Doctor of Chiropractic Rebecca Nicholas has spent 15 years working with families, pregnant women, and babies. In this blog she will be presenting the signs and symptoms, the causes, and possible treatments of pelvic girdle pain (PGP).
PGP – Pelvic Girdle Pain
The pelvic partnership website describes PGP as a biomechanical pelvic joint problem, previously known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
PGP affects 1 in 5 pregnant women and symptoms can occur at any stage during or following pregnancy. PGP causes pain and stiffness in the pelvic joints, and women often experience difficulty walking, climbing stairs and turning in bed.
They go on to say,
“Please remember, PGP is treatable with hands-on manual therapy, such as chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy. Manual therapy is encouraged at any stage or pregnancy or postpartum.”
Signs and Symptoms of PGP
The main symptom that women report when they have PGP is pain while walking, bending, climbing stairs and turning over in bed. Other activities, inc getting changed (especially trying to balance on one leg), breaststroke swimming, getting in/out of the car and lifting. This means that it affects virtually everything you do in a day, which has a major impact on your life. This pain can be an ache, a sharp shooting pain or a deep muscle pain. Women may also have a clicking or grinding feeling in their pelvic joints or in their hips. Pain can be felt anywhere from lower back, across the pelvis, hips, the front of your pubic area, and down the thighs.
The NHS website states:
PGP is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis.
The Pelvic Anatomy
These joints are called sacroiliac joints (2), and the pubic symphysis joint (1).
What Treatment is Recommended
The National Childbirth Trust recommends… “For most women, early diagnosis and treatment should stop symptoms from getting worse, relieve your pain and help you continue with your normal everyday activities”.
They continue and say “While PGP in pregnancy is common, it isn’t normal. You should always seek help if you think you are suffering with it. It is a treatable condition that you can get support to manage.”
In clinic, I work with many different techniques to tailor to the client. I am trained in the Webster technique, which is often used to help align and move the pelvis and it’s surrounding muscles and fascia. We also use more gentle adjustments including the use of the drop on the couch. Specific adjustments to the low back (lumbar spine) and pelvis helps create more movement and balance in the body. There are also very gentle stretching and releasing of ligaments such as the round ligament, Sacro tuberous ligament, and other abdominal fascia. Home care advice detailing changes in positions, exercises and stretches, and self help support are all given. If needed we sell support belts and thera-bands to help with increasing muscle strength. Additional care might include dry needling, pelvic blocking, and nutritional support.
Self Help for improving pelvic pain
- Use plastic bag to sit on and swivel i.e. getting in and out of care
- Squeeze knees together to strengthen them
- Limit sitting or slumping. keep hips higher than knees.
- Tennis ball massage on glutes
- Straddle chair (as long as you don’t have PSD) and lean forwards
- Correct biomechanics factors before getting pregnant
Please do give us a call 01273 206868 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of the team to see if chiropractic/osteopathic care could help you or your loved one.
Click here for a brilliant PDF from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for a summery of PGP.