It’s Called Pelvic Pain
After re-reading Katy Bowman’s blog post on internal physical therapy, I spent hours online trying to find resources. Umpteen search terms later (no, “internal physical therapy” didn’t work), I finally ran across the term “pelvic pain.” That was the key. “Pelvic pain” opened up a Google gold mine. While I didn’t come across any happy endings like the one I’m writing now, I finally found the Pelvic Health & Physical Therapy Center in Houston, Texas.
I also discovered that millions of women are out there suffering with pelvic pain of one kind or another, much of it painful intercourse. This kind of pain does not always start after pregnancy and birth either; sometimes it’s spontaneous. (Sobering tidbit: The physical therapists told me that large studies have now demonstrated a link between hormonal birth control [e.g., the Pill] and spontaneous pelvic pain, and that they’ve seen this correlation in their own practice. That’s scary given the number of women out there using these forms of birth control.)
What the Physical Therapists Said
I gathered my courage and booked a first appointment with the PH&PTC, a 2.5 hour ordeal. I filled out reams of paperwork in excruciating detail about my most private experiences. I signed consent forms acknowledging that treatment could be painful. On the big day, I was so sick with shame and fear that I almost threw up in the waiting room. I excused myself to the bathroom and used an emotional acupressure technique to calm down (similar to the TAT but better for out-and-about emergency situations; I’ll share it later in the Healing for Life series). [Edited: Here’s the tapping technique I used.] Whew!
The nurse practitioner who governs the practice sat me down for a talk. What a relief. She talks to women just like me all day, every day–and helps them too. Kleenex abounded, and I took full advantage of them. My pain levels were a 10. My fears about the future were a 10. My sexual frustration was a 10.
The NP very compassionately listened to my history and my doctor’s conclusions, how I was feeling, the kind of support I had, and then shared her thoughts. She said that nerve entrapment was the least common cause of my symptoms, that she had some strong suspicions about what was really going on, and told me that I’d be working with a biofeedback specialist as well as one of their physical therapists.