One of the most common issues a female might encounter at some point in their life is pain in the pelvic area. This is commonly seen in females from any age, but most commonly around the reproductive age due to changes associated with childbirth. If it persists for more than 6 months, this condition is known as ‘chronic pelvic pain’ (CPP). CPP can cause a loss of quality of life as it can affect many things from sitting for long periods of time (and having trouble with travelling during the holidays), to pain during exercise or intimacy, and pain travelling to other parts of the body.
How do I know I have pain or issues around the pelvic area?
And what causes pain around the pelvic area?
Some of the common signs and symptoms that indicate a person may have pelvic issues are:
Pain in the front of the thigh, or groin area/pubic area
Hormonal changes during pregnancy also means that the ligaments which support our pelvic area become more lax. While the laxity helps to accommodate space for the growing baby, this also means that joints become easier to move. Movements which put more pressure on the area (e.g. deep squat), or sudden movements that cause a shearing force through the joint (e.g. motions like starting to run), can cause pain and discomfort. Such common areas are pain around the pubic region (pubic symphysis), which can also travel to the front of the hip and groin area, and upper thigh.
Pain in the back of the hip
The joints and ligaments in the front of the pelvis and hip are not only affected, but the back of the hip as well. A large bulk of the stabilising ligaments of our pelvis is located near the back, covering our tailbone. When pelvic instability is present, it often causes pain near the back of our hip – not exactly over our lower back, but closer to the buttock and tailbone region. Sometimes what we think of as a lower back issue can oftentimes actually be a pelvis joint issue, such as sacroiliitis.
Feeling that the pelvic floor muscles are weak
The pelvic floor helps to create optimal intra-abdominal pressure, which is important in preventing lower back pain. When getting back to exercises (or even daily life) after pregnancy and delivery, females can often feel like their pelvic floor is weak. This is characterised by feeling like you are unable to do a deep squat due to an uncomfortable pressure around the vaginal or anal region, reduced sensation around the vaginal area, or can even progress to passing wind from either the anus or vagina when bending over or lifting,
Frequent urination, or difficulty holding your pee
Inability to hold your urine, or having to frequently use the bathroom is related to having weak pelvic floor muscles. For some people, this can also be accompanied by constipation and straining to defecate. When the pelvic floor muscles become weak, urine leakage can happen when excess pressure is placed around the abdomen – activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting a weight/squatting with weight can cause involuntary urine leakage.
How can chiropractic help pain in the pelvic area?
For females experiencing pelvic pain, either pain around the back of the hip, or the pubic and groin area, the Webster technique is a specific and gentle chiropractic adjustment that helps to align the pelvis.
The goal of this adjustment is to reduce the effects of the pelvic and SI joint dysfunction, and to improve the neurobiomechanical function in the sacral area and pelvis. This technique also includes a soft tissue release of associated muscle groups around the pelvis region. It allows the pelvis to function properly during pregnancy. Soft tissue tension can be reduced, thus helping to create an ideal environment for the baby to grow and move.
Chiropractors who specialise in this technique must undergo training and be certified in the Webster technique, making sure that it is safe for any female experiencing pain before, during, or after pregnancy. It is also helpful in providing relief for common lower back and sciatic pains that pregnant women often experience!
If you are a female experiencing pain around the pelvic area, feel free to contact us to set up a consultation with one of our practitioners. During the initial consultation, you will be asked a series of questions to understand your condition and history, and a physical assessment will also be performed to check which parts of your hip and pelvis are contributing to pain and weakness. From there, treatment specific to your condition can be provided.