cartoon of vulvar pain

What is Vulvodynia?  

Vulvodynia refers to chronic vulvar pain that is diagnosed when other medical conditions have been ruled out.  Sufferers report varying intensity, location and pain sensations with increased sensitivity of the surrounding nerves and tissues as a whole.  What most suffers have in common is very tight tissues and muscles of the pelvic floor.

What changes can you expect to see with physiotherapy?

As with most treatments the results will vary from person to person.  Some patients will see a full resolution of their vulvar pain, while others will experience varying amounts of pain relief.

What is involved in physiotherapy for vulvodynia?

Treatment will begin with education on vulvar care, neurophysiology of pain, and the role of the pelvic floor and surrounding tissues. Patients will be screened and treated for other associated conditions such as constipation and other urinary symptoms.  They will be taught to identify aggravating factors such as diet, activities, stress and anxiety, and how to modify or address them.  This may include referral to other healthcare providers or back to the family doctor if appropriate.  Often a large contributing factor to symptoms of vulvodynia is tension and tenderness of the pelvic floor muscles and surrounding tissues.   Manual therapy and home exercises will be used to address this tension.

How long will it take to see improvement?

Most patients will begin to notice improvements within a few sessions, though full results will generally take longer.  A more complicated presentation with more comorbidities will generally take longer than a less complex presentation.

How can I get help?

For help with Vulvodynia in Hamilton you may call Pure Pelvic Health at (905) 218-6556 to schedule a consultation with a pelvic health physiotherapist.