Managing Pelvic Girdle Pain

What is causing your pelvic pain?

A common challenge that many women face during pregnancy is Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). PGP can manifest itself in various ways, such as stiffness in pelvic joints, pain across the pubic bone, lower back or even clicking or grinding in the pelvic area. Understandably, this can be highly distressing and have a huge impact on day-to-day life, like walking, climbing stairs or getting dressed, and can lead to limited range of motion and discomfort while on your back or sides.

While PGP is common during pregnancy, affecting around 1 in 5 pregnant women, it is important to not that is not something that should be expected as a normal part of pregnancy that you just have to put up with. With the right treatment and management, PGP can be kept to a minimum and long-term discomfort can be avoided.

The Women’s Health team at Body Logic Health have put together a pathway to recovering from pelvic girdle pain to help you get back to your best again. Our team can individualise your journey and help you acheive a quick recovery, they will also be able to take you through the return to exercise phase of treatment offering you a complete pathway to success. To find out more about our Women’s Health team and pathway options review our Pre and Post Natal Mums page.

Just as the experience of PGP can differ from person to person, so can its causes. It was previously understood that PGP was caused by hormones loosening the ligaments that hold the pelvic bones together, leading the pelvis and surrounding joints to become more unstable and more mobile. However, recent research suggests that the pelvis, for most, remains strong and stable throughout pregnancy and birth. So, what could be the cause of this pain?

The experience of pain does not always indicate that there is something damaged in your body, nor that the issue is located exactly where you feel the pain. A clear example of this are headaches. A headache does not mean that there serious damage to the brain. In fact, headaches usually reflect tension in the neck and shoulders – and the cause of this tension is very likely to be caused by emotional stress. Many of us underestimate the connection between our emotions and real physical responses in the body.

When we are stressed, our muscles can react in a protective way – despite there not being physical threat. Your muscles can tighten and seize up, causing pain. During pregnancy, there are many physical and lifestyle changes that can increase emotional stress. And just as emotional stress can cause tension in your neck and give you headaches, your pelvic muscles can react much in the same way. Emotional stress causing pain will then be exacerbated by the physical changes pregnancy. Being less active will cause muscles to weaken, making it hard to carry the additional weight of pregnancy, further loading these already tight muscles.

But all of this is not to say that your pain is not real. A headache is no more real if it was caused by external physical trauma to the head, or caused by emotional distress. It certainly does not mean that there is nothing you can do to help alleviate your pain. Seeing a Women’s Pelvic Health Physiotherapist will help manage your symptoms. With exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, abdominal wall, back and hips, a specialist will be able to improve muscle function – helping you manage the load being placed on your body and cope with day-to-day activities again.

Our team can individualise your pathway to recovery and can help you wiht your first steps back to exercising with our fully integrated Women’s Health team, please find out more at our Pre and Post Natal Mums page.


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