In his own words this is Adam’s recovery from Pelvic Pain
A big thanks to Adam for sharing his journey and recovery. From being told he will just have to ‘live with it’ to taking back his life and doing everything he wants to do
I started to notice pelvic pain about 15 years ago in my early 30s. It was a particularly stressful time with having children, a new job when I was working long hours and sitting a lot. I always had IBS and lower back pain, and they all got bad at this time. I had two ‘successful’ spincterotomy operations to deal with anal fissures. However, post the operations I started over time to feel more intense periods of tingling pain and muscle spasm in my pelvis. I lived with this but it gradually got worse especially when sitting and under stress. My GP had no idea what it was so just increased my pain killer dose when I saw him. This has little effect. I went to a local pain clinic and the consultant just said ‘live with it’, and did not offer any explanation nor any useful advice on how to reduce the pain.
Pelvic pain on sitting
Then in my mid-40s after changing jobs again, becoming a commuter and many long flights, the pelvic pain got really bad and I got pudendal neuralgia. Sitting had always been uncomfortable, but now it became impossible for more than a few minutes. Naturally this made life and work very difficult. I went to a pain clinic in London and had 3 pudendal nerve block. I also started to see a physiotherapist and psychologist and had cognitive-behavioural therapy. I also saw a biomechanics expert. Together this all helped me address my muscular, nerve and psychological issues.
Understanding pelvic pain
However, each expert worked very much in their own area and I still did not have an overall perspective on my pelvic pain. Karl helped me to finally bring it all together, develop a better understanding of my pain and develop an effective self-care programme. Initially he helped me with treating muscular dysfunction inside my pelvis using the wand. Then he helped me understand that I had central sensitivity (CS) in my nervous system, which meant my brain amplified any pain in my pelvis. I also learnt that with persistent pain the brain changes how it represents your body and you get ‘smudging’ with brain areas devoted to different body parts or functions overlapping and so causing sensitivity to spread through the body. This helped me understand why I also had developed nerve pain in my right foot, right leg, penis tip and face. I needed to learn how to desensitize my nervous system by pacing my behaviour which caused pain. I used a sit/stand desk at work and home, and a chair cushion to help in this process.
I have my life back
Karl helped me realize I needed to activate my parasympathetic nervous system through muscle relaxation, behaviour pacing, positive thinking (i.e., not catastrophizing), meditation and exercise. We developed a self-care programme to do this. I have been doing this for over a year now and it has helped reduce my pelvic pain a lot. I have my life back and I can do everything I could do before. Karl is very supportive, professional and well informed about pelvic pain, and I am so very glad I found him on my journey to recovery from pelvic pain.
Karl Monahan is the owner of The Pelvic Pain Clinic, London. He has been successfully treating male pelvic pain since 2009. His depth of knowledge and personal experience on the subject provides his patients with a compassionate approach that is rarely found. His holistic approach to treating male pelvic pain addresses, lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress management and therapeutic movement. The clinics approach is very much aimed at empowering the patient, teaching them the tools and techniques to manage and reduce their own symptoms allowing them to be the driver in their own recovery and not just a passenger. www.thepelvicpainclinic.co.uk