Female chronic pelvic pain can be caused by a variety of gynecological conditions. Pelvic pain can also be caused by previous pelvic surgery, cancer, or endometriosis. Male chronic pelvic pain can be caused by previous surgery, scarring, nerve damage, or testicular pathology.
Pelvic pain can result from arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, but generally arthritis in the pelvic region involves inflammation of a pelvic joint, causing swelling, pain, and stiffness. The coccyx, also known as the tailbone, is made of several joints that can become inflamed and can also be a source of pain.
There are many peripheral nerves in the pelvis that can cause pain if they become inflamed or compressed against bone or tight soft tissues. The most common nerves are the genitofemoral nerve in the groin, the ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerves between the groin and the hip, and the femoral nerve at the top of the thigh.
Irritated muscle bands can result in muscle ache, spasm, or tightness. This can lead to pain over a remote area, know as referred pain. Such “trigger points” (irritated muscle bands) in the pelvis can often cause pelvic pain. The piriformis muscle is a common culprit.