Anyone who has experienced pelvic pain and migraine headaches can attest to the fact that pelvic pain can rival even the most intense migraine headache. A well-known book about pelvic pain entitled “A Headache in the Pelvis” (Wise, Anderson) draws other similarities between headaches and pelvic pain, such as the phenomenon of referred pain. In simple terms, referred pain is the result of a confused and oversensitive nervous system. Many times referred pain is a product of myofascial trigger points (taut muscle “knots”). When muscles refer to the head or pelvis, it can be hard to achieve lasting results when treating only the perceived area of pain. In these cases, it is important to treat the bigger muscles around the pelvis that possess a greater capability to refer pain. In respect to pelvic pain, this can include examining and treating the following muscles:

Addressing the referred pain can be a key component of pelvic health physical therapy. Many times this will eliminate the need to treat the smaller muscles in the pelvic floor. At the very least it will drastically reduce the sensitivity, allowing more tolerable internal treatment of the pelvic girdle.