Pelvic pain may appear only in the pelvic region but also radiate into the lower abdomen, legs, spine, and buttocks. It may range from mild to acute and could potentially develop into a chronic condition if not treated appropriately.
Discomfort in the pelvis could have multiple root causes linked to issues in the spine, nerves, and muscles or correlated medical conditions in the reproductive organs. Identifying its origin is key to determining the best treatment plan for your case.
Having pelvic pain can severely limit regular activities and hinder the quality of life. Although pelvic pain is more common in women, people of all ages and genders could experience it. Seeking appropriate healthcare can help limit the progression of this condition and restore overall well-being.
Pelvic pain may originate due to multiple causes. Some are related to issues in the surrounding muscles or bones, and others to medical conditions. Here are some of the top causes of pelvic pain:
Pelvic pain can be caused due to conditions that affect the muscles and bones surrounding the area in the buttocks and lower back. Some of these include the following:
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction: The sacroiliac joints are located in the lower back, connecting the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) to the ilium bones of the pelvis. When the joints swell, it usually causes pelvic pain.
- Piriformis syndrome: The compression of the sciatic nerve area can lead to swelling of the piriformis muscle located in the buttocks.
Multiple spinal issues could be related to the development of pelvic pain:
- Herniated Disc: A herniated disc occurs when an intervertebral disc becomes damaged or displaced, leading to nerve irritation and lumbar pain. A herniated disc may be caused by degenerative wearing due to aging but also by physical injuries because of incorrect lifting techniques or trauma.
- Spinal Stenosis: This condition occurs when there is increased pressure on the spinal nerves due to the narrowed spaces between the bones in the spine. Symptoms that characterize spinal stenosis include pain in the lower back or legs when standing or walking and difficulty with balance and coordination.
The irritation of nerves near the buttocks and lower back could lead to the development of pelvic pain:
- Sciatica happens when the nerves in the lower back area extending into the legs become irritated or damaged.
- Pinched nerves happens when a spinal nerve becomes compressed by pressure due to a correlated condition or physical trauma. When this happens, the normal functioning of nerves becomes interrupted and sends pain signals into the brain.
Other medical conditions could arise that may be causing discomfort in the pelvic area. These may range from inflammatory disease in the pelvis to endometriosis
or interstitial cystitis
Some of the most common symptoms that appear with pelvic pain include:
- Persistent or intermittent pain in the pelvic region that may radiate to the lower back, buttocks, thighs, or legs
- Discomfort that may worsen when sitting, standing, or walking
- Sensitivity in the area that increases with touch or pressure in the pelvic area
In order to diagnose the root cause of pelvic pain, your doctor may perform multiple tests and examinations, including:
- Physical examination of your lower back, spine, buttocks, and legs
- Imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI
- Nerve conduction studies
- Pelvic floor muscle evaluation
Treatment for pelvic pain will depend on its root cause. The ideal procedures may include the following multidisciplinary options:
Conservative treatments aim to reduce pain by performing low-impact exercises and noninvasive techniques. These include:
- Pelvic floor rehabilitation through physiotherapy
- Lifestyle changes like posture correction, eating healthy, performing low-impact exercise, and cutting down on heavy drinking and smoking
- Stress management techniques to avoid nerve stress
Compared to regular medication, non-narcotics
can help reduce nerve or muscle swelling and reduce pain without the risk of developing an addiction. These may include anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants targeting the pelvic zone.
Some of the injections most commonly used to reduce pelvic pain include:
- Sacroiliac joint injections for pain relief and inflammation reduction
- Nerve blocks for blocking pain signals
- Trigger point injections for muscle tension relief
uses electrical nerve stimulation to help reduce the lumbar stress caused by lower back pain. Spinal cord stimulation, for example, uses electrical impulses to modify the nerve activity in the pelvic area, stopping pain from being felt.
Pelvic pain can be prevented through lifestyle modifications that will also increase overall health. These include:
- Performing regular exercise
- Eating healthy
- Having good posture
- Following the correct technique when lifting heavy objects
- Drinking water
- Managing stress
We focus on spinal and neuropathic pain management at Spinal Diagnostics. Our team of specialists are recognized leaders in clinical research and offer updated diagnostic processes and treatment options.
We have dedicated our practice to improving our patient’s quality of life without using opiate medications or traditional spine surgery. Over ten years of experience makes us the top choice for those dealing with back and neck pain.
If you want to learn more about our services, call us, schedule an appointment online, or visit our locations in Tualatin and Newberg in Oregon.