Pelvic girdle pain is experienced by women in the back of their pelvis and/or around the frontal areas of their pubic bones during pregnancy.
The pain can range from a mild ache to severe pain, and can interfere with daily activities.
During pregnancy, The body produces a hormone called Relaxin. Relaxin is a hormone that softens ligaments – the tough connective tissue found between joints. This allows the joints in the pelvis to become more mobile and helps the baby pass through the pelvis during birth.
It is a combination of different factors, including pregnancy hormones, rapid changes in posture, baby weight and the shift in the centre of gravity that contributes to pelvic girdle pain. As the pelvic joints become more mobile, feelings of instability and pain may follow as muscles change the way they support the pelvis. As a result of this, the joints move unevenly and daily activities performed with an unstable pelvis can lead to irritation in the joints.
Do I have Pelvic Girdle Pain?
You may have pelvic girdle pain if you suffer from the following:
- pain in one or both sides of the pelvis (between the top of the pelvis and the buttock creases)
- pain over the pubic bones, including the groin and inner thigh
- pain with standing up from a chair
- pain with standing on one leg or with walking
- pain with rolling in bed
Pelvic girdle pain normally commences during the third trimester. However, onset can take place from the first trimester and can last some months after childbirth.
How is Pelvic Girdle Pain treated?
At Radius Osteopathic we can treat pelvic girdle pain by:
- Showing you how to protect your pelvis during movements that cause pain or irritation
- Providing hands on treatment to muscles that have tightened, to compensate for loose pelvic ligaments as they aim to stabilise the joint
- Supplying you with a pelvic support belt
- Applying gentle manipulation to the hip, back or pelvis to loosen stiff areas and rebalance the pelvis
- Advising on exercises to improve muscle control and address dysfunctional movement patterns.
More tips for expectant mums
Here are some practical measures offered by mums who have previously dealt with and overcome pelvic girdle pain:
- Keep your back well supported when sitting, and avoid sitting or driving for long periods
- Take your time with any activity that may cause strain on your pelvis (getting in/out of cars, climbing steps)
- Use a pillow between your legs when sleeping
- Try using hot water bottles or wheat/lupin bags
- Wear proper shoes
- Rest as much as possible, and
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
For more information about how osteopathy treatment may assist with pregnancy.