Pelvic pain

Pelvic pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions.

Common pelvic complaints include:

  • Osteiitis Pubis – inflammation of the pubic bone
  • Sacroiliac joint pain and inflammation
  • Pelvic instability with pregnancy
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Period pain

Symptoms of pelvic pain may include:

  • localised pain and tenderness on the pubic bone
  • pain on abdominal contraction e.g coughing, turning in bed, bearing down or when going to the toilet
  • groin pain
  • pain in the buttocks and down the back of the leg.

Osteopaths may help your pelvic pain by:

  • improving muscular flexibility in the region
  • improving joint range of motion in the low back, hips and pelvis
  • maintaining correct alignment of the lower back and pelvis 
  • providing advice on maintaining flexibility and strength around the pelvis.

Your osteopath may also suggest you see a GP for any additional medications or treatment.

Period pain

Period pain and how to survive it (Osteopathy Australia, 2016)

Pain is considered to be a normal symptom during periods, however excessive period pain is called dysmenorrhoea and is considered to be abnormal. Primary dysmenorrhoea refers to painful periods in the absence of any underlying pathology, while secondary dysmenorrhoea is painful menstruation associated with a pelvic pathology, such as endometriosis. Dysmenorrhoea is a very common problem and can occur in up to 50% of women. Several studies suggest that severe period pain is associated with absence from school or work and restricts other activities of daily life.

Recent German studies showed that osteopathic treatment can be beneficial for women suffering from primary dysmenorrhoea. The studies involved 60 women aged between 14 and 33. Only those who were diagnosed with primary dysmenorrhoea by their GP participated in the study. 

An osteopath will make sure that there are no restrictions in the movement within the joints of the spine and pelvis, which can lead to period pain, release any tension from the muscles of the spine, pelvic floor and pelvis, which in turn will improve the blood and nerve supply to the organs. They can also treat any muscular restriction of the uterine walls so as to help reduce cramping. 

Osteopaths can also help to prepare exercise and stretching programs, and provide advice on posture and stress management for improved general health and wellbeing.

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Florian Schwerlaa, Petra Wirthwein, Michaela Rütz, Karl-Ludwig Resch

Published in International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine

A series of osteopathic treatments might be beneficial for women suffering from primary dysmenorrhoea.