How does myofascial physical therapy attenuate pain in chronic pelvic pain syndrome?

Keren Grinberg, Irit Weissman-Fogel, Lior Lowenstein, Liora Abramov, Michal Granot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) is a multifactorial disorder comprising structural and functional muscular abnormalities, a dysfunctional pain system, and psychological distress. Myofascial physical Therapy (MPT) that is targeted at improving pelvic muscle functioning is considered a first line nonpharmacological treatment for CPPS, although the precise mechanisms that lead to symptoms alleviation have not yet been elucidated. Purpose. This longitudinal study aimed to examine the local and systemic effects of MPT intervention, including biopsychophysiological processes, among CPPS patients. Methods. The study included 50 CPPS women. Morphologic assessment of the levator ani and quantitative sensory testing of the pain system were applied alongside with evaluation of pain-related psychological factors using designated questionnaires. All measures were evaluated both before and after MPT in 39 patients. The long-term effects of MPT were evaluated by clinical pain reports obtained at 3 and 9 months following MPT that were compared with a nontreated group of 11 untreated CPPS women. Results. Along with an improvement in the clinical pain intensity (p=0.001) and sensitivity to experimental pain tests (p=0.001) following MPT, the results also indicate that MPT has anatomical, psychological, and social therapeutic effects (p=0.04; p=0.001; p=0.01, respectively). Furthermore, clinical pain evaluation at 3 and 9 months after MPT revealed a significant improvement in women who received treatment (p=0.001). Conclusions. The findings of this pilot study suggest multisystemic (direct and indirect anatomical, neurophysiological, and psychological) effects of MPT on the multifactorial pain disorder of CPPS and therefore place MPT as a mechanism-based intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6091257
JournalPain Research and Management
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Keren Grinberg et al.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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