Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Books: Heal Pelvic Pain

Heal Pelvic Pain
By Amy Stein
Kindle Edition
256 Pages
Copyright 2008

As regular readers know, I have been experiencing chronic abdominal pain since my gallbladder surgery a year ago. The local doctors so far haven't been much help, but it appears I have adhesions or scar tissue and it has affected the muscles in something called the pelvic floor. This is a group of muscles, fascia, and tissue in the area below the belly button ending at the legs. Problems down there are called pelvic floor dysfunction. Apparently about 10 million people have pelvic floor issues but they are often treated as other things. Misdiagnosis is common, from what I can gather.

This book was written by a physical therapist for pelvic floor dysfunction. It offers massage techniques, stretching and strengthening exercises, and general overall health advice for those who might benefit from some attention to that particular body area.

As I am already undergoing physical therapy for my abdominal pain and have been for about 8 weeks now, I was familiar with some of the techniques and was actually pleased (and relieved) to see that they were being used on me.

I wish I had not bought the Kindle version of this book but instead had gone for the hard copy. I have learned recently that nonfiction books are probably better for me than the tree-killing versions. I like to go back and reference and in this book in particular, I would have liked to photocopy a page or two of the exercises to take to my physical therapist. As it was, I tried to show her the exercises as they appeared on my Kindle but that didn't work so well. The Kindle also divides the pages funny and I have found that makes it difficult to consult while trying to do the exercises or massage.

The author emphasizes the need for stress relief and that is something my physical therapist has been emphasizing with me, as well. The author talks a little about diet but I felt that was lacking in detail. However, there are many other books about diet out there.

The exercises in this book would help anyone with just general health concerns, I think, but in particular women with bladder issues, bowel issues, or sexual dysfunction might be interested in taking a look. I think the massage techniques in particular could be helpful to the millions who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Additionally, Stein has just released a video demonstrating the massage techniques and exercises. The video is called Healing Pelvic and Abdominal Pain: The Ultimate Home Program for Patients and a Guide for Practitioners.

I bought the video and have watched some of it. So far I have found it helpful, but I think it might serve physical therapists as a guide more so than patients. However, that judgment might be premature as I haven't watched the entire thing. As an example, she uses some tools such as a massage stick and a massage ball. I use a tennis ball for a massage ball, but I had never even heard of a massage stick. So some kind of discussion about equipment might have been helpful. Also, I am hoping there is a routine in there somewhere that one can follow, like I would do with a Denise Austin video. We shall see. Please be aware I'm still watching the video so these comments could change.

I definitely recommend the book (do get the paperback) if you have any issues that seem related to pelvic floor or the abdomen. It is especially good if you are new to these concerns. Even if this is not what is causing my pain, I think the exercises are helpful.


  1. Glad the book has been some help to you, even if the Kindle version is not as easy to reference as a print copy would be. Here's hoping you are starting to feel better!

  2. Thanks for the recommendation! I will look this book up. I'm glad it is helping you.


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