The Role of Physiotherapy in Treating Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Affecting Sexual Health

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Pelvic floor physiotherapy focuses on the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues of the pelvic region. It is commonly used to treat various pelvic floor disorders, including Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS). Pelvic floor physiotherapy in Sherwood Park aims to address muscular dysfunction and tension within the pelvic floor, which can contribute to sensations of pelvic pain and discomfort.

What is CPPS?

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome is a condition marked by consistent pelvic pain lasting for at least six months without a clear identifiable cause. It can impact individuals of any gender and is often associated with various symptoms, including but not limited to pelvic pain (dull, aching, or sharp), discomfort during urination or bowel movements, pain during sexual intercourse, and urinary or bowel urgency or frequency. 

CPPS can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, causing physical discomfort, emotional distress, and disruptions in daily activities, work, and relationships. The exact cause of CPPS is often unclear, but factors such as muscle tension, nerve dysfunction, inflammation, and psychological factors may contribute to its development and persistence. 

How Does Physiotherapy Help Individuals with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome?

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation: 

Physiotherapists specialize in pelvic floor rehabilitation, which involves exercises and methods to both strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Chronic pelvic pain often involves dysfunction or tension in these muscles, leading to discomfort and pain during sexual activity. Pelvic floor exercises can help alleviate this tension and improve sexual function.

Kegel Exercises: 

This entails both tightening and releasing the pelvic floor muscles. This helps to strengthen the muscles, improve blood flow, and reduce muscle tension. Kegels can be tailored to the individual’s needs, focusing on both the contraction and relaxation phases to address any muscle imbalances or dysfunction.

Pelvic Floor Massage: 

Pelvic floor massage involves gentle manipulation of the muscles and supportive tissues in the pelvic area. This aids in releasing tension, enhancing blood circulation, and alleviating discomfort. Pelvic floor massage may be performed by a physiotherapist or self-administered under guidance.


Biofeedback is a technique used by physiotherapists to aid individuals gain awareness and control over their pelvic floor muscles. By using specialized sensors and monitoring equipment, individuals can learn to both relax and contract their pelvic floor muscles more effectively, which can improve sexual function and reduce pain.

Surface electromyography:

Surface electromyography measures pelvic floor muscle activity via electrodes on the skin, displaying contractions on a monitor. Real-time feedback helps individuals control muscles, aiding in managing chronic pelvic pain affecting sexual health.

Pressure biofeedback:

Pressure biofeedback involves using a pressure-sensing device inserted into the vagina or rectum to measure pelvic floor muscle pressure. Individuals receive feedback on their ability to contract and relax their pelvic floor muscles by monitoring changes in pressure on a display screen.

Pain Management Techniques: 

Physiotherapists can teach pain management techniques like relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, and mindfulness practices. Pelvic health physiotherapy helps individuals cope with the pain associated with CPPS, allowing them to engage in sexual activity more comfortably.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): 

PMR entails systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups throughout the body to foster relaxation and reduce overall muscle tension. By alternating between tension and relaxation, individuals can learn to release muscle tightness and manage pain more effectively.

Deep Breathing Exercises: 

Deep breathing exercises involve slow, deep breaths that help to activate the body’s relaxation response. By focusing on their breath, individuals can reduce muscle tension, lower stress levels, and alleviate pain associated with CPPS. Techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing and paced breathing can be particularly effective.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation:

TENS therapy for chronic pelvic pain syndrome involves applying low-voltage electrical currents via skin electrodes, targeting pain relief and muscle relaxation, and aiding sexual health.

Manual Therapy: 

Pelvic floor physiotherapy in Sherwood Park utilizes manual therapy techniques like massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy to address muscle tightness and trigger points in the pelvic region. These techniques can help minimize pain and improve mobility, facilitating better sexual function.

Myofascial Release: 

Myofascial release constitutes a form of manual therapy technique concentrated on easing tension and constraints in the fascia, which envelops muscles and organs. Pelvic floor physiotherapists use gentle, sustained pressure and stretching techniques to release tightness and enhance mobility in the pelvic region.

Trigger Point Therapy: 

Trigger point therapy involves the identification and treatment of trigger points, which are hyperirritable spots within tight bands of muscle tissue that may lead to referred pain and discomfort. Pelvic floor therapists apply pressure to trigger points in order to relieve tension and relieve pain in the pelvic floor muscles.

Soft Tissue Mobilization: 

Soft tissue mobilization techniques involve applying gentle pressure and stretching movements to the soft tissues surrounding the pelvic floor muscles. This helps to improve tissue flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and enhance mobility in the pelvic region.

Collaboration with Other Healthcare Professionals: 

Female pelvic floor physiotherapists frequently collaborate closely with other healthcare professionals, like urologists, gynecologists, and psychologists, as part of a multidisciplinary approach to managing CPPS. This collaborative approach ensures individuals receive holistic care that attends to both the physical and psychological facets of the condition.

Embracing Diversity in Pelvic Health Care:

Despite its prevalence, the stigma surrounding pelvic floor disorders leaves individuals feeling ashamed or embarrassed to address their symptoms openly. There’s a misconception that pelvic floor exercises are solely for women, yet men, too, experience pelvic disorders. It’s crucial to recognize that male pelvic floor physiotherapy, too,  offers effective solutions tailored to address these issues, providing support and guidance for all individuals seeking relief and improved pelvic health.

A Path to Recovery:

Pelvic floor physiotherapy in Sherwood Park emerges as a promising and holistic approach to addressing Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. By targeting the underlying muscular dysfunction and promoting rehabilitation through tailored exercises and techniques, Emerald Hills Physiotherapy in Sherwood Park offers tangible relief and enhancement of life quality for individuals grappling with this complex condition.

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