What is pelvic dysfunction?

Pelvis is the area located between the tummy and legs. It contains reproductive organs, bladder, intestines and pelvic floor muscles. Musculoskeletal pelvic dysfunction is referred to as pain in the pelvis or groin region due to muscle, ligament, joint or bone damage around the area.

What are the most common pelvic dysfunctions in men and women?

There are many pelvic dysfunctions and injuries, however, most common musculoskeletal causes of pain in the pelvic area are these:

  • Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) dysfunction/injury: SIJ is the joint connecting the spine to your pelvic bones with the main function being to transfer the load from the spine to the bottom limbs. It can be injured during an impact, for example a fall, repetitive physical activity such as running, hypermobility, leg length discrepancy and a lumbar fusion operation where 2 or more of the vertebrae are surgically joined in your lower back.
  • Symphysis pubis dysfunction or injury: symphysis pubis is a joint that connects both pelvic bones at the bottom of the pelvis. It also contains a disc-like structure between the joints. It resists sheering and compressive forces between two bones and has very limited movement. Common injuries of symphysis pubis are osteitis pubis, which is an inflammation of the symphysis pubis due to overuse, separation of symphysis pubis, fracture, rupture and misalignment.
  • Coccyx malposition/injury: coccyx is a very last part of your spine which is also known as sit bone. It is made of 3 to 5 fused vertebrae and its function is to provide weight bearing support while sitting and is an important attachment site of a number of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

What are the symptoms of pelvic dysfunctions?

Musculoskeletal pelvic dysfunction symptoms may present as:

  • Pain in the pelvic area.
  • Pain in the groin.
  • Buttock pain.
  • Potentially a lower back pain.
  • Difficulty changing positions.
  • Difficulty walking or running.
  • Occasionally discomfort while lying down.

How to treat pelvic dysfunctions?

Treatment plan depends on the area affected and the severity of the dysfunction. Most of the time conservative treatment approaches such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, sports therapy or occupational therapy are being prescribed first. If these therapies fail, then medical professionals may consider some other type of treatment such as steroid injections or operations if needed.

Can I exercise with pelvic dysfunction?

In short, yes you can. Exercise is very important to maintain muscle strength and good health. However, not every form of exercise might be suitable. Therefore, you can either see a healthcare professional who could advise you on what form of exercise would suit you the most with the condition you have, or you can explore and find what works for you by yourself. If you decide to use the latter approach, we recommend that you find a physical activity that does not aggravate the area, otherwise it might make your pain worse.

How long does pelvic dysfunction take to heal?

This depends on the severity of the injury. If it is a minor bruise or sprain, or strain, it might settle in 1 – 2 weeks. When the injury is more severe, it might take anywhere between 4 weeks – 6 – 8 month. If you require an operation, it might take even longer. Healing process will be influenced by how well your body is responding to the surgery and rehabilitation program.

Do I need an operation for pelvic dysfunction?

If conservative management fails, there are several operations that can be considered.

  • Coccygectomy – the removal of the coccyx.
  • Open reduction internal fixation – is an operation to stabilise the unstable pubis symphysis.
  • Wedge resection – is a minimally invasive procedure to help with osteitis pubis.
  • SIJ fusion – is an operation which fuses the SIJ in order to promote stability and effectively reduce pain and increase function.

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!







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