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Free Content A Review of Physiotherapy Pain Management Strategies in the Management of Patients with Chronic Pelvic Pain

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This article describes physiotherapy approaches in managing chronic pelvic pain as a part of the multidisciplinary team. Once treatable medical causes have been excluded, the focus is on utilising the evidence-base for chronic pain and using the biopsychosocial framework to establish the individual needs of the patient, including support from the pain management team to address medical needs, medication issues and psychological impact. Specific musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatments have been extensively explored in the literature but physiotherapy treatments of the sensitised nervous system in chronic pelvic pain have been less well documented. There is a recognised need for clinicians managing patients with this diagnosis to be skilled and knowledgeable about the principles of pain management, and the author has drawn on experience, expert opinion and the limited literature available. Explanations about pain mechanisms may be more challenging as they include visceral pain, inflammatory conditions and functional issues unique to the pelvic area. Descriptions of physiotherapy pain management techniques such as desensitisation, stretches and exercises focus on commonly observed problems for people with chronic pelvic pain, including poor sitting tolerance, bladder issues and allodynia. The emphasis is on supporting the patient to develop self-management techniques and includes a brief overview of the data collected from the first pelvic pain management programme developed in the United Kingdom (Link).

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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  • Pain and Rehabilitation is a peer-reviewed, Bi-annual journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association and special interest group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. The journal comprises a range of different articles types from orignial articles to systematic reviews and letters around the topic of pain and rehabilitation. The journal is multidisciplinary in its focus and welcomes submissions from all professionals working in this multidisciplinary field. the abstract of all articles will be freely avilable online. Full text articles are available free online to members of the Physiotherapy Pain Association, and access to individual PDF articles can be purchased by non members.
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