Musculoskeletal problems can cause pain, stiffness, and joint swelling due to inflammatory, metabolic, or degenerative disorders. The anatomic structures most commonly involved in musculoskeletal disease are the joints, including the bony end plate (avascular necrosis), the cartilage (osteoarthritis), the joint space (joint infection or gout), the synovial membrane (Rheumatoid arthritis), the tendon (tendonitis), and the muscle (myositis). The impact that these problems have for an affected woman is primarily determined by the degree to which they interfere with her activities of daily living. Some of the disorders of the musculoskeletal system that can result in chronic pelvic pain are discussed here.
Faulty posture may result in pain. Posture is the alignment of the body that remains fairly constant as a person assumes different positions. It is the way we stand, sit, work and even sleep. A faulty, inefficient, or slouching posture is unable to distribute weight optimally across the body's framework and this may cause pain. Poor posture may contribute to weak muscles and elevated resting muscle tone or trigger points. Physical therapists can work with women with faulty posture and this may help to reduce pelvic pain.
Lumbar vertebral disease can result in lower back and pelvic pain. There are 5 vertebrae in the lumbar region of the spine below the diaphragm (at the base of the lungs near the bottom ribs) and above the sacrum (in the pelvis). Pain from nerve compression or irritation is often constant, moderate to severe in intensity, one sided, and increased with movement.
Hernias can cause abdominal or pelvic pain. The United States National Library of Medicine defines hernias as protrusions of a tissue, structure or part of an organ through the muscular tissue or membrane by which it is normally contained. The three parts of a hernia are the orifice through which it herniates, the hernia sac, and its contents. The types of hernias associated with pelvic pain include hernias of the pelvic wall, perineum or pelvic floor (such as sciatic or obturator hernias); groin hernias (such as inguinal or femoral hernias); hernias of the abdominal wall (such as umbilical or incisional hernias); internal abdominal hernias (such as hernias through adhesions or the broad ligament); and sports hernias. Hernias may be reducible (the protruding tissue is able to return through the defect in the muscular tissue or membrane to its usual location) or irreducible (also known as incarcerated where the hernia contents cannot be returned to their normal location with simple manipulation). Incarcerated hernias can develop many complications, including strangulation (the blood supply to the hernia contents becomes compromised to develop ischemia and possibly necrosis or gangrene) or obstruction (when the intestines herniates the bowel contents may become obstructed to result in cramps, nausea and vomiting, and absence of bowel movements).