Pelvic girdle pain, the pelvic floor, and EDS/HSD
A few months ago, we discussed pregnancy and pelvic floor PT. Here, we will go in more detail on sources of pain related to the pelvic floor. Sometimes pain in the lower back is coming from the pelvis: the pelvic girdle and sacroiliac joints. The pelvic girdle consists of the bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles of the lower lumbar spine, the pelvis, and the hips. The pelvic girdle’s primary job is “load transfer” which is the distribution of weight, load, or biomechanical forces between the upper and lower body during movement and at rest. We all rely on our ligaments, muscles, and connective tissue to support the pelvic girdle in the function of transferring load.
People with EDS/HSD may have problems and pain in the pelvic girdle when connective tissue laxity contributes to ineffective load transfer across the pelvic girdle joints. The pelvic floor muscles inside the pelvis may develop increased tension to improve stability and load transfer in the pelvic girdle. Increased pelvic floor muscle tension can further contribute to pelvic girdle pain, as well as to problems with bowel, bladder, and sexual function. The pelvic floor muscles and the pelvic girdle work together and directly affect each other. Some diagrams can be seen below.
The first line treatment for pelvic girdle pain and pelvic floor dysfunction is pelvic physical therapy. You can find a pelvic physical therapist at Pelvic Health PT Locator or at Pelvic Rehab.com. Be sure to ask if the pelvic physical therapist is familiar with treating patients with EDS/HSD or is willing to learn more. Have you ever had experience with pelvic floor pain, or pelvic floor therapy? We would love to hear more!
Author: Dr. Cynthia Neville, PT, DPT, WCS