Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
Some types of alternative and complementary therapies may reduce pain associated with certain medical conditions. Ask your doctor if you should consider trying these approaches, and whether he or she can recommend a trusted practitioner.
Depending on your medical history, life situation and test results, your doctor may be able to tell you how likely these therapies are to relieve your symptoms. He or she can also let you know about any potential risks based on your personal health history. Examples of therapies include:
- Relaxation techniques. Deep breathing and, in some cases, targeted stretching exercises for the pelvic region might help minimize bouts of pain when they occur.
- Acupuncture. During acupuncture treatment, a practitioner inserts tiny needles into your skin at precise points. Pain relief may come from the release of endorphins, your body's natural painkillers, but that's only one of many theories about how acupuncture works. It's generally considered a safe treatment. Acupuncture is used for treating many types of chronic pain. However, its effectiveness in treating pelvic pain is uncertain.
- Howard F. Causes of chronic pelvic pain in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Howard F. Treatment of chronic pelvic pain in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 19, 2012.
- Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-4/0/1481/0.html#. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Chronic pelvic pain. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq099.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130418T1809515975. Accessed April 18, 2013.
- Howard F. Evaluation of chronic pelvic pain in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/interstitialcystitis/index.htm. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Carinci AJ. Complementary and alternative treatments for chronic pelvic pain. Current Pain and Headache Reports. 2013;17:316.
- Stones W, et al. Interventions for treating chronic pelvic pain in women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000387/abstract. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Relaxation techniques for health: An introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/sites/nccam.nih.gov/files/relaxation_introduction.pdf.Accessed April 14, 2013.
- Noncyclic chronic pelvic pain therapies for women: Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 41. AHRQ Publication No. 11(12)-EHC088-EF. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK84586. Accessed April 28, 2013.
- Martinez B. Management of patients with chronic pelvic pain associated with endometriosis refractory to conventional treatment. Pain Practice. 2013;13:53.
- George SE, et al. Physical therapy management of female chronic pelvic pain: anatomic considerations. Clinical Anatomy. 2013;26:77.
- 14. Kotarinos RK. Pelvic floor physical therapy for management of myofascial pelvic pain syndrome in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2013.
- Hunter C, et al. Neuromodulation of pelvic visceral pain: Review of the literature and case series of potential novel targets for treatment. Pain Practice. 2013;13:3.
- Acupuncture for pain. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/acupuncture-for-pain.htm. Accessed April 14, 2013.