Pelvic Girdle Pain

Pelvic Girdle Pain occurs in about 25% of women during pregnancy and may continue or develop after pregnancy.

It is characterised by pain felt the front of your pelvis or in you lower back, hips and buttocks

A common misconception in pregnancy is that pelvic pain is a normal pregnancy response and nothing can be done to help it. However, there is lots that can be done to both prevent the pain and improve your pain. 

You may have heard ‘pelvic girdle pain’ referred to as ‘SPD’, ‘symphysis pubis dysfunction’, ‘pelvic instability’, ‘pelvic joint dysfunction/PJD’ or other terms. The preferred term to refer to any of these aforementioned conditions is ‘pelvic girdle pain’.

Why does this occur?

The exact cause is unknown but may be influenced by:

  • Previous back pain, pelvic pain or lower body injuries

  • Changes to your posture during pregnancy

  • Increased pressure on your pelvis due to the growth of your baby

  • Hormonal changes in pregnancy leading to increase stretch of the muscles and connective tissues

  • There may be a genetic link

  • Rapid or increased weight gain (beyond expected) in pregnancy

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Clicking, locking or grinding in the pelvic joints (front or back)

  • Sharp, grabbing pain in the front or the back of the pelvis, buttocks, inner thighs and/or radiating into the thighs

  • Feeling of giving way of the legs

Pain might be associated with:

  • Getting in and out of the car or bed

  • Rolling in bed or lying flat on your back

  • Standing on one leg (e.g. putting on pants; getting into car)

  • Driving a manual car

  • Sitting and standing still or moving from sitting to standing

  • Walking, going up and down stairs, squatting or lunging

  • Bending and lifting heavy objects /children

  • Housework

  • High impact exercise (e.g. running and jumping activities)

What can be done to help me?

While symptoms can be similar from person to person the underlying cause can be very different and thus treatment must be tailored to the individual. Assessment by an experienced Women’s Health Physiotherapist is a must.

What might my treatment include?

  • Education about appropriate postural changes/ positions to relieve pain

  • Specific exercise program to strengthen postural and core muscles

  • Expert hands on treatment to relieve stiff painful joints

  • External support such as Tubigrip to give the low back and abdominal muscle support.

  • Our exercise classes might be recommended to you as a way of addressing any muscle weakness of asymmetry once your original symptoms are improved.