A preliminary report of musculoskeletal dysfunction in female chronic pelvic pain: a blinded study of examination findings

J Bodyw Mov Ther


INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Female chronic pelvic pain is prevalent and causes disability. Can women with self-reported chronic pelvic pain (CPP) be distinguished from pain-free women by demonstrating a greater number of abnormal musculoskeletal findings on examination? METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, blinded examiners performed 9 physical exam maneuvers on 48 participants; 19 with CPP, and 29 pain-free. Frequency of positive findings between groups, total number of positive exam findings, cluster analysis, and sensitivity – specificity analyses were performed. RESULTS: Women with CPP presented with significantly more abnormal findings than pain-free women. By using two examination maneuvers, examiners correctly classified women with self-reported CPP from pain-free women 85% of the time. CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal findings on musculoskeletal exam are more common in women with self-reported CPP. Women with CPP might benefit from a faster time to diagnosis and improved treatment outcomes if a musculoskeletal contribution to CPP was identified earlier.

Neville, Cynthia E Fitzgerald, Colleen M Mallinson, Trudy Badillo, Suzanne Hynes, Christina Tu, Frank eng Clinical Trial Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2012 Jan;16(1):50-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.06.002. Epub 2011 Jul 6.