FAQ’s on Pelvic Pain Treatment in Las Vegas
Pain that arises from the pelvic cavity and/or bone is called pelvic pain. The pelvic bone lies at the juncture of the upper leg bones and spine. Pelvic pain is associated with organs, bones, joints, nervous tissue, and muscles.
Is chronic pelvic pain common?
According to research, chronic pelvic pain for women occurs in around 3% of the general population. However, around one-third of women have some type of pelvic pain at any point during their lives.
What symptoms are associated with pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain can be mild, moderate, or severe, and it may also be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). This type of pain spreads to other body areas, such as the abdomen, lower back, and legs.
What is the cause of chronic pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain is often caused by a combination of problems, but it can occur due to one condition. Common causes include:
- Reproductive system disorders – These include cancer, fibroids, ovarian growths, chronic pelvic inflammation, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, and injury to the reproductive structures.
- Gastrointestinal system disorders – Causes include inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, bowel obstruction, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Urinary system disorders – Certain conditions causing pelvic pain include chronic infection, kidney stones, interstitial cystitis, and prostatitis.
- Musculoskeletal system disorders – The nerves, joints, and muscles of the pelvis can cause pain. In addition, tissues are often stretched during childbirth, and pelvic muscles get weak from lack of use.
- Pelvic myofascial pain – Trigger points can arise due to contracted muscles, and these are small localized tender areas.
- Other causes – These include inguinal hernia, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
How is pelvic pain diagnosed?
The doctor diagnoses chronic pelvic pain when serious disorders and cancers are eliminated. To make the diagnosis, the pain specialist will take a medical history, conduct a physical examination, and order diagnostic tests, such as laboratory tests, computed tomography (CT) scans, and pelvic ultrasounds.
How does the doctor treat chronic pelvic pain?
The pain specialist must treat the cause of the pelvic pain first. For chronic pelvic pain, the doctor will use a combination of therapies to control the condition. Treatment options include:
- Medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used for inflammatory conditions. For chronic pain where nerves are involved, the doctor can prescribe anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants. Extreme or severe pain is treated with narcotic analgesics.
- Acupuncture – The practitioner inserts fine needles into the skin and muscles to stimulate endorphin production and restore energy flow. This ancient Chinese therapy is used to alleviate the pain associated with the pelvic region.
- Celiac plexus nerve block – The celiac plexus nerves supply the pelvic region and lower abdomen. With this procedure, the doctor inserts a small needle through the back and instills a long-acting anesthetic or neurolytic agent onto the nerves. Based on clinical research reports, this block has an 85-90% efficacy rate.
- Trigger point injections (TPIs) – Trigger points are painful contracted muscle regions on the body. The doctor can inject these points with an anesthetic to offer pain relief. Studies show TPIs are around 90-98% effective.
- Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) – For pelvic pain that is nonresponsive to other treatments, the pain specialist often uses a spinal cord stimulator. This device is surgically implanted, and it interferes with pain signal transmission. According to a recent research study, this device has a 71% success rate.
Fritz J, Chhabra A, Wang KC, Carrino JA. Magnetic resonance neurography-guided nerve blocks for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2014; 24(1):211-34.
Pontari M, Giusto L. New developments in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Curr Opin Urol. 2013;23(6):565-9.
Siegel, S, Paszkiewicz, E, Kirkpatrick, C, et al. (2001). Sacral nerve stimulation in patients with chronic intractable pelvic pain. The Journal of Urology, 166(5), 1742-1745
Srivastava, D (2012). Efficacy of sacral neuromodulation in treating chronic pain related to painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis in adults. Journal of Anesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology, 28(4), 428-435.