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Pain Med. 2010 Feb;11(2):224-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00758.x. Epub 2009 Dec 9.

Importance of pelvic muscle tenderness evaluation in women with chronic pelvic pain.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.



To determine the prevalence of pelvic muscle tenderness in women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) and to assess the importance of evaluating muscle tenderness in such women.


Observational study of 48 healthy female volunteers and 108 women with CPP, who were clinically evaluated for pelvic muscle tenderness by two researchers blinded to all clinical data.


The frequency of clinically detected pelvic muscle tenderness was significantly higher in women with CPP than in healthy volunteers (58.3% vs 4.2%, P < 0.001). Among women with CPP, those with pelvic muscle tenderness had higher Beck Depression Index scores (22 [6-42] vs 13 [3-39], P = 0.02) and higher rates of dyspareunia (63.5% [40/63] vs 28.9% [13/45], P < 0.004) and constipation (46.0% [29/63] vs 26.7% [12/45], P = 0.05) than those without pelvic muscle tenderness.


Tenderness of pelvic muscles was highly prevalent among women with CPP and was associated with higher BDI scores and higher rates of dyspareunia and constipation. Determination of pelvic muscle tenderness may help in identifying women who require more intense treatment for CPP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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