By Sara K. Sauder PT, DPT
More information has recently surfaced that chronic pelvic pain conditions including IC and sexual pain conditions arise due to the nerves and pain signals within the very complex pelvic floor area. Recent studies have shown that pelvic pain exercises and work with a pelvic floor physical therapist in combination with other healing modalities has been effective in helping with pelvic pain related conditions. Amy Stein, DPT, BCB-PMD has a physical therapy office located in New York City and she has been working with pelvic pain patients for many years. Amy is also the author of the book "Heal Pelvic Pain" (also reviewed here on ICPBS Support-please search for it under book review archives). Amy was kind enough to send me a copy of her newly released DVD "Healing Pelvic and Abdominal Pain: The ultimate home program for patients and a guide for practitioners" in order for me to review it and spread awareness about this new pelvic pain educational tool.
This DVD is a great addition to pelvic pain support resources and tools for the newly diagnosed patient as well as for patients who have been struggling with the myriad of pelvic pain related conditions. I could see the benefit to the patient for purchasing this DVD to learn home care techniques (stretching, breathing and massage) to either supplement their work with a local physical therapist or as a tool to utilize for those patients who live in remote locations that do not have access to a trained and licensed PT who specializes in treating chronic pelvic and sexual pain conditions. I can also see this video as being a great resource for patients living in other countries who need resources that they can view from the comfort of their own homes. This DVD includes beautiful calming music and each section is clearly marked so the patient can book mark certain sections that they are working on.
Amy's video begins with an introduction to breathing exercises to help the pelvic floor become more relaxed. Amy provides breathing techniques for both lying down as well as sitting. The video progresses in a very gentle, easy to follow manner and proceeds from breathing exercises to external massage techniques to help minimize the pain from abdominal and pelvic pain. I tried the exercises myself and found them very soothing and wished that I had been taught the colon exercises when I had extreme IBS and IC related pain. After demonstrating abdominal and colon massage the video moves to massaging trigger points and scar tissue. This part of the video really provides good home techniques and visuals. The emphasis in this part of the video is rectal pain massage which would provide relief for those suffering from pelvic and rectal pain and perhaps the pain of hemorrhoids or pain after surgery or child birth.
The final section of Amy's DVD focuses on providing a gentle whole body massage in both standing and seated positions. This section features some ways for utilizing a personal massage using hands or through the use of a tennis ball or a massage stick which can be purchased easily on-line. I like the focus of this section because it also emphasizes slow breathing and being mindful about not further hurting oneself by stretching or pushing too hard on the muscles. Amy's DVD closes with some wonderful pelvic floor stretches and breathing exercises which provides various modifications in case the patient has other injuries or conditions that might prevent certain stretching techniques. Overall, this DVD is a good tool for a pelvic pain patient as well as a resource for a physical therapist or doctor's office which focuses on any of the chronic pelvic pain conditions. For information about Amy Stein or how to purchase her DVD or book please visit the following websites:
Bridge For Pelvic Pain Blog
Helping chronic pelvic and sexual pain patients world wide.