Pudendal neuralgia is a type of long-term (chronic) pelvic pain that originates from damage or irritation of the pudendal nerve.
The pudendal nerve is one of the main nerves in the pelvis, supplying areas such as the:
- lower buttocks
- area between the buttocks and genitals (perineum)
- area around the back passage (rectum)
- vulva, labia, and clitoris in women
- scrotum and penis in men
Pudendal neuralgia can be very uncomfortable and distressing, but help is available and there are several treatments that can be tried.
Consider This Our Confession: We are Nerds.
We may not look like it from the outside, but deep down inside what unites all of us at One on One Physical Therapy is our intense desire to learn and to share this knowledge with everyone we come into contact with. We are so passionate about physical therapy we just can’t help ourselves. It’s part of what makes us great at what we do.
This past month, we hosted Herman and Wallace’s course on the Management of Pudendal Neuralgia treatment. 25 physical therapists attended from around the country, some as far away as San Diego, to learn and share stories about our experiences with these patients. Tracy Sher and Loretta Robertson are 2 clinical experts in the field (you can read all about Tracy and her own nerdiness at http://www.pelvicguru.com). A great time was had by all, and we even learned something along the way.
Here’s a recap, provided by Heather Edwards, PT, who is also known as Pelvic Nerd.
(Excerpt taken from PT Nerds)
Amazing Minds in Physical Therapy: Pudendal Neuralgia Assessment and Treatment
My personal highlights from the course:
- The new wave of “pain is an output of the brain” research is amazing fascinating and has some really exciting ways that it can be used for our population.
- How we talk to patients not only matters but can influence their quality of life tremendously (both for better and worse).
- The intent and quality of our touch is much more important that what bony landmarks we may be aligned with when it comes to the pelvis.
- No one has all the answers.
- Even though all signs might point to pain in the pudendal distribution, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem is a nerve problem.
- There is no perfect skill that is going to solve all the problems for every patient you have.
- “Biopsychosocial Epigenetics” is not only fun to say but a great lens to see the patient and what they need from you in order to heal.
- Indirect myofascial work is fairly fabulous and a great skill for patients who have extremely sensitive nervous systems.
- Touching the skin translates to changes in the brain.
- That’s it’s becoming okay in our field to start considering things like the pelvic health of transgender individuals (a thousand thanks to them for that! FORWARD!)
- Pain is ridiculously complex and if we’re not acknowledging that, we are not likely to get our patients the best outcomes possible.
- Social media seems to be a really great way to stay up on cutting edge research in physical therapy (as noted by Tracy blurting out a cool new article that just became available on twitter mid-class).
- Occasional typos like leaving the “g” out of “vaginal” on one slide can be a whole lot of fun.
- We can’t fix everyone. Recognizing that is necessary.
- I have a ridiculously cool profession (well, that part I knew but it was reinforced last weekend).
For pelvic PT’s, this is a course I would absolutely make sure I attend. I’m hoping they do a Part 2!
See, this nerd trend may become the new popular.