The role of pelvic floor physical therapy in the treatment of pelvic and genital pain-related sexual dysfunction (CME).Journal of Sexual Medicine, March 2008

Talli Rosenbaum and Annette Owens


INTRODUCTION: Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) in women and men is associated with significant sexual dysfunction. Recently, musculoskeletal factors have been recognized as significant contributors to the mechanism of pelvic pain and associated sexual dysfunction, and in particular, pelvic floor muscle hypertonus has been implicated.



The purpose of this Continuing Medical Education article is to describe the musculoskeletal components involved in pelvic and genital pain syndromes and associated sexual dysfunction, introduce specific physical therapy assessment and intervention techniques, and provide suggestions for facilitating an effective working relationship among practitioners involved in treating these conditions.



A review of the relevant literature was performed, clarifying current definitions of pelvic pain, elucidating the role of musculoskeletal factors, and determining the efficacy of physical therapy interventions.



A review of the role of physical therapy for the treatment of pelvic pain and related sexual dysfunction.



Physical therapy treatment of pelvic pain is an integral component of the multidisciplinary approach to CPP and associated sexual dysfunction.