As your pregnancy progresses, your body will undergo significant physical changes. This is a natural part of the journey as your body prepares to deliver a newborn into the world. However, in up to 50% women, these body changes can result in a debilitating condition called Pregnancy Related Pelvic Girdle Pain.
The impact of Pelvic Girdle Pain can not only affect you physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well. You might struggle with everyday function and work. You might feel exhausted and powerless. You might rely on pain medication to get through the day.
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to treat this problem. The sooner you start treatment, the less likely the problem will persist following your baby’s birth and beyond.
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How Do I Know If I Have Pelvic Girdle Pain?
Pelvic Girdle Pain is localised to the pelvic region, in the space between your lower back and hips. You might feel pain around your tailbone at the back or even around your pubic bone at the front.
If you have Pelvic Girdle Pain, you will commonly experience pain and restriction with the following:
- Standing on one leg
- Going up and down stairs
- Turning over in bed
- Walking on sand
- Wearing heels
- Squatting low to the ground
- Doing housework
Why Am I Getting Pelvic Girdle Pain?
There are many factors that influence Pelvic Girdle Pain. The joints in the body naturally become looser during pregnancy to allow the pelvic bones to move and slide apart when it’s time to give birth. However, this extra joint mobility can lead to excessive stress and strain building up in the sacrum (tailbone) and pelvis when it normally wouldn’t.
Your natural body posture also changes during this time. As your baby and belly grows, your pelvis is drawn into an anterior tilt position.
This posture creates further tension on joints of the spine and sacrum. That, combined with the laxity in these joints, can lead to a feeling of instability, weakness, and pain around the sacrum and pelvis.
What Can I Do If I Have Pelvic Girdle Pain?
The first thing you can do straight away is to change any habits that may be aggravating the condition.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes when on your feet. Avoid wearing heels as this will further accentuate any anterior pelvic tilt position.
- Take the time to rest and be off your feet. Even that can help relax the tension that has built up in the joints and prevent the pain from getting worse.
- Avoid standing on one leg where possible – for example, sitting down to put on pants and shoes rather than standing. Keeping your weight even between both legs when you stand to prevent one side being overloaded and aggravating the problem.
- Learn how to stabilise the pelvis with specific exercises prescribed by a physiotherapist. Keeping your strength intact over the period of your pregnancy can not only reduce Pelvic Girdle Pain, but even lower the risk of injury and pain after your baby is born.
- Using support garments such as a belt or compression shorts can also help the recovery of this condition. Providing external support to the loose pelvic joints can create a feeling of comfort and stability and improve function. Our Women’s Health physiotherapist can help you fit these garments and advise what’s right for you.
Pelvic Girdle Pain is a common but treatable condition of pregnancy. If you notice pain in the pelvic region during your pregnancy, seek treatment with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist as soon as possible, as symptoms can often worsen as your due date approaches.
We can help you reduce pain and get you on track. Call us at the clinic or book in online for a thorough assessment today. The last thing you want is debilitating pain to be on your mind when your baby arrives!