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03 443 7271 | 21J Gordon Road, Wanaka | 15/5 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton Queenstown

Experiencing pain?

Pain can be felt in the pelvis, lower abdominals, vagina, around the rectum or in the area between the vagina and the back passage (the perineum). This can commonly be caused by pelvic floor muscles that are too tight (overactive), but can be from a host of other problems.  We look for the why behind your pain and start there with treatment.

  • Pelvic floor muscle down training / relaxation
  • Pain education
  • Dry needling and acupuncture
  • Manual therapy

Signs of tight pelvic floor muscles include:

  • Painful sex and/or problems achieving orgasm
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder and/or slow urinary flow
  • Incomplete emptying of the bowel, thin stools, difficulty passing wind
  • Painful to use tampons

Sexual pain

Many women have pain around or in the vagina or pelvis with intercourse (dyspareunia) or sexual intimacy. Pain can occur at the entrance to the vagina or on deep penetration, and can be commonly caused by overactivity of the pelvic floor muscles meaning the muscles have trouble relaxing. This can create muscle tension and spasm which can lead to pain.

Other causes of sexual pain can be hormonal changes associated with menopause or breastfeeding, how you think and feel, relationship problems, vulval skin conditions, perineal scarring from childbirth or trauma, and some medications, which can reduce sexual desire and cause vaginal dryness.

Vaginismus is a vaginal tightness that causes discomfort, burning, pain with intercourse or tampon use, penetration problems and sometimes almost complete closure of the vaginal opening, making intercourse impossible, despite the desire to do so.

We take a holistic approach when treating pain and our strategies are comprehensive, proven and effective. From lifestyle management and soft tissue release and massage, breathing and postural changes to technology; it’s our goal to use our knowledge of how the body works, combined with functional movement, to help you achieve your goals. We use advanced technologies like stims machines and biofeedback, as well as ancient techniques such as acupuncture and manual, hands-on therapy. We also collaborate with other trusted health professionals and specialists as needed. We have found that we can find the cause of pain and treat it effectively and successfully, even after our clients have visited many other health professionals and specialists. Why? Because we take a whole-body approach and through our comprehensive external and internal assessments, can often find the root of the problem, and therefore have effective treatment.

Your treatment is not a one-way street; it’s a group effort. By really listening to you, with compassion and understanding, we can wade through the emotional and physical pain you might be carrying and help you move towards a lighter, healthier, freer you.

Conditions we treat

This includes bladder pain syndrome, Interstitial cystitis and urethritis, pain that appears to be coming from the lower urinary tract structures.

Urethral pain syndromes is when pain can be experienced when you pee, when there is no evidence of urinary tract infection.

 

Proctalgia

Proctalgia Fugax is an intermittent attack of severe rectal pain, which can last from a few seconds to 2 hours, then disappears completely.

Levator ani syndrome is usually described as a vague or dull ache or pressure sensation high in the rectum, often worse with sitting.

Dyshezia is when it is painful or difficult to pass a poo / bowel motion.

 

It is estimated that 85% of chronic pain syndromes may be muscular in origin.  Tension through muscles or mal alignment of the skeletal system can cause aggravation of structures that cause pain.  Sacral and coccyx pain can be very difficult to treat without the full picture of what is happening to the pelvic floor muscles.

Visceral pain comes from internal organs.  Most viscera has no mapping in the brain, that that makes the visceral pain feel vague.  This is not like somatic pain that can be mapped and clearly defined.

Just because there may be pain in the muscles, that does not mean they are the problem, pain can sometimes be referred pain and be felt in quite distant points on the body.  It is often described as generalised or aching.

Pelvic pain can be driven by endometriosis.  Many patients with endometriosis also have irritable bowel syndrome and bladder pain syndrome due to a process called viscero-visceral convergence.  Visceral pathology such as with endometriosis can make the pelvic floor muscles really tight, like a cage over the top of the uterus to protect it.  This can cause pain by a process called viscero-somatic convergence.

Neuropathic pain disorders include pudendal neuralgia, genitofemoral neuralgia and posterior cutaneous neuralgia. Neuralgia’s are caused by damage to the nerve itself by nerve irritation or certain nerve disorders.  Pudendal neuralgia can cause pain along the distribution of the pudendal nerve, and is often worse with sitting.

Meralgia Paraesthetica can be caused from pregnancy where a compression of the nerve causes numbness to the front of the thigh.

