Self-Help and Resources

 Self Help for CPP

Patients benefit from addressing the following areas, in addition to receiving manual therapy and relaxed breath work :

  • Minimising levels of stress and anxiety - It's common for people to hold their tension within their pelvic floor muscles (in the same way that some people hold their tension in their shoulders). Continual tightening of those muscles can create pain, which of course causes more tension, setting off a vicious pain-stress-pain cycle - breaking that cycle can help quieten down an over active pelvic floor. We encourage patients to practise mindfulness, meditation, relaxation exercises and/or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)helpful for this. 
  • Diet -  Some patients find that spices, acidic foods, caffeine and/or alcohol increase their bladder pain and/or urgency. Identify your triggers. Promoting an alkaline environment is recommended.Build up of  toxins and allergies can compromise your immune system. For some helpful diet advice for IC checkout Dr Matia Brizman's website here:  www.icaroadtorecovery.com.
  • Sleep hygiene - Restorative sleep is vital for recovering from any chronic pain condition and there are some simple steps that can improve sleep quality. 
  • Breathing patterns - The pelvic floor muscles are directly affected by the way we breathe - in particular, breathing high up in the chest means that the pelvic floor muscles don't move freely and become tight and painful.  There are well designed exercises that can reverse poor breathing habits.  UsIng the breath and the diaphragmatic descent to release the pelvic floor and allow lengthening.

 

Useful reading

  • Heal Pelvic Pain – Amy Stein, M.P.T.  Extremely useful book, describing natural cures, in the form of exercise, nutrition, massage, stretching, muscle-strengthening & massage program you can do at home, suggestions for a stress and pain reducing home spa treatments and self-care therapy.
  • Pain Explained (2002) – Richard Gamlin, Tim Lovel.
  • Explain Pain (2003) - David Butler, Lorimer Moseley.  
  • Full Catastrophe Living (2001)  - Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Seminal work on mindfulness and the mind/body connection.  Provides a practical guide to meditation, based on the author’s 8 week ‘mindfulness-based stress reduction’ (MBSR) course.
  • Living Well with Pain and Illness (2008) – Vidyamala Burch.  Practical guide to managing chronic pain using mindfulness, based on the author’s own, inspiring, experience.
  • The Breathing Book (1996) – Donna Farhi.  Simple and practical guide to re-establishing proper breathing techniques for better health.  

Websites

Courses

There are several courses in the UK on using mindfulness to deal with pain and illness – a good one is offered by Breathworks - http://breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk

Other Pelvic Pain Practitioners in UK and Ireland

  • www.milltownphysiotherapy.com - Dublin-based physiotherapy centre offering manual therapy for pelvic pain. 
  • www.newmedicinegroup.com – Team of holistic practitioners offering treatment, including acupuncture and osteopathy, for pelvic pain. Based in Harley Street. 
  • www.whitehartclinic.co.uk - Multi-disciplinary team, offering treatment for pelvic pain. Based in Barnes, South-West London.