Dry Needling for Pelvic Pain

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Dry Needling for Pelvic Pain

Author:  Kelly Sammis PT, DPT at N2 Physical Therapy Louisville

Pelvic floor dysfunction encompasses a wide variety of diagnoses and clinical presentations.  Navigating healthcare professionals who treat and understand pelvic floor dysfunction can be a very frustrating and time consuming process for clients.  This process can take months, or even years to find the right provider with the right tools to help improve overall quality of life.  Not to mention there is a certain cultural “taboo” that surrounds discussions regarding pelvic issues.  How easy is it for you to ask your friends or loved ones if they also have pain with intercourse? Do they lose urine when they laugh, sneeze or pick up their child?  Do they have pain in their unmentionable region with wearing certain types of clothing or by simply sitting?

A common diagnosis treated at N2 Physical Therapy is chronic pelvic pain.  The term “pelvic pain” means many different things to our individual clients.  In fact, pelvic pain is associated with over 70 different diagnoses that often have overlapping physical, functional and psychological components.¹  If you have unrelenting pain between your chest and your knees, it is reasonable to assume your pelvic floor muscles and pelvic girdle are at least perpetuators or not drivers!

From time to time, new treatment approaches are made current in physical therapy.  On the rise is a popular and powerful technique called dry needling.  The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) defines dry needling as “a skilled technique performed by a physical therapist using thin filiform needles to penetrate the skin and or underlying tissues to affect change in body structures and functions for the evaluation and management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions, pain, movement impairments and disability”.²

Functional dry needling can assist in proper diagnosis and treatment of pelvic pain by: decreasing the myofascial restrictions and trigger points of the pelvic floor and surrounding musculature, addressing the hypersensitive neural structures and spinal segments, and assisting in the facilitation and inhibition of abnormal muscle tone and motor recruitment patterns.

When we help facilitate the removal of the chemical toxins associated with these abnormal tissues, we also help block the “panic” message that is sent to your brain.  This will allow the brain and the body to relearn new pathways of communicating that are more positive and healing.

Want to learn more about dry needling and the overall treatment of pelvic pain?  Consult with our pelvic floor specialist at N2 Physical Therapy and we can help guide you in the right direction.

Kelly Sammis PT, DPT


1: Han L. Chronic pelvic pain in women.  A condition difficult to diagnose- more than 70 different diagnoses can be considered.  Lakartidnigen. 2001:98:1780-5

2: Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, May 2015

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About the Author:

Kelly Sammis PT, DPT
Kelly received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St Augustine for Health Sciences. At N2 Physical Therapy, she focuses her practice on treating symptoms and impairments related to neuromuscular orthopedic conditions and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Kelly is certified in advanced functional dry needling through Kinetacore, and is an assistant instructor with the company.

Location: N2 Physical Therapy Louisville