Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a specific form of lower back pain that arises during pregnancy, usually between 14 and 30 weeks. The pain is located around the SIJ/buttock area and may radiate to the back of the thigh. PGP is very common during pregnancy, affecting approximately 56% to 70% of women.
It is thought to be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy which increases the laxity of pelvic ligaments in preparation for birth. This increased mobility of the pelvis can increase strain on the muscles and cause irritation or inflammation of the joints. In some cases, the pelvis may even be slightly ‘out of alignment,’ especially after a fall.
Pregnant women with Pelvic girdle pain will experience pain with sitting, standing or walking for long periods and have difficulty with asymmetrical movements such as stairs and turning in bed.
Some tips for helping to manage Pelvic Girdle Pain include:
- Avoid prolonged sitting – get up at least every 30 minutes
- Stand with weight through both legs evenly
- Avoid walks for hours at a time
- Avoid stairs – take the lift or escalator where possible
- Roll in bed with knees together
- Shorten stride length
- Avoid walking on soft surfaces like sand
It is important to remember that your pelvis is supposed to be more mobile during pregnancy to make birth easier. It does not mean your pelvis is ‘unstable’, it just means you have to learn to control that increased mobility.
If you think you are experiencing PGP, please book in for an appointment with one of our women’s health physiotherapists.
In the initial consultation, our physiotherapists will take you through a detailed history and physical examination to ensure an accurate diagnosis and develop an individualised treatment plan. This may include:
- Advice and education
- Hands-on treatment such as massage or joint mobilisation to relieve muscle tension and restore alignment
- Fitting for a pelvic belt to help reduce movement of the pelvis
- Stabilising exercises to help manage your pain and improve your day to day function
Depending on your goals, our physiotherapists may also recommend clinical rehab or pregnancy conditioning classes.
To make an appointment at our New Farm studio, call our reception staff on 07 3358 3915 or click the link below. Please, be sure to request one of our Women’s Health physiotherapists.: Courtney and Charmion
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