Gavin King.

Alternative Therapy / blog

Exercising With Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS)

Do’s And Dont’s With Exercise And Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.


Having experienced this stress related mood-destroying problem myself I wanted to share my experience in what are the best and worst ways of dealing with CPPS in relation to exercise. I used to drive home after a football match and be so uncomfortable around my pubic bone region feeling like I was sat on a golf ball that was injecting steroids. At that point wrongly being advised that this was candida, I knew there was something else due to lower back pain, hamstring tightness and lower abdomen wrenching with flare ups often happening in stressful times during work I had to seek another answer.

Here are what I have found to be the “Do’s” with exercise and CPPS –

DO stretch in a morning especially glutes, hamstrings and pelvic stretches look up stretches for piriformis, psoas, hip flexors etc. I found yoga to be an excellent help with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome, often people with this can find bowel movements hard as well as having urinary problems due to the pelvic floor muscles under severe amount of stress and strain. Yoga helps me de-stress and help balance my posture as well as stretching important muscle groups.

DO take hot baths around exercising. Even after implementing yoga or stretching in a morning hot baths will be so beneficial in helping easing the pain of CPPS. The kind of individual who does suffer with this issue is typically a high driven and competitive person so when performing yoga they usually over stretch and sometimes inflame the muscle – Epsom salts baths can really help with this or find out more about hot sitz baths.

DO warm up and cool down properly. If you were going to take one point out of this article and put it into practise use this one. Obviously everybody who takes pride in their training want to exercise hard and see the benefits of an intense session, but putting your body under this much pyhsical stress especially when training legs or high intensity cardio can be a backwards step in reaching comfort in your pelvic muscles. Like I say in the opening paragraph, football has been a massive part of my life but it gave me so much pain (some physiological with nerves and anticipation of playing) I had to find a way round it. I did this by cutting all football activity down to 1 day a week which was the match on a Saturday, I then have a warm bath, a good stretch and magnesium rub pre match. After the match I have an ice bath (seems to help my symptoms) followed by a hot shower, another stretch, pelvic floor relaxing exercises and easily digestible foods – Ive found large meals can really amplify the symptoms for me.

DO accept you have this problem and exercise in accordance with them. The last thing you need to be doing is progressing your symptoms after all people with CPPS can struggle with IBS, UTI’s, Kidney infections, and bacterial infections. You have to lead a lifestyle to over come the stress you are inflicting – whether you want to accept it or not it is you that is causing the problem so you need to have the patience to sort it. If you would like any advice I am more than happy for a quick chat on how else you can ease these symptoms see my contact page.

Here I will go through a couple of major DONT’s in exercise if you are suffering with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.

DONT perform high intensity or very heavy leg exercises – especially deadlifts! In my experience I found deadlifts to be the worst exercise to flare my CPPS off with lower back pain, bowel problems and urinary trouble all following for atleast a week after. I simply found it wasn’t worth it. Unfortunately, we have to probably do the opposite of what is considered to be the most effective exercises for legs and isolate the muscles on machines such as leg extension and hamstring curl machines. Ive found this helps to not engage your pelvic floor too much whilst still achieving a good workout on legs.

DONT eat too much round exercise. Again you do not have to take these do’s and don’ts as the be all and end all as you may experience very different symptomatic responses to me but I have found overloading with food within an hour before or after training really enhances the strain on my digestive system – especially high carb pre workout drinks these really seem to flare my pelvic muscles up. I have BCAA’s through the workout along with maybe some berries, not ideal for optimal performance but I try to make good of a bad situation (and feel slightly normal).

DONT think you can undo all of your symptoms in one day. You have built up that many years of stress on your body with diet, hectic lifestyles, emotions and excessive alcohol consumption that you cant solve this problem straight away. Fortunately the human body is amazing at recovering from problems and illnesses given the right environment, you should feel a difference within a short space of time if the right protocol is implemented.

DONT sit down for too long. Mobilising exercises will really help with your stiffness in the pelvic region but sitting for a long sustained period will reverse the good work you have done. I personally have struggled with this because of my background in Digital Marketing – I set my alarm for every 20 minutes to do 1 minute of mobilising which seemed to really help.

Again I am going to highlight the book which really helped me in overcoming Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome which is “A Headache In The Pelvis”. Absolutely loved reading every minute of it and would recommend to anyone who has CPPS.