Pelvic floor physical therapy improves pelvic pain and voiding symptoms in women, according to research presented at the AUA annual meeting.
“Consult any source about pressing issues in America and appropriate management of chronic pain is at the top of the list. Urologists are not isolated from this trend, and we see many patients with chronic pelvic pain who are debilitated by their symptoms,” presenting author Natalie Gaines, MD, of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI, told Urology Times. “However, unlike back pain or chronic migraines, pelvic pain affects the ‘private’ area of patients’ lives—their bowel, urinary, and sexual functions—and may be underreported or ignored until symptoms are truly severe and long-standing.”
Dr. Gaines and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review comparing symptom scores at intake and discharge among 95 women who had reported chronic pelvic pain as their primary issue and were receiving pelvic floor physical therapy at a single center.
Women in the study were from 18 to 80 years of age (mean age of 47 years). Many of the women reported not only pain but also other symptoms, such as urinary frequency, urinary urgency, constipation, and difficulty initiating urination. More than 82% had tried pain medications for their symptoms, and 48% had undergone pelvic floor physical therapy prior to the study.
They reported their pain scores at each visit and completed the validated Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory Short Form 20 and Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire at their first and discharge visits.