This blog contains excerpts from an interview with Pamela A. Downey, PT, DPT, WCS, BCB-PMD, PRPC, Pamela is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy and Board Certified in Biofeedback for Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction. She is the owner of Partnership in Therapy, private practice in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Downey's treatment focuses are pelvic floor dysfunction, urogynecological and colorectal issues, spine dysfunction, osteoporosis, and complaints associated with pregnancy and postpartum. Her mission is to educate and integrate healthy lifestyles for patients on the road to wellness.
Physical therapists often require special training to treat pudendal neuralgia. Pamela A. Downey is partnering with H&W to teach the Pudendal Neuralgia and Nerve Entrapment Remote Course, scheduled for June 19-20, 2021. This course teaches pudendal neuralgia diagnostic skills for practitioners to have an improved impact in treating patients with pudendal nerve/pelvic floor muscle dysfunctions.
Pudendal neuralgia is also known as Alcock’s syndrome, pudendal canal syndrome, or cyclist syndrome. This condition is caused by tension, compression, or entrapment of the pudendal nerve, and leads to pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, difficulty with urination and defecation, among other issues.
Pudendal neuralgia is often unrecognized by physicians, including gynecologists, urologists, and neurologists. Dr. Downey observes that “Organizing your clinical decision-making process is key in determining the source of seated pain. Pudendal neuralgia can be a chicken and egg clinical phenomenon. My success comes from relying on a solid anatomy background in helping solve the pudendal puzzle.”
Successful treatments can include connective tissue mobilization, neural mobilization, and a home exercise program. Poor movement patterns can contribute to the symptoms of pudendal neuralgia. Physical therapy evaluation in these cases can include movement assessment and a gentle internal assessment of the patient's pelvic muscles. This provides information about the muscles’ ability to contract and relax. Exercises recommended to relax the pudendal nerve and provide temporary relief include cobra pose, side-lying hip abduction and extension, and wide-leg bridges.
Dr. Downey shares that she loves teaching the Pudendal Neuralgia and Nerve Entrapment Remote Course. “We teach the participants, in real-time, how to use evidence-based criteria to see if pudendal neuralgia makes sense as the driving diagnosis. Then we develop this confidence by careful dissection of case studies of real patients treated out over multiple visits, just like you do in the clinic."
Hone your decision-making process and gain confidence in the Pudendal Neuralgia and Nerve Entrapment Remote Course to treat pelvic pain with Pamela Downey on June 19-20, 2021.