Pelvic Pain Support Network

Free of Pelvic Pain after 14 years

I wanted to share my story of how I overcame 14 years of chronic pelvic pain. I am a 35 year old man from Somerset in the UK. I first experienced pelvic pain when I was 19 and it continued until I was 34. Over the years I tried everything, prostate injections, 6 years of myofascial physical therapy with 4 different therapists and I had pudendal nerve surgery 3 times in the USA. I tried all the usual pain meds like tramadol, codeine and lyrica. I was told by a leading pelvic pain Dr in the UK that my pelvic pain had centralized in my nervous system and that I had to just look at ways to manage it.

I eventually found Restorative Exercise a program created by bio mechanist Katy Bowman. After dedicating myself to this program I am now free of pelvic pain. I decided to train in Restorative Exercise and am now treating pelvic pain patients.

David McCoid

9 Replies

What an inspirational story thank you for sharing and good luck f or t he future


Thanks Poppy26


Perhaps you could add a little detail about what restorative exercise means and what is involved for someone who wants to try it.


Restorative Exercise is a whole body approach to Pelvic pain. The pelvic floor is tight because other muscles are not doing their job. To treat the pelvic floor in isolation will be ineffective.

Restorative Exercise aims to restore every muscle to its optimal length including the pelvic floor. In most pelvic floor patients the pelvic floor is too short and the sacrum and coccyx has been drawn into the body. Therefore it is critical to activate the gluteal muscles to draw the sacrum and coccyx back out of the body thereby lengthening the pelvic floor. The gluteal muscles need to be working as much as possible for most of the day if your pelvic floor is to lengthen.

In order to have your gluteal muscles activating most of the time you need to work on your whole body. During my recovery I had to work on my feet, calves , hamstrings, the position of my rib cage relative to my pelvis , the position of my shoulder blades, the position of my feet etc. , etc. Every day I had to complete exercises which strengthen or stretched particular muscles but I also had to implement lifestyle changes. I was taught a particular gait pattern which would lengthen the pelvic floor so I had to walk fairly long distances every day. I also had to walk in barefoot minimalist shoes. I had to move in a completely different way in order for my muscles to lengthen. There is no point in doing stretches if you are going to move just as you did before as muscles will then tighten back up. Therefore I had to think about how I was using my body all of the time not just for an example an hour a day. Towards the middle of the programme I was hanging off pull up bars or monkey bars to activate my core musculature thereby relieving pressure on my pelvic floor. I was surprised how improving my upper body strength impacted on my pelvic pain. The hanging off bars seems like a very strange therapy for pelvic pain but it helped me tremendously, more than I would have originally thought.

I was in severe pain when I began the programme. It was a big commitment but I am now pain free.

I believe Restorative Exercise can help a huge amount of people suffering from pelvic pain.


Really pleased for you that you have found a pain free life.

This does make sense as I find exercise very helpful in management of my pain. Thank you for sharing your information. S


Sadielee1608 thanks for your comment. To make it clear Restorative Exercise is not like any exercise you will have done in a gym before. With Restorative Exercise you are learning new motor skills which reprogram your nervous system. At the start it is very gentle but you eventually move on to more challenging exercises. You also have to learn a new way to walk which allows your pelvic floor to lengthen on every step. I was in severe pain when I began the program but am now pain free.



do you still suffer from bouts ? Also, do you feel that it was just your muscles that needed work on? What about the psychological aspect, anxiety?

There seems to be some confusion in the approaches: some say it is fight; flight; freeze

and some others ( you seem to be the case also) that the problem is more physical.



No I don't suffer from bouts of pelvic pain and am pain free. I do walk for at least an hour a day to keep my pelvic floor healthy.

Pelvic pain is a physical problem. The anxiety and depression that accompanies the condition is caused by unrelenting pain for which very often the patient can find no explanation. I agree with Nancy Fish, a psycho therapist and co author of Healing Painful sex when she states.

''I see young women, older women, single , married, lesbian, straight, bisexual, from all backgrounds she explained. There is such a diversity in my practice that is one way I know this is a medical condition and not psychologically generated..... Anxiety and depression can certainly make the pain worse. But we have never met a woman for whom this pain has psychological roots. It is physically based''

You asked about my muscles being worked on. I should make it clear I received no manual therapy as part of my recovery. I gave up on pelvic pain physical therapy a long time ago. I last received pelvic physical therapy about 6 years ago ,before my three pudendal surgeries.

I had to be taught Restorative Exercise by a Restorative Exercise specialist and had to learn a variety of different exercises and movements. It was a huge amount of effort. I was doing 2 to 3 hours of Restorative Exercise a day and that does not include the amount of time walking. Ultimately I was taught how to change my own body.

I don't believe manual therapy is necessary to recover from pelvic pain. Your muscles are doing exactly what your central nervous system is telling them to do. Muscle is just a puppet of the nervous system. You cannot push and prod a muscle and expect it to lengthen. To change your nervous system you need to change the way you use your body. This is what I did with Restorative Exercise.

You can read about the story of a man based in the USA who recovered from chronic pelvic pain with Restorative Exercise below.


1 like

Hi Dave, did you work with a specific restorative exercise specialist or did you just study the program on your own?


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