Pregnant and suffering with back pain?

You may be suffering with Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) the term PGP is used to describe pain experienced in the front and back of your pelvis (you may have previously heard the term Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction [SPD]  however, PGP is now the accepted name for this condition). PGP is a common condition in pregnancy and affects 1 in 5 women. If you get the right advice and treatment early during pregnancy it is usually easier to manage and treat. In some cases women will continue to have PGP after pregnancy, particularly if not managed properly.



Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is common. The sooner it is identified and assessed the better it can be managed. If you have symptoms that do not improve within a week or two, or interfere with your normal day-to-day life, you may have PGP and should ask for help from your midwife, GP or chiropractor. If you understand how PGP may be caused, what treatment is available, and how you can help yourself, this may help to speed up your recovery, reducing the impact of PGP on your life.



So what causes PGP?

Sometimes there is no obvious cause, but usually there is a combination of factors that cause PGP which include the pelvic joints moving unevenly, a change in the activity of the muscles around the stomach, pelvic floor, hips and pelvic girdle can cause instability and lead to pain. Occasionally baby position may produce PGP symptoms too. Discomfort is often felt over the pubic bone at the front, below your tummy, or across one side of your lower back, or both sides. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty walking.
  • Pain on standing on one leg e.g. climbing stairs or getting into and out of the bath.
  • Feel and/or hear a clicking and grinding in the pelvic area.
  • Limited or painful hip movement e.g. turning over in bed.
  • Pain and difficulty during sexual intercourse.
  • Difficultly lying in certain positions e.g. on side or back.

With PGP the degree of discomfort you are feeling may vary from being intermittent and irritating to being very wearing and upsetting. Therefore it is important to seek treatment early on. Manual therapy such as chiropractic has been found to be very helpful in reducing PGP symptoms and the likelihood of it getting progressively worse. Your chiropractor can give you advice on how to help yourself between treatments with specific rehabilitation exercises and management.


– By Shannan Dobb

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