Do you feel the ache in the pelvic area for 6 months? Probably, it is chronic pelvic pain syndrome. It is an actual problem for both women and men. The condition has a severe impact on well-being and overall quality of life. Besides discomfort and pain, it brings constant stress, depression, and sexual ailment. The reasons for the appearance of this syndrome are:
- Problems with muscles and joints;
- Disorders of the nervous system;
- Hormonal imbalance;
- Gynecological diseases;
- Problems with urination.
The consequences of this syndrome can significantly affect the patient’s quality of life. Due to constant pain and dysfunction, a person becomes limited in physical activity. In addition, CPPS symptoms can be psychological. Over time, depression, anxiety, and a general decline in quality of life may develop. So, to avoid such consequences, it is necessary to consult a doctor in time.
Understanding Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
In many doctors’ practices, some patients suffer pain in the lower abdomen and lower back. And in most cases, people do not even suspect it could be a pelvic pain. Because most of them don’t know the CPPS meaning. Generally, it is an ache around pelvic organs for six months or more. And if you do not treat it, it can affect other organs.
Pelvic pain is a discomfort in the lower abdomen. You feel it in:
- lower back;
- in the crotch;
- external genitalia;
- the inner surface of the thighs.
These pains can be diverse. There may be a feeling of heaviness, cutting or burning pains, or sharp “shoots.” The intensity of the ache can vary. Moreover, sometimes they depend on the psycho-emotional state. That is, this disease affects enough organs to make a person functionally disabled.
How to understand that you have chronic pelvic pain? It rarely occurs as an isolated symptom. This pain often combines headaches, defecation problems, neurological disorders, and so on. Thus, if you treat this syndrome, you can overcome many other symptoms.
An essential aspect in the occurrence of pelvic pain is posture. In particular, this refers to the angle of inclination of the pelvis about the spine. Certain angles can cause hypertonia of the pelvic muscles. Pay attention to the symmetry of the posterior superior iliac spine to detect this deviation. Under the conditions of distortion, there is an asymmetry of movements. It leads to a further violation of the biomechanics of the pelvis.
Prevalence and Impact of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
This syndrome would not be so common if people did not ignore CPPS symptoms. Unfortunately, it affects many people around the world of various age groups. The statistics of chronic pelvic pain are not clear, but it impacts patients badly. It can lead to a deterioration in the quality of life, social isolation, and low work productivity. So, early diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of CPPS are essential.
Causes and Risk Factors of CPPS
When a person develops some disease, it is crucial to consider its risk factors. Thus, it is necessary to understand the cause of pelvic pain disorder first. Maybe it is due to an injury? Maybe it is due to neurological diseases? Or is it a genetic issue? Most often, specialists find the next reasons and risk factors for it:
- Neurological problems
For example, interstitial cystitis doctors associate with the development of chronic pelvic pain. Disorders of the nervous system characterize these conditions. They affect the perception of pain in the pelvic region.
- Diseases of the pelvic organs
Common causes are chronic prostatitis in men or chronic vaginitis in women. Other possible conditions including endometriosis, vascular disorders, and muscle dysfunction.
- Hormonal imbalance
Various hormonal changes can affect the development of chronic pain in the pelvis. They mainly occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy in women.
- Injuries to the pelvic region
Falls, car accidents, or sports injuries can lead to the development of pelvic pain. These injuries can damage the pelvic structures, causing discomfort and hurt.
- Muscle dysfunction
Pelvic muscle tension or dysfunction can cause chronic pain. Stress, injuries, or poor body position can lead to such problems.
- Genetic predisposition
Some studies show a genetic predisposition to developing CPPS symptoms. Do you have a history of this illness in your family?
So, chronic pelvic pain is a severe problem. And understanding these unique risk factors can help prevent the condition.
Symptoms of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Have you recently experienced sleep disturbances, pelvic pain, and painful urination? If so, you probably have pelvic pain syndrome. This disease carries various manifestations. And this is precisely the problem of such a disease. After all, it often causes more than just pelvic pain. Besides, it brings with it psychological and neurological issues. So, here are more examples of CPPS symptoms:
- Changes in sexual function
It can include decreased sexual desire and erectile problems. It also causes painful ejaculations or sexual dysfunction in general.
