Chronic pain. In addition to back pain, a number of chronic pain disorders have responded well to therapy. About 25% of pregnant women are diagnosed with a condition known as pelvic girdle pain (PGP) which is characterized by pain in the pelvic joints and problems with walking, standing, and sitting. Therapy that focuses on body awareness and specific functional training has been found to have a good and long-lasting effect on the management of PGP.
Overactive pelvic floor syndrome is characterized by mild to severe chronic pain and defecation difficulties that can lead to chronic constipation. Interstitial cystitis, a condition of chronic bladder irritation, has also been linked to imbalances in pelvic floor musculature. Physical therapy specific to the pelvic floor has been found to be useful in managing these conditions.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) occurs in men of all ages and is characterized by persistent discomfort or chronic pain in the pelvic area. It negatively affects quality of life and sexual function in men. In one case study, two men were treated with manual therapy applied to the pelvic floor by a physical therapist. The therapist also instructed them in progressive muscle relaxation, flexibility exercises, and aerobic exercises. Both men reported decreased pain and improved quality of life based on the scores from their individual NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index questionnaires.