Recognizing and Treating Pelvic Pain and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Heidi Prather, Theresa Monaco Spitznagle, Sheila A. Dugan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The reported prevalence rates of pain within the pelvis range from 3.8% to 24% in women aged 15 to 73 years. Despite the significant number of women affected, pelvic floor pain and dysfunction are commonly overlooked in women seeking medical care. Physiatrists are uniquely qualified to manage these patients because of their knowledge of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and their awareness of the relationships among pain, physiology, and function. When evaluating women who have pelvic pain, practitioners must ask questions about history of urinary or fecal incontinence, dyspareunia, or pelvic pain with certain activities or associated with menses, surgery, or trauma. If left unidentified, pelvic floor dysfunction can deter individuals from normal bowel and bladder function, intimacy, and even engagement in work and social functions. This article introduces pelvic floor anatomy, neurophysiology, and function and provides an overview of pelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunctions and their recognition and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-496
Number of pages20
JournalPhysical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Recognizing and Treating Pelvic Pain and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this