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Reaching deeper when treating chronic pelvic pain

Our understanding of treating pelvic pain keeps growing as a profession. We have so many manual therapies such as visceral manipulation, strain counter strain, and positional release adding dimension to our treatment strategies for shortened and painful tissues. Pharmacologic interventions such as botox, valium, and antidepressants are becoming more popular and researched in the literature. We are beginning to work more collaboratively with vulvar dermatologists, urogynecologists, OB’s, family practitioners, urologists, and pain specialists.

Pelvic rehab providers are in a unique position of being able to offer more time with each patient and to see our patients for several visits. Frequently we are the ones being told stories about how a particular condition is really affecting our patient’s life and the emotional struggles around that. We are often the one who gets a clear picture of our patient’s emotional and mental disposition. A rehab provider may realize that a patient seems to exhibit mental patterns in their treatment. It can be anxiety from how the condition is changing their life, difficulty relaxing into a treatment, poor or shallow breathing patterns, frequently telling themselves they will never get better, or being able to perceive their body only as a source of pain or suffering, losing the subtlety of the other sensations within the body. Yet, aside from contacting a physician, who may offer a medication with side effects, or referring to a counselor or psychologist, our options and training may be limited. Patients may be resistant to seeing a mental health counselor, and we have to be careful to stay in our scope.

Research is showing us that meditation as an intervention can be very helpful in addressing these chronic pain issues.

In a study in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 22 women with chronic pelvic pain were enrolled in an 8 week mindfulness meditation course. Twelve out of 22 enrolled subjects completed the program and had significant improvement in daily maximum pain scores, physical function, mental health, and social function. The mindfulness scores improved significantly in all measures (p < 0.01).

The questions have arisen, if meditation alters opiod pathways, how can it be administered safely with prescription medications. However in a 2016 study in the journal of neuroscience, it was concluded that meditation-based pain relief does not require endogenous opioids.” Therefore, the treatment of chronic pain may be more effective with meditation due to a lack of cross-tolerance with opiate-based medications.” “The risks of chronic therapy are significant and may outweigh any potential benefits”, according the the journal of American Family Medicine. Meditation training can be a tool to help our patients manage their pain without risk of long term opiod use.

In the two day course, Meditation for Patients and Providers, participants will learn several different meditation and mindfulness techniques they can use for patients with different dispositions, and to tailor the most appropriate approach to specific patients. The aim of the course is to be able to work meditation into a treatment and a home program that is best suited for your patient. The course also covers self care, preventing provider burn out and ways to be more mentally quiet as a provider seeking to give optimal care with appropriate boundaries.


Fox, S. D., Flynn, E., & Allen, R. H. (2010). Mindfulness meditation for women with chronic pelvic pain: a pilot study. The Journal of reproductive medicine, 56(3-4), 158-162.
LEMBKE, A., HUMPHREYS, K., & NEWMARK, J. (2016). Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Chronic Opioid Therapy. American Family Physician,93(12).
Zeidan, F., Adler-Neal, A. L., Wells, R. E., Stagnaro, E., May, L. M., Eisenach, J. C., ... & Coghill, R. C. (2016). Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(11), 3391-3397.

Pelvic Health for Athletes
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Upcoming Continuing Education Courses

Yoga for Pelvic Pain - Remote Course

Jul 31, 2021 - Aug 1, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Marietta, GA Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Southern Pelvic Health

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Smyrna, TN Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Benchmark Physical Therapy - Smyrna, TN

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Hilo, HI Satellite Location

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Big Island Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Portland, OR Satellite Location (SOLD OUT

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Bridgetown Physical Therapy & Training Studio

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Bradenton, FL Satellite Location (Sold Out)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Children's Therapy Solutions

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Findlay, OH Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Quality PT

Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists - Remote Course

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Tulsa, OK Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Physical Therapy of Tulsa

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Self-Hosted

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Remote Course

Aug 15, 2021 - Aug 16, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Troy, NY Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: The Green Room Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Lakeland, FL Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Leading Edge Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Wichita, KS Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Summit Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Baldwin, WI Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Western Wisconsin Health

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Jonesboro, AR Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Arkansas State University

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - East Norriton, PA Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Core 3 Physical Therapy

Sacroiliac Joint Current Concepts - Remote Course

Aug 21, 2021
Location: Short Form Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Belle Chasse, LA Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Rehab Access Belle Chasse

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Las Vegas, NV Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Action Therapeutics LLC

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Orland Park, IL Satellite Location

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Palos Community Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Syracuse, NY Satellite Location

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: SUNY Upstate Medical University

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Self-Hosted

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Hebron, NE Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Thayer County Health Services

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Boston, MA Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Professional Physical Therapy

Postpartum Rehabilitation - Remote Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 22, 2021 - Aug 23, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Tinton Falls, NJ Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 28, 2021 - Aug 29, 2021
Location: Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Grand Haven, MI Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 28, 2021 - Aug 29, 2021
Location: Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Los Angeles, CA Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 28, 2021 - Aug 29, 2021
Location: Origin Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Sacramento, CA Satellite Course

Aug 28, 2021 - Aug 29, 2021
Location: East Sacramento Physical Therapy