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To better understand chronic pelvic pain syndrome, researchers gathered data from nearly 200 patients with the diagnosis. The patients had a physical therapy evaluation, as well as completing several questionnaires about their pain, quality of life and anxiety.
The researchers wanted to determine if there was a correlation in general symptoms with local, specific pain sites (known as either trigger or tender points, depending on their severity). Their suspicions were confirmed: the number of tender points was associated with physical quality of life, pain experience, anxiety, and stress.
This finding is important – it suggests that reducing or eliminating these trigger and tender points with pelvic floor physical therapy can demonstrate global improvement in chronic pelvic pain.
The number of trigger points was significantly associated with anxiety, stress, pain experience, and both physical and mental quality of life in male patients.–Susanne Klotz, Bernd Lowe and Christian Brunahl
There were also significant differences between men and women with chronic pelvic pain. The most common trigger point site for both genders was on the inner hip on the hip flexor muscles, but men were more likely to also have tender points on the lower abdomen than women. On average, researchers found that men had four significant trigger points and thirteen tender points.
Multiple treatments are effective in reducing or eliminating trigger and tender points for pelvic pain. Pelvic floor physical therapy for chronic prostatitis resolves trigger points with manual therapy. Self-care tools like foam rollers can help patients release trigger points on their own. Self-massage and fascial release can eliminate trigger points, while a gentle stretching regimen can keep muscles loose and prevent additional trigger points from forming.
Read more in our Prostatitis Health Center.