Glossary of Pelvic Pain & Rehabilitation Terms

Pelvic Pain and Rehabilitation Terms

Abacterial Prostatitis

Chronic pelvic pain and urinary symptoms in males with no positive result on urine cultures or prostate excretions.

Alpha 2 Macroglobulin or A2M

Alpha 2 Macroglobulin, a naturally occurring protein found in blood plasma. It can be isolated from a patient’s blood, and then injected into areas of pain or arthritis. It helps to prevent tissue damage, and helps to block the inflammatory cascade.

Chronic Constipation

Chronic constipation is feeling like you need to have a bowel movement but having difficulty in doing so. You may have hard stools, or formed stools, or pellet stools. Some also describe incomplete stools and being unable to pass the entire bowel movement at one time, leading to multiple trips to the bathroom in one day. Another definition is passing stool less than three times per week.

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS)

A condition involving ongoing pain in the pelvic region. Pain experienced can vary from person to person, ranging in severity (mild or severe), type (dull or sharp), and longevity (constant or intermittent). CPPS-related pain can spread to the buttocks, lower back, and thighs.


Persistent tailbone pain, noted for pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone, between the buttocks.


Dyspareunia is the term used by clinicians for pain during sexual intercourse. The painful sex can be a superficial pain or with deep penetration.


Endometriosis is an often serious disorder in which the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. While the cause of endometriosis is unknown, the impact on patients’ health can be severe. The pH balance of the tissues can be disrupted and the muscles and nerves can be put into disarray. Neurotransmitters begin stimulating an inflammatory cascade that can cause chronic pain.

Inflammatory Cascade

The complex biological response of the body to perceived harmful stimuli.

Lichen Sclerosus

A chronic inflammatory skin condition which causes skin and a distinct pattern on the vulva and perineum like a figure 8. The skin can be shiny or tissue paper-like. It can cause itching, burning, and pain.

Nerve Hydrodissection

A technique used to treat peripheral nerve entrapments using a solution to separate the nerve from the surrounding tissues.

Pelvic Floor Hypertonia

In this condition, pelvic floor muscles are contracted, tense and weak. Blood flow is restricted, which can cause an acidic environment in the area and this, in turn, can create an inflammatory cascade. When this “inflammatory soup” is generated, it’s harmful for the region’s muscles and nerves. The muscles become tender and the nerves begin to fire inappropriately, causing chronic pain.

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder

Also known as PGAD or Restless Genital Syndrome, Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome is a condition characterized by unrelenting, spontaneous and uncontainable genital arousal in females.  PGAD may or may not include arousal with orgasm and/or genital engorgement. Very often patients have approached medical health professionals who have not heard of PGAD and often times their symptoms are dismissed. PGAD is a real disease and must be treated by professionals who have significant experience with PGAD.

Pudendal Neuralgia

A condition that involves pain of the pudendal nerve, which runs between the anus to the genitals of both men and women. This condition is commonly associated with pudendal nerve entrapment (PNE), or the pinching and compression of the nerve, while PN can be caused by other factors. PN is more common in women than men and can be treated through peripheral nerve hydrodissection.

Urinary Urgency or Frequency

Urinary urgency is a sudden need to urinate It is sometimes associated with urinary incontinence, frequent nighttime urination, and needing to urinate multiple times in a day. It can be associated with urinary infections, interstitial cystitis, or pelvic floor hypertonia.


Involuntary muscle spasm of the vaginal muscles causing pain with insertion into the vaginal canal.


Pain around the opening of the vagina, which is often described as burning or rawness, can cause difficulty with daily activities or sitting for long periods, as well as pain with intercourse.

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