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A Biopsychosocial Approach to Vulvodynia Throughout my years of practice I’ve treated many women with vulvodynia. I’ve noticed that it’s rare for women to return to 100% solely with physical therapy treatment; even though their musculoskeletal impairments may have returned to normal, some women continue to feel pain. In my experience, it takes a team of practitioners to treat vulvodynia, such as a physician who specializes in vulvar pain, a pelvic floor physical therapist, and a psychologist.

Mechanistic Interplay among Peripheral, Spinal and Brain Adaptions to Chronic Visceral Pain For those of you following our journey through the 3rd World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain (#WCAPP17), here is another light-bulb lecture explaining the interconnections of chronic visceral pain. The presenter, Melissa A. Farmer, PhD, is a researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University with a long-standing relationship with the International Pelvic Pain Society (the organizer for #WCAPP17). So, needless to say, she has an impressive resume and a passion for understanding pelvic pain. Just check out her wrap sheet. I’ve chosen a few interesting nuggets from her lecture.

Autonomic Dysregulation in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders At the 3rd World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain organized by the International Pelvic Pain Society, Professor Qasim Aziz spoke about Autonomic Dysregulation in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Qasim Aziz, MBBS, FRCP, PhD is Professor of Neurogastroenterology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London. Professor Aziz taught us how the autonomic nervous system plays a role in chronic pain conditions and functional gastrointestinal disorders. This understanding has led to the use of new treatments that modulate the autonomic nervous system.

When Sex Hurts: A Diagnostic Algorithm Most people know that I am a fan of sexy science. So when I saw that the World Congress on Pelvic Pain (WCAPP) had an entire section dedicated to sexual dysfunction I was pretty stoked. You may already be imagining some very arousing presentations; or you may think listening to a talk on intercourse would induce the same amount of blushing as watching Fifty Shades of Grey with your parents. Instead, the audience is treated to the latest evidence-based medicine related to pelvic pain and sex. Although, since most research, including studies on sexual health, involves the use of rodents, many of the presentations consisted of some pretty steamy rat pornography.

The Peripheral Nervous System, Interstitial Cystitis, and Pelvic Pain I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Kenneth Peters’ lecture on the role of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) in the development and management of pelvic pain. Kenneth Peters, MD is a urologist practicing at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oaks, MI, who specializes in treating complex pelvic pain including interstitial cystitis. For more information on Dr. Peters, check out his website here.

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