Pelvic girdle pain

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is pain related to the sacroiliac joint. The pain is commonly a stabbing sensation that can be felt in the vicinity of the sacroiliac joint (the discomfort can be felt over the public bone, below the tummy, across one side or both sides of the lower back). The pain can also radiate down the thigh. The pain worsens with weight-bearing, prolonged sitting, walking, turning over in bed or moving your legs apart.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy relaxes the joints and can cause pelvic instability. In addition to this there is of course the increasing weight of the foetus and placenta upon the pelvic region.

Risk factors:
• Previous lower back pain
• Multiple pregnancies
• A physically demanding job

Treat it early – Visit a physiotherapist to establish a management plan. A physiotherapist will be able to provide specific exercises to stabilise the pelvic region. They can also fit you a brace or girdle which can be very beneficial for pain management. Braces/girdles compress the joints and stabilise the area. They also disperse weight-bearing forces more evenly through the pelvis, back, hips and legs. Tubigrip can also be used as a tummy support.
Acupuncture has been shown to relieve PGP. Acupuncture methods activate sensory neurons which release chemicals in your body that have a similar effect to that of analgesia.

Hydrotherapy (exercising in water).

TENS machine.

Within 6 months postpartum 80% of women recover from PGP. In some cases though, symptoms can continue for over 2 years.