- Painful urinary direction
Some people with CPPS can experience pain or discomfort during urination. It may be due to active inflammation or a nervous system disorder.
- Prolonged pelvic pain
One of the most characteristic symptoms is long-term pain in the pelvis. It can last for six months or more. This pain can be constant or intermittent.
- Bad mood
Many patients with chronic pelvic pain note a feeling of chronic fatigue. It provokes low energy and an inability to concentrate. It can significantly affect the general mood and quality of life.
This disease can provoke sleep problems. It includes insomnia or restless sleep. It may be due to the pain and stress associated with the condition.
Diagnosis and Evaluation of CPPS
Since this disease is quite complex, its diagnosis is also problematic. Why? The fact is that such a syndrome carries various manifestations. And they can relate to both neurology and gynecology or other fields of medicine. So, first, doctors listen to the patient’s complaints and ask about the character of the pain. They specify the duration of the CPPS symptoms and their impact on daily activities. They also examine the patient’s medical history, including past illnesses, surgeries, and treatments.
The process of evaluating the pelvic pain syndrome for diagnosis includes such steps:
- First, doctors determine in which area of the body the patient has pain. They check its intensity and frequency;
- Next, specialists rule out other possible causes of pelvic pain. That is, they conduct an examination and draw conclusions that definitely could not have provoked this condition.
- After that, it is crucial to determine the type of pain. It can be localized and have sharp, dull, and throbbing pain.
- Finally, doctors check how pelvic pain disorder affects physical activity, sexual function, or the patient’s psychosocial condition.
Extra studies may include urological, coloproctology, and neurological examinations. Depending on the indications, it can be ultrasound examination, computed tomography, cystoscopy, laparoscopy, or other methods.
Treatment Approaches for CPPS
Doctors use complex therapy for chronic pelvic pain. It is aimed at eliminating the cause of the infection and its symptoms. Depending on the level of illness progression, medics can prescribe for patients:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs. They are for inflammation in the organs of the genitourinary system;
- Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral drugs. They are to cut the infectious process;
- Hormonal drugs. They are to normalize the hormonal background;
- Painkillers. They are for pain relief in milder forms of this condition.
Also, the doctor can recommend physical therapy and physiotherapeutic procedures. Usually, they use ultrasound, laser, or magnetic energy. They contribute to the improvement of blood microcirculation, the elimination of stagnant phenomena, and the treatment of inflammatory processes.
Specialists occasionally use alternative techniques to treat pelvic pain disorders. They use therapy courses and other methods. Among them are:
- Drug therapy. It is for relieving pain and eliminating the reasons for the underlying disease;
- Various physiological procedures, massages, acupuncture reflexology. It is to improve muscle tone and relieve pain;
- Surgical intervention. Doctors do this in cases where other methods do not give results.
The most important thing is not to treat chronic pelvic pain syndrome on your own. It will not give any results and can only worsen the situation.
A Word From Lone Star Neurology
So, pelvic pain disorder can be the cause even of neurological infections. It can occur due to dysfunction of the nervous system. So, detecting it in the early stages and contacting specialists is important.
Lone Star Neurologists is here to help if you need a neurologist consultation. With our latest research and treatment approaches, we will invent the issues in your body. Afterward, we will provide you with a treatment that will make you feel better.
- What is the difference between chronic pelvic pain and chronic pelvic pain syndrome?
Chronic pelvic pain is a broad description of persistent pelvic discomfort. And chronic pelvic pain syndrome implies a more complex condition. It includes pain, discomfort, and potential urinary and sexual dysfunction.
- What are the typical symptoms of CPPS?
Symptoms of CPPS typically include:
- long-lasting pelvic pain;
- discomfort or pain during urination;
- frequent urge to urinate;
- pain or discomfort during sexual activity;
- potential pain or discomfort in the rectum.
- What are the common causes of CPPS?
CPPS can have various causes. It includes pelvic floor muscle dysfunction or hypertonicity. Besides, it involves nerve irritation or sensitization in the pelvic area. Also, it can be chronic inflammation in the prostate or potential psychological factors.
- Does CPPS get worse over time?
From person to person, it differs. Some people might observe their symptoms getting worse with time. And others might see changes in the severity of their symptoms or even an improvement.