What Is Pelvic Pain?
Your pelvis area is directly below your waist, above your buttocks, and between the hips. It contains many important muscles and, most importantly, vital organs that make up your reproductive system. This area is crucial to continue living a happy life. Hence, when you injure it (especially if you've hurt yourself playing sports!), healing is essential for continuing your life as usual and returning to the game!
Individuals with pelvic discomfort may feel a sharp, stabbing, or dull pain anywhere in the pelvic area. For some individuals, the distress begins in other areas of the body, such as the thighs or lower back, before radiating to the pelvis.
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Signs & Symptoms of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is a common symptom and not a disease in itself. It can manifest as continuous or intermittent pain in the pelvic region or lower abdomen, often impacting day-to-day activities and reducing the quality of life.
The severity of pelvic floor pain can vary greatly between individuals. While some may experience mild discomfort, others report intense pain. In some cases, this pain can be so severe that it impedes the ability to participate in everyday activities, such as physical exercise, work, walking, lifting objects, or even engaging in sexual intercourse.
Pelvic pain is commonly associated with other conditions, including bladder symptoms, sexual dysfunction, and painful menstrual periods.
What Causes Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain can be caused by various health issues, thus making it difficult to describe accurately. As a woman's reproductive organs are located in the pelvic area, pelvic pain is more common among women, typically due to gynecological conditions. However, there are also general causes of pelvic pain that can affect people of all genders and ages.
Pelvic pain is pretty common, especially in women. There are many reasons behind the source of this pain, including internal diseases such as endometriosis or irritable bowel syndrome—another common cause of pelvic pain in pregnancy.
Some cases of pelvic pain can be very painful. However, you can help prevent it before engaging in physical activity by exercising, stretching, and warming your body beforehand.
Persistent pelvic pain is nothing to ignore when it's more than a heavy menstrual flow. However, other causes can be easily overlooked, and some of them can be life-threatening without quick medical attention, such as ectopic pregnancy and ovarian cysts. Your doctor may have to perform diagnostic tests depending on the severity of your pelvic pain.
Ways to Ease Your Pelvic Pain
In the meantime, you may have to work around the pelvic pain. Try to make your situation as comfortable as possible; try the steps mentioned below.
Meditation, yoga, and even deep breathing exercises can help reduce the stress that chronic pain provides, whether contracted in adulthood or due to injury. Another bonus: They might help you sleep better.
Take the heat
Heat can help increase blood flow, which may help relieve your pain. Sit in warm water while you have a flare-up to get relief. If you don't have a tub, use a heating pad or compress on your belly instead. Any chance you can relax and relieve stress is important during treatment, so stay as comfortable as possible!
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This heating pad is designed with the sole purpose of alleviating discomfort and providing much-needed relief. Its advanced technology allows for targeted heat therapy, ensuring that the affected area receives the maximum benefits. The pad is made from high-quality materials that are soft and comfortable against the skin, making it perfect for those suffering from pelvic pain.
Applying heat can cause dilation of the blood vessels, resulting in an increased blood flow. Using a heating pad on the abdomen can improve circulation, which can aid in the healing of muscles and reduce inflammation. In contrast to medications used to relax muscles, you can use a heating pad on the abdomen as often as needed without experiencing any adverse effects.
Make a change
Just tweaking some of your habits can positively impact the quality of your health and positive results for treatment if you're suffering from constant pain. For example, if you smoke, we would highly suggest quitting because nicotine has been known to negatively impact your body by increasing inflammation and triggering more pain. Likewise, if you're overweight, shedding those extra pounds may help relieve added pressure on nerves when it comes to treating chronic pain conditions.
When seeking relief from the occasional pain in the lower back area, many people go for over-the-counter pain relievers containing acetaminophen like Tylenol or Ibuprofen like Advil. However, some people prefer prescription anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen as they can wear off faster and more effectively reduce swelling and inflammation caused by strains or sprains to the muscles of the pelvic region.
It may be hard to find the motivation to head out and exercise at times, but you must. Exercise increases the blood flow and helps with those endorphins we discussed earlier. As a result, your body will help you be less aware of any pain you might experience in your life at this time. Exercise increases blood flow, and that makes you feel good. When your body releases the "feel-good chemicals" (doctors call them "endorphins.") your body uses them as its natural painkillers
To ease pain caused by other factors such as injury or chronic ailment, it is beneficial to work on some form of physical activity for around 30 minutes a day daily for about five days per week if you can do so slowly, building up a tolerance level over time.
What is pelvic pain a sign of?
Pelvic pain may indicate a urinary tract infection or gastrointestinal issue; however, it can also indicate an underlying problem with organs in the pelvic area. To receive a proper diagnosis and treatment, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider to explore the potential causes of the pain.
How is it diagnosed?
Your physician may conduct a pelvic examination to assess any issues with your reproductive system. During the appointment, they may inquire about your health and current symptoms. Additionally, they may ask about any history of depression or sexual abuse. Depending on the evaluation results, further testing, such as blood and urine tests, may be conducted to detect any potential infections.
Ways to treat Chronic Pelvic Pain
Here are some tips on how to prevent chronic pelvic pain:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can put pressure on your pelvic organs and muscles, which can lead to chronic pelvic pain.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your pelvis and abdomen, which can help to prevent chronic pelvic pain. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Practice good posture. Poor posture can put strain on the muscles in your pelvis and back, which can lead to chronic pelvic pain. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day, especially when sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking can damage the blood vessels that supply blood to your pelvic organs and muscles, which can lead to chronic pelvic pain.
- Manage stress. Stress can worsen chronic pelvic pain. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.
In addition to the above tips, here are some other things you can do to help prevent chronic pelvic pain:
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for healing and recovery. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Avoid activities that aggravate your pain. If you experience pain after certain activities, such as sitting for long periods of time or exercising, try to avoid those activities or modify them as needed.
- Use relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress and muscle tension, which can help to improve pelvic pain. Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
When to See a Doctor?
If you are experiencing pelvic pain that is impacting your daily life activities, it is recommended that you seek medical advice. For example, women suffering from severe menstrual cramps may have endometriosis, while long-term pain after pregnancy could be a sign of pelvic congestion syndrome. Additionally, pain during or after sexual intercourse can indicate that medical attention is required.
If you experience sudden or severe pelvic pain that lasts more than two weeks, it is important to seek medical advice. Please schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider to address your symptoms properly.
A note from Sacksythyme
Pelvic pain can be a cause for concern, as it is a symptom of a variety of conditions. As such, it can be a source of frustration. Fortunately, your healthcare provider can help you identify the cause of your pelvic pain, allowing you to access the treatment you need to improve your health.
"This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your physician to determine a treatment plan for you."