Pelvic Girdle Pain
Pelvic girdle pain. What is it and what can be done to help?

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a term given to describe the discomfort felt anywhere from the front of the pelvis (pubic symphysis) to the back of the pelvis (sacrum) and even around to the sides of the pelvis (hips).

During pregnancy 1 in 4 women will experience pelvic girdle pain due to changes the body will undergo in a relatively short period of time. This can occur at any stage of the pregnancy however, it is most commonly experienced in the second and third trimesters.

What causes Pelvic Girdle Pain?

Ligaments throughout the body stretch and soften to accommodate for the growing baby. When these ligaments relax our muscles are required to work extra hard which may result in pain. Additionally increases in load, changes in posture, centre of gravity, walking style and alterations in core function can contribute to pelvic girdle pain.

While some individuals accommodate well to these changes, experiencing limited or no pain, it can be debilitating for others and 7% of women will continue to suffer with this pain after their baby is born – requiring ongoing treatment.

Common symptoms

Sharp, stabbing or grabbing pain that is aggravated climbing up and down stairs, getting dressed/undressed, rolling over in bed, getting in and out of the car, extended periods standing, sitting or walking and pain on sexual intercourse.

Helpful tips

If you are experiencing pelvic girdle pain try these helpful hints:

  • Sleep with a pillow between your knees
  • Keep knees together when rolling in bed or getting in and out of car
  • Focus on maintaining good posture while standing and sitting. Avoid crossing your legs
  • Avoid heavy lifting (your joints are already under enough load), prolonged sitting, wearing heels, carrying uneven loads e.g. bag on shoulder or toddler on hip
  • Wear support bracing or garments such as tubigrip, SRC shorts or Serola belt

The specific tissues causing pain differs between individuals and it is best to seek professional advice from an osteopath with experience in this area for appropriate treatment.

Written by Nicole Cukierman

Nicole is Fertile Ground Health Group’s resident Osteopath. If you’re seeking treatment please feel welcome to book in with Nicole.