Did you know that 1 in 5 pregnant women will experience some form of back pain or pelvic girdle pain during their pregnancy? 

What is Pelvic Girdle Pain? 

The pelvic girdle is made up of two hip bones and the sacrum/coccyx. There are three joints, the two sacroiliac joints, which sit just below the dimples in the small of your back and the pubic symphysis at the front.  PGP is pain arising from one or more of these joints and can be felt in the front and/or back of the pelvis and can affect other areas of the body.

During pregnancy your body produces a hormone called relaxin. This acts to soften your ligaments which allow your joints in your pelvis to be more mobile during childbirth. Usually your muscles are able to adapt and compensate to this greater flexibility, but when it doesn’t PGP can result.

What are the symptoms of PGP? 

- Pain in the pubic region, lower back, hips, groin thighs or knees

- Clicking or grinding in the pelvic area 

- Pain made worse by movement, for example – walking on uneven surfaces, getting into and out of the car, standing on one leg, climbing the stairs, rolling over in bed

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Do you suffer from PGP and need help relieving your symptoms? 

To relieve symptoms of PGP there are a number of things which can help patients for example:

- Avoid any activities which involve asymmetrical movements of the pelvis like sitting cross-legged

- Changing position frequently, trying not to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time

- Rest from aggravating or excessive activity BUT remain active within the limits of your pain.

- Keep your knees together and avoid twisting when rolling over or getting out of bed eg a ‘log’ roll.

…Or alternatively book into Physiotherapy treatment to relieve painful symptoms! 

Physiotherapy treatment will help to mobilise the bones of the pelvis, lower back and hips to get them into a better position and moving normally again. This is achieved using gentle hands-on mobilisation techniques, massage and stretches. Once in better alignment and when your pain is controlled, strengthening exercises for ‘core’ muscles and muscles around the hips will be taught to help maintain your alignment. 

This entry has been carefully written by Thea Inston who is a part of the BWT Team.