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Pain in Women pp 291-308 | Cite as

Physical Therapy for Female Pelvic Pain

  • Jessica McKinney
Chapter

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the role of physical therapy in the management of women with pelvic pain disorders. Pelvic pain is a costly, prevalent, yet poorly understood condition, found to disproportionately affect women 4:1 [1]. Annual healthcare costs in the US are estimated in excess of $880 million for physician visits alone, and nearly three billion when out-of pocket expenses and mental health visits are included [2]. Prevalence of pelvic pain is found to be similar to prevalence rates of asthma and low back pain [3], and the 3-month prevalence of chronic pelvic pain is estimated at 24% [4]. The majority of prevalence studies of pelvic pain have excluded women with vulvar pain disorders, as well as women who were pregnant or who had been pregnant within the past year. Therefore, the prevalence of all pelvic pain conditions is likely greater than that commonly cited in the literature. For example, an investigation by Harlow and Stewart identified a 16% lifetime prevalence of unexplained chronic vulvar pain, equating to approximately 14 million US women; a much higher prevalence than that found in earlier studies [5]. This high prevalence of female pelvic pain and the changing healthcare landscape are contributing to the now widely accepted and promoted concept of a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to diagnosis and treatment that includes physicians of multiple specialties, physical therapists, and mental health professionals [6, 7].

Keywords

Pelvic Floor Pelvic Pain Pelvic Floor Muscle Physical Therapist Trigger Point 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica McKinney
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Women’s HealthMarathon Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, LLCNewtonUSA

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