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Pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy

What is it?

Pelvic girdle pain that you can find written under PGP is a pregnancy discomfort that causes pain, instability and limitation of mobility in any of the three pelvic joints* (Sacro iliac joints and/or pubic symphysis) PGP is not harmful to your baby, but it can cause severe pain around your pelvic area and make it difficult for you to get around.

How can I know if I am suffering from PGP?

There is a variety of symptoms experienced by women with PGP including:

  • Difficulty lifting leg.

  • Pain pulling legs apart.

  • Inability to stand on one leg.

  • Inability to transfer weight through pelvis and legs.

  • Pain in hips and/or restriction of hip movement.

  • Transferred nerve pain down leg.

  • Can be associated with bladder and/or bowel dysfunction.

  • A feeling of the symphysis pubis giving way.

  • Stooped back when standing.

  • Misalignment of pelvic and/or back joints.

  • Struggle to sit or stand.

  • Pain may also radiate down the inner thighs.

  • Waddling or shuffling gait.

  • Audible ‘clicking’ sound coming from the pelvis.

  • Pain out of the car

What is the origin of the discomfort?

During pregnancy, woman’s body experiences enormous changes: hormonal and physical. However, sometimes the body has difficulty to adapt with these physiological modifications and therefore some tensions and pain can appear most of the time around the pelvis/back area.

- Hormonal change: During the pregnancy the body secretes the Relaxin hormone. Its mission is to make your ligaments stretchy so your baby can ease his or her way into the world. But sometimes, Relaxin does its job too well, making the ligaments around your pelvic bones too loose too soon (way before baby is ready to come out), and that causes instability (and unfortunately, pain) in the pelvic joint or in the pubic symphysis.

- Physical change: modification of curves and weight The baby’s growth implies a gain of weight which is more or less important for every woman and at the same time a change of curve: accentuation of every curve but especially the lumbar lordosis. Thus, the centre of gravity is modified, all muscles, ligaments need to coordinate and finally the pelvis which is the support of the spine tries to rebalance the new tensions. Nevertheless, sometimes the body can’t find a good compromise between stability (support for the baby) and mobility (stretching of ligaments for the future childbirth) that is how pubic symphysis pain and/or Sacro iliac pain can occur.

Note: Even if the PGP is often found during pregnancy, women can experience this discomfort after the childbirth. In fact, every structure (ligaments, muscles) has been stretched and therefore a pelvic instability can appear creating pain.


Can Osteopathy help me with this kind of pain?

Working on your general balance, the osteopath can help you reduce the pain felt around the pelvic area.

By using different soft techniques (muscular, fascial, cranio sacral) the osteopath will find a balance between the anterior part (uterus/baby) and the posterior part (spine/pelvis)

Moreover, working on the different parts of the body, the osteopath will release all other tensions present before the pregnancy and which increase the pelvic girdle pain.


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