Patient From Croatia Travels 6,000 miles to Heal From Pudendal Neuralgia—and Does Just That

Not located in Southern California? Learn more our Out of Town Program to see how we can help you.

Not located in Southern California? Learn more our Out of Town Program to see how we can help you.

How far would you travel to relieve your pelvic pain or pelvic floor dysfunction?

Lea made her way to us from Croatia (6,200 miles!) to address her pelvic pain with Sarton Physical Therapy’s Tustin Clinical Director, Dr. Allea Francis. Below, Lea outlines her healing journey from start to finish, from her initial symptoms to her improved quality of life today (and all of the up’s and downs’s in between).

If you feel that you are at your rope’s end with your pelvic pain or dysfunction, please take a moment to read this testimonial.

Thank you, Lea, for your bravery and willingness to share your story. We would also like to shout out Allea Francis, PT, DPT for her admirable dedication to her patients. We are stronger together!

My problems started in the third trimester of my pregnancy (October 2018). Everything started with vaginal burning which I thought was bacterial infection. Since it didn’t go away, I felt like something else was wrong. Vaginal burning shortly started spreading to other parts of my body - tailbone, inner thighs, rectum and finally, to my legs (wearing underwear felt uncomfortable). Even urination felt like burning. Towards the end of my pregnancy I wasn’t even able to sit or sleep which made me sad and depressed but everybody was convincing me that these horrible sensations will go away after giving birth. I googled my symptoms and read forums which helped me come to the conclusion that I could have vulvodynia or pudendal neuralgia - something I never heard about before but sounded horrible. The slightest hope I’ll get better disappeared after giving birth to my baby boy. In fact, it only got worse and I was severly depressed - luckily, my family helped me with my son while I was in so much pain and recovering from the c-section. Although my gynecologist recommended a doctor who prescribed medication (Cymbalta, 60mg) and I will always be grateful for that, I knew I had to find help because I didn’t want to be dependent on medications for the rest of my life. Finding Sarton Physical Therapy was a miracle and travelling to the other part of the world was hard but the right decision. I came from Croatia to California and spent 5 amazing weeks there. My therapy was very intensive and I had it 3-4 times a week in order to be able to start healing as soon as possible and return home to my son. I had physical therapy, massage, pilates and even tried guided imagery. Thanks to PT’s at Sarton, I enjoyed every day of my therapy and felt like I was at home.

Today, while I am writing this post, it has already been 5 weeks since I have returned back to Croatia. I am so happy to say that I’m almost 80% pain free and my healing journey continues. I’m having both pain free days and days which are not so good but I always try to stay positive. I am much more relaxed, enjoy every single day spent with my son, family and friends and laugh a lot. Nothing of this would be possible without the support of my husband, mom and my dad who accompanied me to California. I also have to thank dr. Allea Francis for changing my life and giving me hope that I will get better from the moment we had our first video session and to dr. Julie Sarton who is so passionate about helping people and who was like my second mom.

To all of you that are in pain or suffer in silence, please know you’re not alone. It can and will stop but you need to find help (if you can’t do it in your country, try to find it elsewhere like I did). Always trust your instinct even if others tell you it’s all in your head. Pain is real but don’t let it define you and take over your life. Don’t ever turn back to your family because they are here to support you unconditionally. That’s why it is important to celebrate every single day and the miracle of life which was given to you.
— L.M.P.
Healing from Pudendal Neuralgia | Sarton Physical Therapy Reviews

We want to encourage you to get evaluated by one of our outstanding physical therapists, and regain control of your life. Pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, back pain, tailbone pain—you name it—these conditions do not have to control your life. There is hope. Call us today to book an appointment for 1 of our 3 Southern California locations, or inquire about a virtual, online treatment session.

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