back pain and pelvic floor

Back Pain and Pelvic Floor–what is the relationship?

Ever wanted to follow the yellow brick road to Oz—make a wish that your pelvic pain would go away? Or perhaps just click your heels three times and you’d be home, comfortable in Kansas without any pelvic issues to speak of? Ok, perhaps not. But I can bet you’re wondering “if I could just find the source of this pain, I could change it.”  Not so easy…..

Before I started studying more about the pelvic floor, I would have not really considered checking the pelvic floor with patients that had back pain, abdominal pain or even stress. But you know how they say, “if you learn it, it will come”?  

Ok, maybe no one says that. But the more I learn, the more I am starting to recognize pain within myself that I believe to be more related to pelvic floor issues.  Whereas before, my “pre-pelvic-floor training-self” would have called it sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain or low back pain (LBP).  And to add to it, understanding that pain is multi-factorial and “in the brain”—that my worry about my pelvic/hormonal issues may have caused me to have more pain.

Back pain and pelvic pain and stress?….Oh my!  We are complex creatures.

And I am certainly starting to recognize that the pelvic floor comes up more in my clients than I previously thought. And it’s not that the clients are changing….it’s that I’m starting to ask the right questions.

Anyhow, I digress.  My intention of this post is to share all the multitude of possible sources that could show up as a link to pelvic floor pain/issues. See the list below:

  1. Low back pain

  2. Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain

  3. Abdominal or pelvic trigger points

  4. Post-surgical (abdomen or pelvis) pain

  5. Pelvic infection

  6. Peri-partum pelvic syndrome

  7. Childbirth injury—during labor, episiotomy

  8. Chronic holding—as to avoid leakage

  9. Chronic straining–urinating or bowel movements

  10. Constipation

  11. Irritable bowel syndrome

  12. Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)

  13. Radiation cystitis–after chemo or radiation

  14. Endometriosis—increased cell growth outside of the uterus; may present as low back pain

  15. Malignancies (cancer)

  16. Pudendal neuralgia—burning, itching, dryness; “vice” grip sensation around the hips, thighs and buttocks; frequent urination; usually one-sided; unable to sit (cyclists); bladder dysfunction; deep groin/inner thigh pain; sexual dysfunction; no sensory loss; no night pain (basically affects anywhere the pudendal nerve travels)

  17. Depression—serotonin formed in the gut, look to leaky gut syndrome

  18. Stress/tension

  19. Inflammation–there is a link between persistent systemic or gut inflammation and pelvic pain

  20. Sex hormone/ adrenal imbalances

  21. Sexual injury/trauma

  22. Trauma or experience of loss of any kind

One of my colleagues speaks of physical body symptoms as a powerful way to distract us from addressing something else in our lives.

Whoa right?! But don’t be distressed (yet), because there are things that can be done to help. You just have to begin to look for the source.

It’s important to note that some of the things listed above are not physical sources even close to the pelvic floor, but they can present that way due to tension and the way that we hold out bodies and breath, ie stress/tension, depression, and trauma. And the memories of past events can also alter our pain.

So don’t head off to see a Wizard, go find a Physical Therapist or an Integrative Health Practitioner (or one that is both!) to help you get to the root of your pelvic pain—and it may not be just ONE of the above things—there my be a combination.

I welcome your feedback and if you find this information helpful, please share with your colleagues and your friends. Click your heels three times, or Contact Tianna to see how she can help you with pelvic floor pain/issues–to help you get to the root of your symptoms and return you to doing the things you love!


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