LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For years, sufferers of pelvic pain could find little relief when it came to living a comfortable life. But a new approach to physical therapy is helping those who once thought chronic pain would never go away.
From TV to the radio waves, Mike Brignac has shared many stories with this community as a newscaster, but one that he has kept more personal is his fight with chronic pain. "I've dealt with testicular pain all of my life," says Mike, "over the past six years, though, I've had chronic testicular pain - I've had to have eight surgeries."
These eight surgeries followed by the scar tissue that would develop, grounded Mike in every aspect of his life. "Professionally and with my family, it affects every part of my life," says Mike, "because it consumes my thoughts. I have five kids and being in pain wears me out and then I can't spend time with them."
Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Physical Therapist Johnnie Kleinschmidt treats many patients with chronic pain - most who come for help post-surgery. "Hysterectomy, even birth, C-section, their appendix removed, but typically it's from adhesions or old scar tissue from the surgeries," says Johnnie.
The scar tissue is made by the body to repair a surgery, but the body can overproduce this tissue, causing it to wrap around nerves. "A lot of abdominal pain, cramping, tight feelings," says Johnnie, "it can cut off blood flow, even the work of the colon."
Through pelvic floor therapy, Johnnie can help break up the scar tissue that is the root of the pain. "It is manipulation or scar tissue manipulation to reduce the scar tissue and break it up," says Johnnie.
When Mike began pelvic floor therapy about a year ago, he finally found relief. "After the first week of therapy, it was like, 'wow,'" says Mike, "a big difference in the pain relief."
Mike is still taking medication for his pain and will continue pelvic floor therapy, but he says now there is an end in sight. "I believe I will be out by the end of the spring," says Mike, "I'll be done with physical therapy and able to have a life that I remember 5-6 years ago."