Chronic Pelvic Pain and Myofascial Pain Syndrome

>> Thursday, September 8, 2011

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Today I want to talk about pelvic pain since so many of you write to me about this with real concern. Lori came in just this week and said she had seen several doctors back in Kentucky and none were able to find anything wrong with her. It sounds silly, but most of us have experienced this and it can be very frustrating when you continue to have pain and there is no solution or relief.

Chronic pelvic pain has been defined as noncyclic pain, that is pain not associated with menstruation that has lasted at least 6 months that localizes to the pelvis, anterior abdominal wall, the lumbosacral back, or buttocks and is severe enough to cause functional disability or necessitate medical care.

So what are the common conditions that can cause recurrent pain? Endometriosis, ovarian cysts or retained ovary syndrome, infection, fibroids and other benign growths, and various types of hormone imbalance. It can be frustrating on both sides, for patient and clinician. I have many patients who like Lori, are suffering and yet I find no source to the pain.

Recently, a condition called Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MFPS) has been introduced as a common cause of pelvic pain. MFPS has been defined as reoccurring pain that originates in the trigger points of skeletal muscle (for most women the abdomen and pelvis). The estimate is that MFPS is the cause of chronic pelvic pain in 30% of women who are seen in any doctors office and 85% of patients seen in pain specialty clinics. WOW! That’s just amazing, finally we can focus on treatment and real help for those of you suffering with it. It is reassuring to many that there is legitimate help on the way for them.

I hope all of you have a good week and next week hopefully we can look at some of the treatments that have worked for women with recurrent pain.

Be safe until next week,

Dr. Susan Boyd, MD

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