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Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) affects around 1 in 5 women during their pregnancy.  But what is it and why does it happen?

PGP doesn’t just give rise to pain in the pelvic girdle as the name would suggest…. it can also feel sore in your low back, hips, groin, thighs or knees. It’s mostly felt as a dull ache which gets worse with walking, turning over in bed or getting in and out of the car. Standing on one leg whilst you’re putting your jeans on can become a real hassle!  Sometimes pain is accompanied by a clicking sensation in your back or groin.

Why does it happen?
There are three bones that make up the pelvis – your sacrum and two innominates -with joints between. The mechanics of these joints alter during your pregnancy.  This is due to changing hormones which result in softening ligaments, as well as weight gain and your changing posture with a growing bump.  All of this all puts additional strain on the pelvis.

It’s hard to predict whether you will develop PGP but your chances are higher if you have had back problems previously or if you’re hypermobile.

What can I do about it?
The symptoms of PGP and their severity are so different for every woman. Without exception, though, the best thing to do is get professional advice and the sooner the better! Getting the right care can really help you stay on top of your symptoms and keep you moving.

At West Dulwich Osteopaths our approach involves:
– Advice on activity. How much to move and how to move more easily!
– Exercises to help relieve some of the pain
– Hands-on treatment to relieve tight muscles and soothe painful joints
– If you’re really struggling, further advice on using support belts or additional adaptations to help you cope.

If you’re reading this and currently experiencing PGP this exercise is worth trying:

Will I be ok in labour?
Yes. Most women with pelvic pain in pregnancy can have a normal birth. It’s important to tell your midwife or doctor about your PGP so they can be mindful during labour.

Will it go away after I give birth?
In the vast majority of cases PGP will get better after birth, though some women will have some ongoing pain. If your pain is persisting it’s important to continue to have treatment to support your full recovery.

Call us at the clinic today if your pain is bothering you and you want to know how we can help!