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Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) refers to a collection of symptoms which are associated with pain, discomfort, clicking or grinding around the pelvis.  This usually occurs during pregnancy and present in any trimester.  Women who have a history of PGP in previous pregnancies or any pelvic injuries do have any increased likelihood of having PGP, but it can happen to any woman during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, a hormone called progesterone, softens all the muscles and ligaments to make room for your growing womb and baby.  This softening is the reason 1:5 women experience PGP during their pregnancy.  The pain/discomfort can happen anywhere in the pelvis; front, back, one side, both sides.  It usually worsens upon moving; particularly when climbing stairs, walking, standing or side lying.  It can also vary in intensity from mild to severe and causes some muscles to become overworked. It's these 'overworked' muscles which can increase the pain experienced.

There are ways to manage it but in the first instance if you feel you are experiencing any of these symptoms, discuss them with your midwife or health professional for confirmation and treatment.

Finding effective ways of managing this is based on the severity on the symptoms and your anatomy;

 

  • Physiotherapy - your midwife or health professional will refer you to this.

  • Paracetamol (do not exceed the recommended daily dose, max 8 tablets in 24 hours) is safe to take during pregnancy if you are happy to do so

  • Rest...I know how challenging this can be but resting for 5-10 minutes throughout the day can make a big difference

  • Posture - knees travelling in the same direction, at the same time or no more than a hip distance apart prevents additional strain on the 'flexible' joints in the pelvis.  Climbing one stair/step at a time.  Taking shorter strides when walking.  Moving both knees together when getting in and out of a car.  There is a video below that demonstrates this - only steps 1 & 2 really apply. 

  • Water - warm baths/showers allow overworked muscles to relax

  • Additional Support - bump bands or a prescribed maternity belt, from a physiotherapist, offer stability for the pelvis, helping to reduce symptoms. 

  • Footwear - that supports the whole foot and ankle (sadly no flip-flops) makes an enormous difference to the pelvis.

  • TENS Machine - this device helps to trigger your body's natural pain relief, in the form of endorphins.  They are available to hire from hospitals and most chemists.  The benefit is there is no effect on your baby.

  • Yoga - helps to stretch the overworked muscles and strengthen those which have been softened during pregnancy.

Often it will be a combination of these but it's important to communication with your midwife how you are managing the symptoms.

 

 

"The female pelvis is a powerhouse of energy transformation, the very throne of creation through which universal creative energy patterns course and flow." - Dr Rosita Arvigo

TENS Machine

Maternal Sunshine Yoga

Seaford, UK

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