How to Treat Pregnancy Related Pelvic Girdle Pain


Pelvic girdle pain has been described as a collection of signs and symptoms of discomfort and pain felt either at the back of the pelvis, on one or both sides, and/or pain over the pubic joint. Pain is generally located between the top of the pelvis and the bottom of the buttocks. Pain may refer into the buttock, and/or down the leg, so is often confused with sciatica. PGP involving the pubic symphysis joint can also refer pain to the groin, inner thigh, lower abdomen, and vaginal area. 

Pelvic Girdle Pain is common in pregnancy.

Pelvic Girdle Pain is common in pregnancy.

Why Does PGP Occur?

The true incidence of pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy is unknown, with estimates putting it at 1 in 5 pregnant women that will experience PGP during pregnancy. The exact reason PGP effects some women & not others is unknown, but it has been linked to:

• A history of lower back or pelvic girdle pain

• Previous injury to the pelvis, for example from a fall or accident

• Having PGP in a previous pregnancy

• A physically demanding job

• Increased body mass index

• Emotional distress and smoking

Early diagnosis in PGP can help minimise symptoms and avoid longer term discomfort. It’s important to remember common Google terms don’t actually reflect the true pathogenesis of PGP. Some examples include:

• Pelvic Instability 

• Pelvic joint arthropathy 

• Pelvic girdle insufficiency 

• Pubic symphysis dysfunction 

• Diastasis of the Symphysis Pubis 

• Pelvic joint pain 

• Low back Pain 

• Osteitis Pubis 

• Posterior Pelvic pain 

• Sacroiliitis 

1 in 5 pregnant women will experience Pelvic Girdle Pain.

1 in 5 pregnant women will experience Pelvic Girdle Pain.

KRP Offers Expert Treatment to Help PGP

We understand how frustrating PGP can be but it is important to note that PGP in pregnancy is not harmful to your baby. It can cause quite marked pain around your pelvic area however and make it difficult for you to get around in weight bearing positions. Different women have different symptoms and in some women PGP is worse than in others. Some women even describe a clicking or grinding sensation in the pelvic area. 

With PGP, the pain is often most noticeable when you are: 

• Walking, particularly in high heels

• Going upstairs 

• Standing on one leg (for example when you’re getting dressed or going upstairs) 

• Turning over in bed 

• Getting in/out of the car 

Importantly however, there is treatment to help and techniques to manage the pain and discomfort. If you get the right advice and treatment early on, PGP in pregnancy can usually be managed and the symptoms minimised. Occasionally, the symptoms even clear up completely. Most women with PGP in pregnancy can also have a normal vaginal birth.

With so many treatment options available to decrease the discomfort of PGP, place the management of this debilitating condition into the hands of the experts here at KRP. Led by Specialist Pelvic Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Australian College of Physiotherapy Fellow and University lecturer Jenny Hynes, KRP is involved in presenting coursework around the management of this condition to the physiotherapy profession at a Post Graduate level.  KRP also offers the latest proven advancements in physiotherapy for pelvic pain, as well as our onsite Exercise and Pilates studio - where you can rehab with a purpose. Treatment you’ll receive here at KRP for PGP includes:

• Hands on physiotherapy to make sure the joints of your pelvis, hip and spine move normally

• Exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, stomach, back and hip muscles

• Advice and suggestions including positions for labour and birth and looking after your baby

• Pelvic support belts & compression garments

  • Acupuncture may also help to relieve pelvic pain in pregnancy.

Some helpful tips KRP suggests should you already be experiencing PGP before coming in to see us include:

• Wearing supportive, low-heeled shoes

• Reducing stair climbing and standing/walking for long periods of time

• Avoiding standing on one leg (e.g. by sitting down to get dressed)

• Taking care getting in/out of cars, baths or squatting

• Applying heat to painful areas.

Servicing Niddrie, Essendon, Airport West, Keilor & the Northern suburbs for over 40 years, you can book with one of our highly trained pelvic and pregnancy related pain experts online here or call 93794557 to speak to one of our admin superstars and get back into life.

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