The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 60-70 percent of the population experiences low back pain at some point in their life. In many cases, it’s challenging to identify the cause, but some women and men may find that their low back pain is a clue that pelvic floor dysfunction may be happening too, especially if they also struggle with pelvic pain.
Our providers at Piedmont Colorectal Associates can help determine if pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is the culprit behind your pain and work with other medical professionals to create a treatment plan. PFD is a general term for weakness, muscle discoordination and other concerns with pelvic floor muscles.
How the Low Back and Pelvis are Related
The pelvic floor attaches to your pubic bone at the front and stretches to the tailbone and your sides. The urethra and anus openings extend down through the pelvic floor muscles, as does the vagina in women. Your back, abdomen, glutes and hips also attach to the pelvis and tail bone. The muscles and ligaments in your back, abdomen and pelvic floor work with your diaphragm to support dynamic movement and the spine.
When an injury, disease or pain occurs, such as pregnancy, childbirth or surgery, these parts of your anatomy no longer work in harmony. PFD affects the spine, and conversely, any issues with the spine will impact the pelvic floor. Several studies support the link between low back pain and PFD, with some researchers believing PFD may be the cause of back pain for some patients.
Lumbopelvic pain, which involves low back and pelvic pain, could indicate that PFD is playing a role in your discomfort. A 2018 study published in Musculoskeletal Science and Practice found that 95 percent of women treated with physical therapy for lumbopelvic pain had PFD with symptoms such as pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic weakness and tenderness. Back and pelvic pain can have a tremendous impact on your quality of life and limit your employment opportunities and productivity.
A 2019 study published in Clinical Medicine Insights: Women’s Health linked prolonged standing with increased low back pain, posing workplace hazards for healthcare, retail and assembly line workers. Researchers found back pain was more common in women and that the women were more likely to experience severe urinary incontinence. That may provide a warning sign that PFD is also an issue because bladder and bowel incontinence is a symptom of PFD.
Treating Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Requires a Skilled Team of Doctors
Our providers at Piedmont Colorectal Associates often work together with other medical professionals such as gynecologists, physical therapists and urologists to build a treatment plan that will best improve your PFD and associated symptoms, including low back pain.
Piedmont Colorectal Associates have experience helping women and men improve pelvic floor dysfunction. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, please reach out by phone or email.