Vulvodynia is a general term which means, simply and literally, "pain in the vulva." It is not the name of a disease, but a symptom, just like "headache." The term vulvodynia is usually used to describe burning or stabbing pain that is felt more diffusely throughout the vulva. Many women have both vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis. In both cases, the skin usually feels extremely dry, and tears easily, leaving tiny and painful "fissures." Both cases may also involve "referred pain", in which the pain feels as though it travels from the vulva to the lower body. Many women have complaints of pain with sexual intercourse, heaviness or pressure in the pelvic area, pain in the low back, tail bone, rectum, vagina, or abdomen.
Pelvic pain can be an enormously debilitating condition. It comes in many forms and degrees of severity. It is often labeled with a very general diagnosis because after undergoing countless tests and procedures no one can put their finger on exactly what is causing the pain. It is a frustrating condition that sometimes leads to significant depression with the person suffering feeling like no one understands, or worse that it is all in her head. It is not “all in your head”, and we at Everybody Physical Therapy are here to help. Physical therapy can help to decrease many types of pelvic pain.