if the person did not want to confirm ahead of time that you were in the right place. I hope you can find someone.
I forgot to mention but I would think that your regular GYN or your primary care doctor could write a prescription for this type of PT evaluation and treatment. The PT indicated that she worked with several GYNs around town.
I saw a woman ob/gyn and she told me she thought I was having levator ani spasms as the cause of my pain. Then she tried to push me into getting an IUD, and PT for the pain. I told her I'd had an ectopic pregnancy before, yet she continued to push for the IUD?? I just didn't believe that the pain I was having could have been those spasms. I have since been diagnosed with adenomyosis, cysts, fibroids, and endo., and had a laparoscopy. Will be having hysterectomy soon. However, I seem to be having terrible muscle aches and pains - nearly like if I twist a certain way I nearly pull something, or it spasms! This happens in my sides, mostly my left, and in my back. It's hard to describe, but I'm beginning to wonder, after reading these posts, if I may have something like that going on?? What causes those spasms, anyway? And what is involved in the PT??
I had endo, pelvic congestion and adenomyosis for 12 years. I know those were causing my pain initiatlly because I had a pelvic pain mapping done that confirmed where the pain I had all the time was coming from. After the hyst (I am 10 months almost) I was OK for a while and then started to have pain again that I knew was muscle and that was confirmed (since injecting the muscle made it go away temporarily). However, over time my pain level has become worse. I do not know if the muscles are the primary cause but they are definately contributing to my pain and I am hoping that treating them will reduce my overall pain level to one that is easily manageable. I am hoping not to have more surgery has I think some of why they are messed up is the surgery.
The PT just pressing on the "bad" muscle and does a light massage. The internal is basically just pressing on the internal muscles. She also mentioned some type of biofeedback to help me learn how to reduce the tighening. Again, I will try it for 6 times and if it is not helping it probably means that the muscles are tighteing in response to something else.
Your body is like a web and if one area is affeected with bad pain the affect will spread over time to the surrounding areas... this is no doubt why I have muscles problems in the first place ... especially since I had this before and it was greatly relieved when I had my right ovary removed which was a source of terrible pain for me.
I hope you have a speedy recovery from your surgery.