Pelvic pain, or pain that occurs mostly in the lower abdominal region below your belly button and between your hips, is considered chronic when it lasts at least six months.
Chronic abdominal and pelvic pain may be intermittent or consistent, severe or dull, or feel like sharp jabs, cramping, or deep pressure. Long-term pelvic pain often follows the same pattern: It may always occur before or during a woman’s menstrual cycle, for example, or it may occur only during urination or after you eat. For some people, the pain emerges after sitting too long.
Some possible causes of ongoing abdominal or pelvic pain are:
Because ongoing pain in the lower abdominal-pelvic region can have such a wide range of causes, an effective treatment plan both identifies the underlying cause and responds to the severity and frequency of the pain.
For example, a woman who finds out that her pelvic pain is the result of uterine fibroids may require surgery, while a man whose pelvic pain comes from a urinary infection may need an antibiotic.
If you have chronic pelvic pain that hasn’t gotten better with traditional treatment methods, you may be a candidate for interventional pain management techniques. The team of pelvic pain specialists at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics offer several effective treatment options, including:
The celiac plexus is a group of nerves that surround the main artery in the abdomen, which is known as the abdominal aorta. Celiac plexus blocks are injections that help alleviate chronic abdominal-pelvic pain.
Although this procedure is proven effective, individual results vary. Many patients get long-term relief after just two treatments, while others require multiple injections to achieve the same type of relief. Your doctor will let you know how many injections you may need based on your condition.
This advanced, minimally-invasive treatment uses a nerve-blocking injection to target the superior hypogastric plexus, which is a complex web of neurons and fibers that transmit pain signals from the pelvic region to your brain.
The procedure, which takes just minutes to perform and provides immediate pain relief, is useful for treating abdominal-pelvic pain that has a wide range of causes, including IBS.
It’s even an effective treatment for pudendal neuralgia — or chronic pelvic pain caused by nerve irritation — that hasn’t responded to conservative treatments.
Depending on the nature of your pelvic pain, spinal cord stimulation therapy may help. A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a device that’s surgically placed under your skin, where it sends a mild electric current to specific, targeted nerves in your spinal cord.
The electrical current that the device sends to the affected nerves in your pelvic region interrupts the nerve signals to successfully stop any pain.