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Pelvic Pain Management Treatment

The MAPS Pelvic Pain Management Treatment Program incorporates physical therapy, behavioral therapy, pain medication management and interventional techniques to treat pelvic pain, a life-altering condition that involves physical discomfort and emotional distress. While pelvic pain is more common in women, pelvic pain also affects men. The goals of pelvic pain management treatment are focused on the reduction of pain, restoration of normal function and improved quality of life.

MAPS Pelvic Pain Management Treatment Program

The Pelvic Pain Management Treatment Program doctors and specialists are highly skilled in diagnosing the causes of chronic pelvic pain, and our doctors and specialists work together to develop a pelvic pain relief treatment plan tailored to the patient’s individual needs. The pelvic pain clinic values an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to manage pelvic pain, so patients who are referred to the Pelvic Pain Management Treatment Program may receive care from the program's team of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, doctors, physical therapists and licensed psychologists, all professionals with expertise in pelvic pain relief.

Patient Evaluation

The first step in effective pelvic pain management and treatment is a comprehensive and thorough evaluation. Our pelvic pain evaluation process includes an interview and review of outside medical records, as well as a physical examination. We recommend that female patients have a gynecological examination by their gynecologist and male patients have a prostate examination by their urologist or primary doctor within 60 days of starting the Pelvic Pain Management Treatment Program. This is to ensure that all patients have been screened for any treatable, organic diseases that may be contributing to pain in the pelvic region.

Physical Examination

Our physical examination for pelvic pain includes a musculoskeletal assessment to measure range of motion, strength, reflexes, sensation, muscle tone and tenderness. Our pelvic pain management doctors also assess skin and tissue integrity in the pelvic region, identify tender points in and around the pelvis and determine strength in the pelvic floor muscles that support the genito-urinary organs and assist with bowel and bladder function.

Diagnostic Testing for Pelvic Pain

An important part of pelvic pain evaluation involves sophisticated diagnostic testing. We review the results of any previous tests a patient may have undergone prior to coming to MAPS, and we may order additional pelvic pain testing as necessary. Tests commonly used for the diagnostic workup of pelvic pain include imaging studies (CT, MRI and/or ultrasound), urodynamic studies, laboratory testing and electrodiagnostic examinations.

Preparing for Your Doctor Appointment

Before your pelvic pain appointment with your pain management clinic doctor or specialist, take note of some important facts, which can help in your pelvic pain relief.

  • Is your pelvic pain the result of an injury?
  • What movements increase or decrease your pelvic pain?
  • What are the pelvic pain symptoms you have been feeling?
  • How long have you had this pelvic pain?
  • What does your pelvic pain feel like?
  • What type of work do you do?
  • What pain management treatments or medications have you already tried for pelvic pain relief?

Treatment Options for Pelvic Pain

Physical Therapy

MAPS physical therapists have specialized training in pelvic pain management treatment and are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor tension disorders. These may be associated with urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, constipation, pudendal neuralgia, interstitial cystitis and dyspareunia. We have a patient-centered approach and hope to restore a sense of control by providing patients with self-management pelvic pain-relief strategies. MAPS physical therapists for pelvic pain management and treatment are skilled in the use of biofeedback, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and other techniques to reduce pelvic pain and improve function.

Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies

Pelvic pain problems are difficult for patients to discuss, bring about emotional and mental stress and are often associated with anxiety and depression. MAPS psychologists understand the emotional and mental stressors that exist for patients who have a chronic pelvic pain diagnosis and provide pelvic pain management tools such as relaxation training, hypnosis and group support to help patients cope. We also offer individual and couples counseling to decrease the effects that pelvic pain may have on an individual’s personal relationships.

Therapeutic Injections

There are a variety of injections and nerve blocks that may be used for chronic pelvic pain management and treatment. Our pelvic pain management specialist doctors may recommend one or a series of injections, depending on the exact nature of symptoms. Interventional pain procedures may help to facilitate physical therapy treatments by "putting out the fire" of inflammation and/or reversing the sensitivity of the "wound up” pain-sensing nervous system. Injection therapies can usually be provided with minimal discomfort by using local anesthesia, although IV sedation is always available for any patient who has anxiety about needles.


Neurostimulation is a high-tech intervention that is increasingly being used to treat refractory pelvic pain and bladder dysfunction syndromes, such as interstitial cystitis. With neurostimulation, our pain management specialist doctor places a set of temporary neurostimulator electrodes using fluoroscopic guidance and IV sedation in the outpatient clinic. This trial of therapy can last from several days to one week, as necessary. The trial allows the pelvic pain management patient to experience first-hand what neurostimulation feels like and to make an informed decision about whether to have a neurostimulator system implanted permanently for chronic pelvic pain management and relief.