First of all can I say this is 100% not one of those articles about "think yourself better", "the power of the mind will heal you" or my personal favourite "it's all in your head".
This article is about the fact that your brain does play a very important part in the rehabilitation of Pelvic Pain.
I use 'Pelvic Pain' as an umbrella term that encompasses many different conditions such as Bladder Pain Syndrome, Vulvodynia, Vaginismus, Interstitial Cystitis and many more.
I use the same umbrella term for all these conditions because I find that in my experience the development of chronicity relating to these conditions generally tends to follow a similar pattern.
It usually starts with an initial insult. This could be that first bout of cystitis or that first painful sexual experience. The initial insult can vary dramatically from person to person and does't necessarily always seem like a traumatic event, but for some people, their brain thinks otherwise.
As well as the progression of potential dysfunction, your brain has consciously or subconsciously registered the trauma and it is not happy about it! So what does it do? It becomes overprotective of the area that has suffered the insult and in an attempt to protect it from further injury, it starts to interpret any stimulus to that area as a potential threat.
In medical terms, the brain starts creating unhealthy neurological pathways that makes your area of concern over sensitized and starts a pattern of chronic pain.
What this means for us in clinic is that when we treat someone with Pelvic Pain we cant just treat the area that is painful with manual therapy and rehabilitation, we have to address these unhealthy neurological pathways in the brain as well. This means it's not all just about myofascial work, stretches and trigger points. These things are all important,but if you want to relieve your symptoms in the long term you have to change the way your brain works as well.
This is not an easy or a quick process,but it can be done. We use various different techniques from brain training to types of cognitive restructuring to help the brain form healthy neurological pathways to enable it to interpret normal stimulus for what they are, just normal sensation, not pain and get you on the road to recovery.
You can find out more about how we treat Pelvic Pain by clicking the button below