Pelvic Girdle Pain
What is it? The pelvic girdle is a ring of bones around your body at the base of your spine. PGP is pain in the front and/or the back of your pelvis that can also affect other areas such as the hips or thighs. It can affect the sacroiliac joints at the back and/or the symphysis pubis joint at the front. Pain can also feel like it is internal in the pelvis and vagina and around the outside, often with pain around the perineum.
As the baby’s weight increases the pelvic floor muscles have to support this weight, which can cause them to tighten and pull on the pelvic ring and cause pain.
PGP is common, affecting 1 in 5 pregnant women, and can affect your mobility and quality of life. Pain PGP can be mild to severe but is treatable at any stage in pregnancy, and the sooner it is treated, the more likely you are to feel better. It is more common later in pregnancy.
- Pain in the pubic region, lower back, hips, groin, thighs or knees
- Clicking or grinding in the pelvic area
- Pain made worse by movement, for example:
- Walking on uneven surfaces/rough ground or for long distances
- Moving your knees apart, like getting in and out of the car
- Standing on one leg, like climbing the stairs, dressing or getting in or out of the bath
- Rolling over in bed
- During sexual intercourse.
The following simple measures may help:
- Keeping active within your pain limitations
- Getting plenty of rest
- Standing tall with your bump and bottom tucked in a little
- Changing your position frequently – try not to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time
- Sitting to get dressed and undressed
- Putting equal weight on each leg when you stand
- Trying to keep your legs together when getting in and out of the car
- Lying on the less painful side while sleeping
- Keeping your knees together when turning over in bed
- Using a pillow under your bump and between your legs for extra support in bed.
- Squeeze your bottom muscles when you are moving
You should avoid anything that may make your symptoms worse, such as:
- Lifting anything heavy, for example heavy shopping
- Going up and down the stairs too often
- Stooping, bending or twisting to lift or carry a toddler or baby on one hip
- Sitting on the floor, sitting twisted, or sitting or standing for long periods
- Standing on one leg or crossing your legs.
For most women, early diagnosis and treatment should stop symptoms from worsening, relieve pain, and help you continue with your normal everyday activities. It is therefore very important that you are referred for treatment early. PGP is not something you just have to ‘put up with’ until your baby is born.
Please contact one of our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists if you need further information.