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Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy: Your Complete Guide

Introduction:

Black and white image of a model of pelvis and spine

Pregnancy is a miraculous journey, but it can also bring along its fair share of challenges. One such challenge that many expectant mothers may face is Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). While it can be uncomfortable and at times frustrating, understanding PGP and learning how to manage it can significantly enhance your overall pregnancy experience. In this blog post, we'll delve into what PGP is, its causes, symptoms, and most importantly, effective strategies for relief.


What is Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)?

Pelvic Girdle Pain refers to discomfort or pain in the pelvic region, including the front and back of the pelvis, lower back, hips, and thighs. It's a common condition during pregnancy, affecting around 20% of expectant mothers. PGP typically arises in the second trimester but can occur at any stage of pregnancy.


Causes of Pelvic Girdle Pain:


  1. Weight Gain: The added weight and shift in the centre of gravity during pregnancy put extra stress on the pelvic joints, exacerbating discomfort.

  2. Posture Changes: As the baby grows, the body adjusts its posture to accommodate the changing weight distribution, potentially causing strain on the pelvic girdle.

  3. Previous Injury or Trauma: Pre-existing conditions, such as pelvic injuries or joint issues, can increase the likelihood of developing PGP during pregnancy.


Symptoms of Pelvic Girdle Pain:


  1. Pain or Discomfort: Persistent pain in the pelvic region, hips, lower back, or thighs.

  2. Difficulty Walking or Moving Legs Apart: PGP can make activities that involve spreading the legs like walking or climbing stairs, challenging and painful.

  3. Clicking or Grinding Sensation: Some women may experience a clicking or grinding sensation in the pelvic joints.

  4. Painful Turning in Bed: Turning over in bed or making sudden movements may trigger pain in the pelvic area.

A pregnant woman dressed in white shorts and vest top, applying a pregnancy support belt
Pregnancy Support Belt

Managing Pelvic Girdle Pain:


  1. Exercise and Physiotherapy: Engaging in gentle exercises and physiotherapy sessions can strengthen the muscles supporting the pelvic girdle, providing stability and relief.

  2. Proper Posture: Maintaining good posture, especially when sitting or standing for extended periods, can alleviate strain on the pelvic joints.

  3. Supportive Devices: Maternity belts and pelvic support bands can provide additional support to the pelvic area, reducing discomfort.

  4. Warm Compresses: Applying warm compresses to the affected area can help relax muscles and alleviate pain.

  5. Rest and Relaxation: Taking breaks and ensuring adequate rest is crucial for managing PGP. Incorporate relaxation techniques such as prenatal yoga or meditation.

  6. Complementary Therapies: Many complementary and holistic therapies treat the causes and/or symptoms of PGP, including massage, reflexology, acupuncture, hypnosis and osteopathy


When to Seek Professional Help:

While PGP is common, severe or persistent pain should not be ignored. Consult your healthcare provider if you experience:

  • Intense, constant pain

  • Difficulty walking or performing daily activities

  • Pain interfering with sleep

  • Numbness or tingling in the legs


Conclusion:

Pelvic Girdle Pain is a challenging but often manageable aspect of many pregnancies. By understanding its causes, recognising symptoms, and implementing effective strategies for relief, expectant mothers can navigate this discomfort and focus on the joyous journey of bringing new life into the world. Remember, each pregnancy is unique, and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals ensures a tailored approach to managing pelvic girdle pain for a more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancy experience.


For more information about PGP and to access useful, downloadable resources head to https://thepogp.co.uk/patient_information/womens_health/pregnancy_pgp_lbp.aspx




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