Scarring for surgery or from injuries sustained during childbirth can be painful and sensitive.

Dyspareunia means pain with sex.  That might be superficial pain around the entrance of the vagina, or pain that is felt deep inside with deep penetration.  You may have a combination of both.  Don’t put up with it.  It is one of the most common conditions we see, and treatment can be very successful.

Vaginismus is a vaginal tightness that causes discomfort, burning, pain with intercourse or tampon use, penetration problems and sometimes almost complete closure of the vaginal opening, making intercourse impossible, despite the desire to do so.

We work with finding the underlying driver to why this is happening.  We can advise on how to use vaginal dilators, and also work closely with the specialist doctors before and after procedures such as vaginal botox, to optimise the outcome.  We use technology such as biofeedback and stims machines to help train the muscles on how to relax, desensitise the tissues to allow penetration.

Painful bladder syndromes can cause the feeling of pain above pubic bone, and pain related to bladder filling, which can sometimes be associated with increased day and night time frequency.  There is no urinary infection or other obvious pathology.  There can be a sudden, intense, desire to pass urine for fear of pain (not fear of leaking).

Interstitial cystitis can be a tenderness, irritation or burning sensation in the bladder, the feeling of fullness even when there is little urine in the bladder and pain is often relieved by urination.  Some patients develop a stabbing or burning vaginal pain.

Vulval discomfort, often described as burning pain, in the absence of any other pathology.

Our services related to pelvic pain

Pelvic floor muscle down training / relaxation

Restoring the normal length, tension and strength to the pelvic floor muscles is very important when aiming to resolve pelvic pain. Many things can contribute to the pain experience and we believe in fixing the underlying ‘why’. We have a holistic approach, which includes mind and body.  Treatment will include hands on manual therapy as well as home exercises, such as stretches, breathing and visualisation techniques.  We will also need to address any stress, diet, and postural problems to restore relaxation to the muscles.

Pain education

The experience of pain is not necessarily mean there is injury or disease.  It is a brain output that causes pain and this is influenced by many things including stress, movement patterns, how you think and feel, and past experiences.  We aim to restore the ability of the nervous system to move and stretch as you move, with functional movement and rehabilitation. Movement combined with knowledge of other contributors to pain, can help liberate you from being in pain.

We use a biopsychosocial approach, with strong clinical reasoning strategies, to help address not only the physical aspects of the nervous system, but also educate about acute and chronic musculoskeletal, central and peripheral and neuropathic pain states.

 

Dry needling and acupuncture

Dry needling technique involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into taut muscle bands with the aim being to gain muscle relaxation, stimulate healing, and restore the normal nerve function.  Tension through muscles can contribute to postural problems,  faulty movement patterns and pain and by restoring muscle function  we can improve these issues.  We use dry needling in combination with other treatment techniques like manual therapy, functional movement retraining, and exercise prescription for lasting treatment effect. It is reasonably common to experience a temporary ache in the area that has been treated for a few hours after treatment along with a welcome improvement in mobility. 

We use acupuncture in combination with other therapeutic methods to encourage healing, reduce or resolve pain and restore balance and function to many areas of the body, including the internal systems (such as the bladder and gut). Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at specific points on the body. Acupuncture can be a hugely affective treatment modality for a wide range of pelvic health and other health conditions. 

Manual therapy

What is manual therapy? This is where the therapist uses their magical healing hands to manipulate, move or massage joints, muscles or nerves in order to restore mobility and relax or activate muscles.  We use manual therapy and manual feedback techniques to help the body to move, breath and function move efficiently. The physiotherapist team at Pelvic Solutions are post graduate trained in specialist manipulative therapy and consistently find amazing results with their clients.

We combine manual therapy techniques with dry needling and self-release exercises, which can include using myofascial release balls or foam rollers, to release tight areas of the body and help our clients find sustained lightness and freedom in their movements.

Hire out a stims machine

This machine is indicated for some ladies to help progress improve the function of the pelvic floor muscles. Under guidance this technology can help those who are challenged to extend how much they can hold the pelvic floor muscle activation for, good for pelvic pain issues, and to improve vaginal sensation. Fabulous innovation that when used correctly can certainly do the trick!

Book an appointment

Take the first step and book your appointment 60 minute appointment, which is always 1:1, and involves a treatment tailored to you exact needs.

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We can answer your detailed questions, and if we're not a great fit for you, we can provide resources and recommendations for treatment options.

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