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What is referred pelvic pain?



Referred pain is pain experienced in an area that is different to its origin. Pain may be referred from nerves exiting the lower back (lumbar spine). Referred pelvic pain can be common and may be felt in the hips, lower back or thighs. Physiotherapy can successfully treat symptoms of referred pelvic pain.


How does referred pelvic pain occur?



Referred pelvic pain can be caused by a number of different reasons. It is possible for internal organs to refer pain from the pelvic region and this is known as visceral pain. Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine can cause nerves to be ‘trapped’ which may also cause referred pelvic pain. Other causes of referred pelvic pain include rheumatoid arthritis, symphysis pubis pain and sacroiliac joint disorder.


What are the symptoms of referred pelvic pain?



The symptoms of referred pelvic pain may include pain, pins and needles and numbness in the affected areas. This may affected your mobility and you could find it more difficult to carry out everyday activities such as walking and climbing the stairs. Other symptoms include:

What should I do if I have referred pelvic pain?



If you notice any symptoms of referred pelvic pain, you should get a professional opinion as soon as possible. This may involve have an X-ray, MRI scan or CT scan to identify the exact location of your pain. Once this is confirmed, you can begin an individualised physiotherapy programme to optimise your recovery.


Physiotherapy treatment for referred pelvic pain.



Physiotherapy for referred pelvic girdle pain can include strengthening and stretching exercises, functional electrical stimulation and electrotherapy techniques. Other treatments include:

What shouldn’t I do if I have referred pelvic pain?



If you think you may have referred pelvic pain, it is important not to ignore your symptoms. Do not continue with your normal activities of daily living if you suspect you may have referred pelvic pain. Your physiotherapist will be able to advise you on suitable activities and exercises to help with your recovery and let you know those which may cause more damage.


Could there be any long-term effects referred pelvic pain?



The recovery time for referred pelvic pain will depend on its exact cause. Although this may be several months, physiotherapy is an excellent way to help you return to a normal active lifestyle.

To arrange a physiotherapy appointment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.


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