An Evidence-Based Approach to Chronic Abdominopelvic Pain

Monday, September 19th
1:00pm4:30pm EDT

About the Session


  • Katy F. Vincent, MRCOG, DPhil (UK)
  • Sandy Hilton, PT, DPT, MS (USA)
  • Jeffrey Lackner, PsyD (USA)
  • Stuart Brierley, BSc, PhD (Australia)

Chronic abdominopelvic pain is a major public health problem worldwide, yet it is poorly understood and treated, with both pelvic specialists such as Gynecologists, Gastroenterologists, or Urologists, and pain clinicians including psychologists, physical therapists, and anesthesiologists feeling unskilled in this area.

The association of chronic abdominopelvic pain with underlying pathologies that require invasive tests to diagnose leads to many patients on a long journey of multiple medical specialists without adequate management of their pain. Frequently, the musculoskeletal system is overlooked as the focus is on the pelvic viscera, particularly when the symptoms are associated with functions such as urination and defecation. Those suffering from chronic abdominopelvic pain commonly do not feel empowered to self-manage their pain and therefore the use of healthcare services is high.

This session considers 3 key areas relating to the generation/maintenance of chronic abdominopelvic pain and its management. We aim to:

  • Illustrate why a pain-focused approach is appropriate regardless of the extent of pathology.
  • Present the principles of the examination of the external and internal musculoskeletal system.
  • Explore the abdominopelvic symptoms associated with musculoskeletal dysfunction.
  • Consider how those suffering from refractory abdominopelvic pain can be supported through training in practical science-based behavioral self-management skills.