Pelvic Pain 101: Definition + Resource List

In Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy by Stephanie PrendergastLeave a Comment

By Stephanie A. Prendergast, MPT, Cofounder, PHRC Los Angeles


“Can you please define to us what exactly is pelvic pain when sitting. Over the bladder? In the groin? On the labia? Rectum? Sit bone? Like period cramps? What is the most common definition?  I’d love for this to be a post or a question for all.  I keep wondering what other women mean when they say it. Mine is burning on the sit bone, inferior to the labia and on the proximal hamstring. Thank you!!”


What is Pelvic Pain?


‘Pelvic pain’ is a broad term that means many different things to people with symptoms, physical therapists and different physician specialties. According to some, it is defined as pain in the area below the umbilicus that lasts at least 6 months. 


In our practice we see people who have had ongoing pelvic pain for less than six months, this may not continue to be a criteria as things evolve.


Pelvic pain can encompass a host of symptoms:

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Painful sex
  • Pain with urinary, bowel or sexual function
  • Pain in the pelvis, including the genitals, before, during or after  sitting, exercising or wearing certain types of clothing


Pelvic pain is a symptoms of several diagnoses:

  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Vulvodynia
  • Endometriosis
  • Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
  • Pudendal Neuralgia
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Hip Pathology 


Video Resources:




Pelvic Pain Explained: Endometriosis + Resource List

Pelvic Pain Explained: Vulvodynia + Resource List

Pudendal Neuralgia Resources [UPDATED]

Pudendal Neuralgia Resource List

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome/Male Pelvic Pain/’Prostatitis’ Resource List

Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome Resource List

Pelvic Floor Anatomy, Physiology & Physical Therapy Resource List


Are you unable to come see us in person in the Bay Area, Southern California or New England?  We offer virtual physical therapy appointments too!


Virtual sessions are available with PHRC pelvic floor physical therapists via our video platform, Zoom, or via phone. For more information and to schedule, please visit our digital healthcare page.

In addition to virtual consultation with our physical therapists, we also offer integrative health services with Jandra Mueller, DPT, MS. Jandra is a pelvic floor physical therapist who also has her Master’s degree in Integrative Health and Nutrition. She offers services such as hormone testing via the DUTCH test, comprehensive stool testing for gastrointestinal health concerns, and integrative health coaching and meal planning. For more information about her services and to schedule, please visit our Integrative Health website page

Melissa Patrick is a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher and is also available virtually to help, for more information please visit our therapeutic yoga page

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