Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Pain

I've noticed this year (seemingly out of no where), I've has a lot of patients coming to me for treatment for conditions you may not typically expect a chiropractor or acupuncture provider to treat. One example is vertigo, but the most interesting has been patients with pelvic floor dysfunction.  I don't know what it is, but something is drawing them to me this year.

The human pelvis with some of the pelvic muscles and ligaments represented. 

The human pelvis with some of the pelvic muscles and ligaments represented. 

Pelvic floor dysfunction, simply put, is the inability to properly control the muscles of the pelvic floor (those which support the organs of the pelvis and control bodily functions). Often times this lack of control presents as abnormal contraction of the muscles in this region. Symptoms range from difficulty with bowel and bladder function, sexual issues, pain or pressure in the pelvic region and even lower back pain. In addition to the muscles that line the floor of the pelvis, deep hip rotators and hip flexor muscles, superficial gluteal muscles and ligaments of the pelvis can be involved as well as the pelvic joints themselves. 

This condition is commonly seen in postpartum women, but affects just about anyone, even men - often the result of an athletic injury or after prostate surgery. 

For a long time, people didn't seek treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. However, it seems the tide is shifting, as it appears recently that more and more people are seeking treatment rather than just living in agony. This is fantastic, because until recently, the idea of pelvic physical therapy seemed odd to some folks, but it shouldn't. If you can have a contracture in your bicep and seek treatment for that, why shouldn't you for pelvic muscle contracture? (Understandably, the region is more vulnerable but the therapists who treat these conditions are professionals. It is important to seek out a therapist's reputation first, of course, and if possible get the referral from a doctor or friend you trust.) 

While I myself do not perform specialized pelvic physical therapy, I have received referrals from those professionals to have their patients get trigger point needling to enhance the therapy they are already doing. And I've seen some great results!  

For many of the patients I've treated, needling has really kicked their rehab programs to the next level - past passive therapy and pain management and onto meaningful active care! THIS IS THE GOAL!!! THIS IS WHERE THE REAL CHANGE HAPPENS!

and it is THRILLING me! 

Don't get me wrong, I love helping all kinds of people with all kinds of issues, not just the less talked about ailments, but, what I find really gratifying is that these patients lives are truly changed in the most fundamental ways when they get this condition under control. The fact my needles can aide that process makes me really happy. It's why I do what I do. 

It should be noted that trigger point needling performed in my office does not involve any internal pelvic muscle treatment or complete disrobing of the patient. Patient's are draped appropriately to their level of comfort and deep needling is applied to the accessible muscles of the pelvic region. I leave the more specialized treatment techniques to the therapists best suited to perform that. 

If you have questions contact us!

What is Dry Needling and what is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture? 




Dry Needling is a treatment technique where thin filiform needles are inserted through the skin into pathological areas of the muscle known as "trigger points" for the purpose of relieving myofascial pain and muscle spasm. These are the same needles used in traditional acupuncture therapy, they are solid rather than hollow, and no medication is injected.

Dry needling is used in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercise.

When performing dry needling, there may be a "twitch response" where the specific band of muscle involuntarily contracts in response to insertion of the needle.  Beneficial effects can occur without elicitation of the twitch response.  Sometimes electrotherapy is also applied with the trigger point needling technique, this is referred to as electroacupuncture. If electroacupuncture is considered appropriate, small clips are attached to specific needling locations and a mild electrical current is applied. Electrical muscle stimulation aids in stimulating blood flow, reducing pain and relieving muscular spasm. 

In the State of California, the only providers who can legally perform these types of needling techniques are licensed acupuncturists and medical doctors. A licensed acupuncturist's education and training in needling techniques requires a Master's degree obtained after 3 years of education and training. 

Compared to Dry Needling, Acupuncture, when applied as a form of traditional Chinese medicine, uses acupuncture points on the surface of the body that are located along "meridians" that correspond with the internal organs and the energies associated with those organs. Traditional acupuncture techniques aim to relieve congestion of energy and blood, thereby restoring circulation and reducing symptoms associated with said qi (energy) stagnation. 

WE'VE MOVED! .... To the Second Floor!

Dr. Pierce's office has moved! We are still in Newport Beach, still in the same building as well, just in a different, bigger, better suite! From here on, report to suite 200 for your chiropractic and acupuncture visits!

I will be updating the site and posting pictures soon! I can't wait for you all to see the new space!

Graston Technique Enhances Chiropractic and Acupuncture Treatment Newport Beach

Graston Technique

Graston Technique is successful in effectively treating all soft tissue conditions, whether they are chronic, acute and even post surgical. The Graston Technique offers many advantages to the patient such as:

  • Decreases overall time of treatment
  • Fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication
  • Resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent

Changing the way soft tissue injuries are treated

Graston Technique is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.

Originally developed by athletes, Graston Technique is an interdisciplinary treatment used by more than 9,000 clinicians worldwide—including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers.

GT is utilized at some 830 outpatient facilities and industrial on-sites, by more than 160 professional and amateur sports organizations, and is part of the curriculum at 38 respected colleges and universities.


Cupping & Graston, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Techniques.

Most people are familiar with massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments, but not everyone is versed in the application of techniques like cupping (myofascial decompression or MDT) and the Graston Technique. 

Cupping (MDT) methods have been used for thousands of years as a treatment intervention aimed at relieving muscular pain, improving circulation and in some ancient theories, aiding the body in riding itself of disease or illness.

Recently, cupping has gained popularity after the 2016 Olympic Games when a rather well-known swimmer was seen with the trademark cupping circles on his body during competition. 

The benefits of cupping for musculoskeletal injuries include: Improved circulation to the injured tissue, relief of muscular tension and reduction of muscular pain. 

Clean plastic cups are placed on the skin and a pump device is used to pull air out of the cup, creating a negative pressure which pulls the tissue into the cup. This method is believed to help decompress the layers of tissue (fascia and muscle) under the skin where the cup has been placed.

Cupping Techniques

Static on static

Cup(s) are placed and left on a single location over a body region that remains still/immobile. 

Dynamic on static

Cup(s) are moved over the region being treated, using a massage lotion or oil as a buffer. The body area being treated does not move.

Static on Dynamic

Cup is left stationary while the patient moves the body part through a partial or full range of motion. For example: a cup is placed and left stationary on the quadriceps (front of the thigh) while the patient bends and extends their knee. 

dynamic on dynamic

A combination of moving the cup(s) while the patient also simultaneously moves the body area being treated. 

All of these variations of cupping therapy are performed with the ultimate goal of decreasing pain, promoting mobility and improving function. 

So how about Graston Technique? The Graston Technique is an instrument assisted soft tissue technique where a stainless steel tool is used to apply mild to moderate scraping over previously injured tissues. Much like how a stethescope amplifies heart sounds, the Graston tool amplifies the texture of the tissues under the skin. As the provider applies sweeping movements with the tool over the skin, certain regions will feel "grittier" or more coarse than others. This often signifies that these particular regions are where soft tissue adhesions are located and may be the source of altered mobility or pain. 

These effective and safe treatment modalities may be applied as a stand alone intervention but are most often applied along with other treatment interventions such as joint manipulation / chiropractic adjustments, active or passive sports massage and myofascial release techniques and exercise. Cupping and Graston therapy may both be applied to the same treatment area in the same visit. Cupping and Graston are great for the treatment of lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, foot pain like plantar fasciitis/fasciosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee pain and MUCH more. 

To find out if chiropractic care, dry needling, acupuncture or cupping/Graston are the right treatment(s) for you, call the office, email or schedule an appointment NOW!