Chronic Pelvic Pain: Acupuncture can help you eliminate or significantly reduce the pain
Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is one of the most common pain conditions affecting women and men, and can have a significant impact on quality of life. Chronic pelvic pain is a multi-system disorder when pain symptoms can manifest in many different ways. There are also many root causes to pelvic pain ranging anywhere from trauma, muscle strain, emotional stress, and nutritional deficiencies. The pain in the pelvis can be defined as truly unique to each individual in the root cause and manifestation of it.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles that attach to the front, back, and sides of the pelvic bone and sacrum. Like a sling or hammock, these muscles support the organs in the pelvis, including the bladder, uterus or prostate, and rectum. They also wrap around your urethra, rectum, and vagina (in women).
How Acupuncture helps to relieve chronic pelvic floor pain?
Acupuncture provides a holistic approach to healing and is effective treatment to relieve the pain. The fundamental concept of acupuncture is the balanced flow of life energy, Qi through the body. The Qi flows in well-defined vessels - meridians, which already are identified and acknowledged by modern scientist research. When the flow of Qi is blocked by disease or injury, the symptoms of illness – pain, swellings, and tenderness manifest themselves. Acupuncture points are well- demarcated areas along the meridians, which “unblocks” the flow of Qi with the insertion of needle.
One major hypothesis from Western researches is that acupuncture works through neurohormonal pathways: the needle in the body stimulates the nerves that send signals to the brain, and the brain releases neural hormones such as beta-Endorphins. By doing that, the patient may feel euphoric, or happy, and this increases the pain threshold and they feel less pain.
The needles inserted locally, in pelvic area improve local blood flow and invigorate Qi/energy flow. This local needle insertion causes a local release of histamine and endorphins and facilitates local pain gate effects.
Needles inserted more distally, on the legs and arms stimulate descending pain inhibition, as well as the production of endorphins and β-cortisol (anti-inflammatory).
What types of pelvic floor pain can be eliminated with Acupuncture?
- Endometriosis • Menstrual Pain • Uterine Fibroids • Ovarian and Dermoid Cysts • Childbirth Trauma/Anxiety • C-Section scar Adhesions • Adenomyosis • Vaginismus
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
• Iritable bowel syndrome (IBS) pain is intermittent, with cramping in the left lower quadrant as well as flatulence, bloating and alternating diarrhoea and constipation. Pain is often improved after a bowel movement and is typically worse after eating, during stress and anxiety, and during the premenstrual and menstrual phases of the cycle.
• Diverticular disease results in severe acute left quadrant pain with associated fever and tenderness. •Inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis manifests with acute pains and symptoms such as fever, vomiting and anorexia
Chronic pain of urological origin is associated with bladder-related symptoms of urgency, frequency, hesitancy, incontinence, nocturia, dyspareunia and urinary tract problems such as: • Interstitial Cystitis (IC) • Neurogenic Bladder Pain • Painful Bladder Syndrome (PPS) • Prolapse of Uterus or Bladder
Myofascial pain syndrome
• It occurs as a result of muscle injury, overuse, repetitive strain or somatic influences on the sympathetic nervous system. Myofascial pain is generally described as dull, aching and poorly localised. • •It may be affected by posture, stress and the menstrual cycle. • It is generally eased with rest, warmth and the reduction of postural and emotional stress. •Any fascia or muscle innervated by the twelfth thoracic to the fourth lumbar spinal segments can refer pain to the lower abdomen, especially the iliopsoas, quadratus lumborum,and piriformis muscles. • Any fascia or muscle innervated by the tenth thoracic to the fourth sacral segments can refer pain to the reproductive organs, abdominal wall, lower back, thighs and pelvic floor
Studies of women with Chronic Pelvic Pain have documented a high incidence of psychological disturbance and sexual abuse. The role of unknown neurophysiological mechanisms within the enteric nervous system, spinal cord and supraspinal areas cannot be overestimated. Chronic pelvic pain without (or even with) inflammatory, mechanical or visceral pathology is likely to involve all levels of the Central Nervous system. In such cases the therapeutic approach should be directed at the physical, emotional and systemic levels.
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