by Dr. Geo Espinosa
Chronic, unresolved pelvic pain can be one of the most frustrating and depressing conditions you can have. The pain becomes chronic when it persists for longer than 3 months.
Do you know people with this condition? It’s horrific. Some of my patients have been forced to quit their jobs because the dysfunctional aspect of this type of pain. And sex? Forget about it. It is non-existent. Extreme pain and discomfort is experienced during and /or after intercourse.
Pelvic Pain in Men and Women
Often, practitioners who do not understand this disease and insinuate that the condition “is in your head.” It’s not. Pelvic pain affects men and women – more so women, and it’s commonly associated with other conditions.
In women, this condition is often the caused by endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy, painful bladders syndrome or interstitial cystitis. In men, pelvic pain is mostly associated with chronic non-bacterial prostatitis. Men can also have interstitial cystitis (IC) but IC is much more common in women.
Learn more about prostate health in Soy and Prostate Health
Acupuncture and Physical Therapy May Help Pelvic Pain
One of the techniques I have learned is dry needling trigger points. Trigger points are hyperirritable bands of muscles that form “knots”. These knots cause local and distant pain. A person with chronic pelvic pain can have a trigger points between the inner thigh, for example, and that may cause pain in other areas of the pelvic region.
Dry needling is an acupuncture technique where the practitioner slides the needle back and forth right on the trigger point to “calm” the muscle. I find this approach to be moderately effective ONLY if the practitioner is able to find the affected muscle.
Other helpful approaches include physical therapy with an expert physical therapist in pelvic pain and hatha yoga.
Read more in Build Muscle Strength
About Dr. Geo Espinosa
Geo Espinosa, N.D., L.Ac, CNS, is the Director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center. Before joining NYU, Dr. Geo was a clinician, researcher and director of clinical trials at the Center for Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a licensed naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist and Certified Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Geo did his residency/fellowship in Urology at Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Urology under Dr. Aaron Katz. His research and practice is exclusive to prostate disorders, general urology and men’s health.
Dr. Geo is a member of the American Herbalist Guild, the American Urological Association, and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Dr. Geo is an author of the naturopathic entry in “1000 Cures for 200 Ailments,” by Harper Collins; March 2007 and “Prostate cancer – Nutrients that may slow its progression,” Chapter 40 in Food and Nutrients in Disease Management – Maryland: Cadmus Publishing, 2009. He has authored papers on prostate cancer and BPH in the journal of European Urology and Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice respectively. In addition, he has written on integrative approaches for urologic conditions in the Washington Post, Body and Soul magazine, NDNR, Insight – Prostate Cancer Research Institute newsletter and Bottom line health.