Pelvic floor tension myalgia

Diagnosis of pelvic floor tension myalgia

If you suspect you have pelvic floor tension myalgia or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed here, it is important to see your doctor. Your doctor will first go over your symptoms and medical history, and then they will perform a pelvic exam. For your medical history, they are checking for things like:

  • Past pregnancies
  • Past urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • How easy your bowel movements are

Once your doctor has the initial examination done, they will schedule you again to test pelvic muscle control and contractions. There are two ways this can be done:

  • Internal exam – A perineometer (a small sensor) is inserted into the vagina or rectum to measure muscle contractions in the pelvis.
  • External electrodes – Electrodes are placed on the perineum (the area of skin between the anus and the vagina) to detect the voluntary contraction and relaxation of the pelvic muscles.
  • Anorectal manometry – A test that measures the pressure, coordination, and muscle strength of the anal sphincters.
  • Uroflow test – A test to determine how easily you can empty your bladder.
  • Defecating proctogram – A thick liquid enema is given and viewed on a video x-ray recorder, which records the movement of the muscles as they pass a bowel movement.

Treatment

Our doctors focus their treatment and prevention efforts on relieving pain and preventing muscle spasms. Pelvic floor myalgia treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapists can teach you strategies, such as Kegel exercises, to strengthen and relax your pelvic floor muscles. Our therapists also use heat, cold therapy, and massage to provide symptom relief.
  • Massage: Your provider applies pressure internally to the pelvic floor muscles, either through the vagina or rectum.
  • Medication: Medications taken by mouth, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants, may ease symptoms. Injections of pain-relieving medication or botulinum toxin (Botox) may also provide relief.
  • Electrical stimulation: Some people find relief with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), a treatment that delivers small electrical impulses to the nerves.
  • Biofeedback: This therapy uses visual or sound cues to help you learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles on demand.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Soaking in a hot bath or sitting on cushions may relieve pelvic tension and prevent spasms.

 

It may take some time to find the treatment or combination of treatments that is most effective. Our caring team at Dignity Health will work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and relieves your discomfort.

Preparation

In preparing for your initial consultation, you should be ready to discuss your symptoms and your medical history. Although you might feel embarrassed talking about your condition, when you are with your doctor, you are in a safe place. Your doctor only wants to help you get better.

You should also be prepared for a pelvic exam, which means you should try to schedule your appointment when you aren’t menstruating. The same can be said for any testing, which is the only preparation required. You also do not need to do any special preparation for the treatment options that are available to you.

Recovery

In many cases, a full recovery from pelvic floor tension myalgia can be made. However, it can take many weeks or months of taking medication and physical therapy before you see an improvement in symptoms. In addition, you may have to stay away from strenuous physical activity, such as weightlifting or skipping, that will put pressure on your pelvic floor.

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.