Part I in the “Demystifying Pudendal Neuralgia” Series
For so many the term “pudendal neuralgia” conveys a frightening and mysterious chronic pain diagnosis. And to be sure, at one time, receiving a diagnosis of pudendal neuralgia, or “PN” as it’s commonly called, was truly terrifying, especially considering that it was against the backdrop of a medical community that didn’t have answers and an online community rife with misinformation.
However, “pudendal neuralgia” literally means “shooting, stabbing pain along the distribution of the pudendal nerve.” So in reality, pudendal neuralgia is not a dark, mysterious diagnosis, it’s simply pain anywhere along the nerve that innervates the pelvic floor.
While progress has been made in the treatment of PN over the past decade, there continues to be a tremendous amount of confusion swirling around the diagnosis, not the least of which is the massive confusion surrounding the difference between the diagnosis of PN versus the diagnosis of PNE and what is the appropriate course of treatment for each. .
In this post, I’m going to tackle those two points. But, that’s not the last you’ll hear about PN on this blog. It’s a topic I’ve spent my career embroiled in, and it’s one that I’m passionate about.
So this post marks the beginning of what will be a series on PN. Further posts in the series will tackle PT as a treatment for PN, the PNE decompression surgery, the current use of the “Three Tesla MRI” as a test for PNE, and the role of central sensitization in PN.
A Tortuous Course
Before I get into PN versus PNE, I want to first give you a brief explanation of the physiology of the pudendal nerve and PN.
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