Some pains can interfere with your daily life. One of those is pelvic pain when walking. There are various reasons for the occurrence of pelvic pain when walking. This might sometimes be linked with a serious condition in any of your vital organs in the pelvic area. And the symptoms also differ from one condition to another, and at times might require immediate medical attention. Let us take a deeper look below and discover the causes of pelvic pain when walking, their associated symptoms, and treatments.
Causes Of Pelvic Pain When Walking: An Overview
Pelvic pain occurring in the lower part of the torso, or between the belly button and thighs could make you feel hard while walking. There might be various causes of this pelvic pain and it might be because of several conditions affecting your digestive, musculoskeletal, or reproductive systems.
Some causes of pelvic pain when walking are linked with the musculoskeletal system including bones, joints, tendons, and muscles. However, in other causes, pelvic pain when walking could be associated with other tissues and organs in and around the pelvis.
Causes Of Pelvic Pain When Walking And Associated Symptoms:
Below, let us take a look at some of the most common causes of pelvic pain when walking along with their associated symptoms:
Sacroiliac Joint Pain:
In our backside, there is a joint connecting the lower part of the spine to the bones of our pelvis. This joint is known as the Sacroiliac joint. At times this joint gets inflamed and irritated and results in pain. Such pain worsens when you walk, run, climb up the stairs, stand for a long time, or place more weight onto one leg as compared to the other leg. Usually, sacroiliac joint pain is caused by arthritis, an injury or accident, pregnancy, or an infection
Osteitis pubis affects the area of the pubic symphysis and its surrounding tissues. This can cause soreness or pain in the pelvic regions that worsens with any sort of physical activity, including walking. This condition is an overuse injury and is commonly experienced by athetes, especially those who play sports like soccer, football, ice hockey, etc, which involves kicking, twisting, and pivoting.
Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction:
A joint present in the front of the pelvis is the Pubic symphysis joint. This aids to hold the pelvic bones together and also stabilizes them during any physical activity. It can result in pain if the pubic symphysis joint becomes extremely relaxed. Such a type of pelvic pain while walking is commonly seen in pregnant women. This is also known as pelvic girdle pain. Apart from pregnancy, other conditions like arthritis, an accident or injury, deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium can also cause pain in the pubic symphysis resulting in pubic symphysis dysfunction.
There will be a sharp pain that might radiate down your legs, if you have pubic symphysis dysfunction. You might even hear a clicking noise while moving. This pain becomes worse when you go up or climb down the stairs when you get up from sitting position, turn over in bed, move your legs apart, or when you place more weight on one leg than the other leg.
A hernia that occurs in the area of the pelvis or groin is known as an inguinal hernia. Such hernias are seen commonly in men as compared to women.(1) Some symptoms of an inguinal hernia include a noticeable bulge in the groin or the pelvis and also pain and discomfort when walking. People with this condition might also experience intense pain and discomfort while standing for long, lifting heavy objects, performing strenuous activities, and even coughing. Though genetics might play a crucial role, inguinal hernias can even be with activities that require someone to stand, or walk for prolonged periods.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome:
Another condition that can cause pelvic pain when walking is pelvic congestion syndrome. This is the condition that is caused by the dilated veins in the pelvic region. It is still not very clear what causes this condition. The pelvic pain due to pelvic congestion syndrome is usually achy or dull. However, the pain gets sharper and more intense when you walk or stand for a longer time.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Pain:
Sometimes you might experience pelvic pain because of tension in the pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that surround and support the organs and tissues in our pelvis. Usually, this occurs mostly in women.(2) Though the pain might be localized to the pelvis, it might also involve the legs or lower back. This pain occurs while resting in general. But sometimes it might be aggravated by activities like walking or standing for a long time, having sex, going to the bathroom, etc. Childbirth, vitamin deficiencies, accident or injury, etc. can contribute to pelvic floor pain.
Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula get inflamed. Diverticula is a small pouch-like structure fored in the large intestine. One may feel abdominal pain or tenderness with this condition. In severe cases, diverticulitis can result in the tear or perforation of the large intestine. This can result in a serious bacterial infection in the abdominal cavity. Sometimes pain due to diverticulitis becomes more severe when you are walking. Other associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fever, etc.
You suffer from appendicitis when your appendix becomes inflamed. This might occur when there is a blockage at the entrance of the appendix. Around 5% to 9% of people are affected by appendicitis at some point in their lives.(3) This condition is more common in teens and individuals in their early 20s; however, it can affect people of all ages, including the elderly ones. If you do not seek appropriate medical care, your inflamed appendix may burst which can cause a severe bacterial infection in the abdominal cavity. Patients suffering from appendicitis feel severe pain in the right side of the pelvis and also experience some other symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, constipation. The pain worsens when you walk, cough, or touch the affected area.
Bone cancer could be one more cause of pelvic pain when walking. If you have cancer in your pelvis, you might feel severe pain when walking, climbing up and down the stairs, or even standing for prolonged periods. Some other symptoms of bone cancer include fatigue, a hard mass in or on your bones, swelling in the affected bones, bones that are prone to breaking, and the appearance of a hard mass in or on your bones.
How Is The Cause Of Pelvic Pain Determined?
For determining the cause of pelvic pain, you need to reach your doctor who would first ask you some questions about your medical history and the current symptoms. Then the doctor might perform some physical examination and tests too.
Some of the tests include the following:
- Blood and urine tests.
- Abdominal and pelvic X-rays
- Pregnancy tests in females
- Bone density screening
- Diagnostic laparoscopy to view the structures in the abdomen and pelvis
- Hysteroscopy that examines the uterus
- Stool test for knowing the microscopic blood
- Lower endoscopy helps in examining the interior of the rectum and all o the colon.
- CT scan of the pelvis and abdomen
What Are The Treatments for Pelvic Pain?
The treatments prescribed by your doctor for pelvic pain would depend on the underlying cause. Some of the treatments of pelvic pain when walking are listed below.
- Medications: Medicines are usually taken to get relief from pain and inflammation. Some examples include OTC pain relievers and muscle relaxants. Een antibiotics might be used for any sort of bacterial infection.
- Injectable Corticosteroids: Your doctor might use an injectable corticosteroid in you have pelvic joint pain, that would help ease inflammation.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation: This is also called TENS. In this treatment procedure, the doctor places electrodes onto your skin for delivering electrical impulses to the affected area. This can help relieve pain in certain cases.
- Physical Therapy: You might be prescribed to do physical therapy that would help you maintain or regain strength and flexibility of the affected pelvic area.
- Surgery: In certain cases where the condition resulting in pelvic pain when walking is severe and does not respond to other treatments, you might be recommended to undergo surgery that would help in relieving the symptoms.
How Can One Prevent Pelvic Pain When Walking?
Though every causes of pelvic pain when walking cannot be prevented, we can follow certain steps for lowering the risk. Below are some of those steps:
- Limit your activities that require prolonged walking or standing without rests.
- Stay physically fit by regularly exercising and keep your joints and muscles healthy and flexible.
- Perform stretching and warm-up exercises before physical activity, that might prevent injuries leading to pelvic pain.
- In case you had diverticulitis, add more fiber to your daily diet that might prevent the painful flare-ups.
- If you have chronic conditions like arthritis or bone cancers that can cause some types of pelvic pain, go for a regular doctor’s check-up
So, we are now aware of the causes, symptoms, and treatments for pelvic pain when walking. If you have been affected by conditions that might be interfering with your normal daily life, you should immediately seek medical attention and get yourself properly diagnosed by the doctor, and follow up with the medical treatments.