Pregnancy Pelvic Girdle Pain

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Pregnancy Pelvic Girdle Pain

Author: Katy Mackay

Pregnancy Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints during pregnancy. It’s estimated that between 30-50% of women report PGP before 20 weeks, and approx. 60%-70% reporting PGP by late pregnancy. Of those, about 20% report their symptoms as severe.

Pain can occur in the pubic symphysis (the joint at the pubic bone on the front of your pelvis); one or both of the the sacroiliac joints (at the top of your buttocks at the back) or in all three of these joints. The tailbone may be involved as well.

What Causes PGP?
There is no definitive cause for these joint pains during pregnancy, but it is likely a combination of factors: increased laxity of the joints due to hormonal changes such as increased oestrogen as well as changes to your biomechanics that occur with increased bodyweight and centre of mass. Interestingly, the hormone relaxin is no longer thought to be the primary hormone influencing pelvic joint mobility.

But one thing is certain, it’s not your fault and you’re not alone! Currently, only about 25% of women seek treatment but we are here to help.

Treatment for PGP
There is a lot you can do to reduce the severity of PGP. At Movement Laboratory, we first properly assess the factors contributing to the patient’s pain and formulate a treatment plan accordingly. Treatments include:

  • Movement modifications to avoid sheering or overloading the involved joints
  • Specific exercises to strengthen or stretch the involved muscles
  • Compression garments or belts to provide support
  • Manual therapy modalities such as soft tissue release and dry needling

Other Tips
The Australian Pregnancy care guidelines currently suggest:

  • Wear low heeled shoes
  • Avoid prolonged standing
  • Reduce non-essential weightbearing activities
  • Avoid standing on one leg (eg. sit down to get dressed, use the elevator instead of stairs etc)
  • Apply heat to painful areas
  • Avoid hip abduction like spreading legs wide apart  (eg modify how you get out of the car by swinging both legs out before standing etc)

Whilst this is useful information, we have to be careful not to avoid moving altogether! Exercise is good for mum and bub. This is why an appropriate, individualised physio plan is what you need to stay as active as you can without worsening your pain. Book in with one of our Women’s Health physios today!

Movement Laboratory Google Reviews

tele jeletele jele
02:33 09 Sep 23
Anastasia is the most wonderful physiotherapist who helped us recover and improve our mobility and strength in record time. Highly recommend!
Sara PageSara Page
01:43 08 Sep 23
I saw the lovely Shannon for my first consult today. She was extremely professional, knowledgeable and patient. The lovely reception staff were also amazing! Thank you team!!
Emma PowellEmma Powell
11:14 07 Sep 23
The team are so wonderful and lovely to be around. They make your recovery feel effortless and no set backs are ever taken negatively. Thanks team!
paul nelsonpaul nelson
03:30 04 Sep 23
I have loved my visits to Movement Laboratory. Alannah has really helped me on my journey to overcome back pain. Highly recommend
Min ZhuoMin Zhuo
07:39 31 Aug 23
Anastasia is very patient and informative in my daughter’s point assessment. It was great to have someone guide us through this journey. Thank you
Karla KomeneKarla Komene
06:46 02 Aug 23
This place was amazing I was so happy about how I was treated and looked after . I liked how everything was explained to me and it made sense . I was grateful when I told my symptoms to the lovely lady she knew what I was talking about and ways we could improve things and that I wasn’t alone. Also I felt that the environment was pleasant calm and relaxing which is what I needed. I have already taken a few work cards to pass out to some ladies I know . Thank you 😊 Looking forward to moving forward
Mark WestmanMark Westman
10:18 05 Jul 23
Anastasia is a miracle worker! I'm a keen runner and I started seeing her a few months ago after a couple of broken backs and a (new) torn hammy. She diagnosed my hammy problem quickly and efficiently, provided immediate relief through some deep massage to allow me to survive a few more important runs before my wedding (honeymoon = rest), and has helped me rebuild through focused strength work and home exercises. She obviously cares about her patients and enjoys helping them achieve their goals. I'm now running regularly and pain free again! Thanks Anastasia 🙂
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