Pelvic pain is becoming a more common complaint, a consequence of modern life that requires so many people to spend their day sitting at a desk or in front of a computer and then going home to sit on their couch all night watching television. It’s not simply the act of sitting that’s wreaking havoc on our bodies; it’s that our posture is usually terrible, which serves to shorten certain muscle groups resulting in weakness and imbalance. More than $2.8 billion is spent annually by Americans treating chronic pelvic pain.
Despite its value, few people take the time to stretch, but just taking five minutes every day to lengthen taut muscles and loosen joints can help keep pelvic pain at bay. Lifestyle is another important factor. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight, with 27 percent diagnosed as clinically obese. That extra weight affects our entire body and strains the pelvis when doing any ambulatory or motor activity such as standing, walking, and running.
The pelvis resembles a hollow container that acts as a way in and a way out for neurovascular and muscular structures. The pelvis consists of the sacrum, a triangular bone located between the two innominate bones at the sacroiliac joints.
Pelvic pain is generally separated into two types. The first is mechanical disorders where the lower back, hip, and sacroiliac joints can cause pelvic pain. Organic dysfunctions such as bowel and bladder problems or gynecologic disorders can also cause pelvic pain. It’s often hard for a person to tell if the pain is organic or mechanical in nature.
Pelvic pain can be severe and is also scary so people usually see a doctor relatively quickly. Diagnosing the problem can take time. So it is important to come prepared with a full and complete medical history, which includes daily activities medical history, diet, and exercise routine.
Car accidents and falls, most often from a significant height, are the leading causes of pelvic fractures. But there have also been cases where runners, especially long distance runners, develop pelvic stress fractures, which do not always show up on X-rays so they have to be identified through MRIs or bone scans.
A study conducted at the Palmer College of Chiropractic examined patients who had experienced pelvic pain from a range of 1-25 years. The participants were given chiropractic treatments including adjustments using flexion-distraction technique and manual trigger-point therapy. Prior to the study, two-thirds of the patients reported frequent use of analgesics. By the end of the study, half had stopped using them altogether. The researchers concluded that the treatment had positive short-term effects on the pain and disability associated with chronic pelvic pain and recommended chiropractic adjustments and adjunctive as effective strategies to ease and control pelvic pain.
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