Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) in pregnancy is extremely common occurring in up to 1 in 5 women.
Signs and symptoms of Pelvic Girdle Pain include:
- Difficulty lifting a leg
- Pain when standing on one leg (ie standing on one leg to put clothes/undies on)
- Pain at the front of the pelvis in the centre (Pubic Symphysis Joint) or pain at the back of the pelvis near the low back (Sacroiliac Joints)
- Pain and difficulty going up/down stairs
- Pain turning over in bed
Pelvic Girdle Pain can be called many different names including:
- Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) pain
- Pubic Symphysis Joint Pain
- Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
- Top tips to assist in reducing Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)
Top tips for reducing pelvic girdle pain
Avoid and reduce activities that make the pain worse: If you continue to do the activities that aggravate the pain you will never have time for the area to rest and recover. When activities that aggravate the pain are continued the pain often continues to build becoming worse over days and weeks. Listen to your body – if it hurts don’t do it!! Avoiding activities such as:
- Standing on one leg
- Stair walking
- Carrying a child on one hip
- Carrying and pushing heavy objects/groceries/trolleys
Wear flat, supportive shoes: Wearing shoes with a heel can aggravate the pain, ensure you are in supportive, flat shoes at all times.
Sit down to get dressed: When standing to get dressed we continually shift side to side, and stand on one leg to put our clothes on. This weight bearing on one side can contribute to an aggravation of the pain.
Keep your knees together when getting in and out of the car: Keep your knees together as your turn to get out of the car. Using a plastic bag on the seat can help you swivel more easily. Keeping your knees together will mean you can push through both feet evenly when standing from the car seat rather than pushing your weight through one leg and aggravating the pain.
Take smaller step lengths: When you walk the further you stride out the more pressure up through the Pubis Symphysis and Sacroilliac Joints. Taking smaller steps can be a great way to significantly reduce the load through the painful areas when you are walking.
Remember it is important to see a Women’s Health Physio if you think you may be experiencing Pelvic Girdle Pain. It is important to get your pain assessed and diagnosed correctly to rule out any other causes and ensure you are obtaining the proper treatment.
A Women’s Health Physio consult can help to:
- Assess strength and length of muscles around the pelvis
- Prescribe range of motion and strengthening exercises to address any weakness and improve pelvic stability
- Prescribe pelvic belts to help reduce the pain, support your pelvis and help you get through your pregnancy
Pelvic Girdle Pain often worsens throughout pregnancy so our goal is to stop the progression of the pain!! We often see women mid pregnancy with quiet severe Pelvic Girdle Pain, and they are very concerned about how the pain will continue to progress throughout the pregnancy. These women often respond really well to muscle releases, pelvic belts and muscle strengthening and some women even report complete resolution of their symptoms. The good news is that the pain typically resolves relatively quickly after giving birth!
Let us know if you have any questions! We are here to help!