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Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

Pelvic Girdle Pain, Pubic Symphysis Pain or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction is a pregnancy associated condition that can, as the name suggests, be very painful! It’s characteristics are pain, instability, and limitation of mobility in the pregnant mums pelvis and low back. The joint at the front of the pelvis, called the pubis, can also be a centre of acute pain. The pain can very often refer away from these areas, for example, if the sciatic nerve is involved there can be pain down the back of the thigh but also the lower abdomen and front of the thighs can be involved.

The pain may range from a mild ache to severe pain which limits the mum’s daily activities. I have personally seen a number of women have to use walking sticks as it is so severe.

The areas of the body most commonly affected by Pelvic Girdle Pain include:

  • The joints that connect the triangular bone, or sacrum, which is between the two hips bones. These joints are called the sacroiliac joints.
  • The joint that connects the two halves of the front of the pelvis, called the symphysis pubis joint. Hence the term symphysis pubis dysfunction.

Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Girdle Pain

The severity, level, and location of the pain vary from one woman to the other. While some sufferers complain of a localised pain in a part of the pelvis, others report that the discomfort shifts from side to side. In general, individuals may notice the following signs/symptoms:

1. Pain in the lower back

2. Pain in the symphysis pubis joint

3. Pain in the sacroiliac joints

4. Discomfort in your groin

5. Pain at the front and the back of the thighs

6. Pain in the hips

7. Pain in the pelvic floor and even around the the vagina and anus.

Causes of Pelvic Girdle Pain

In a pregnant lady the issue of Pelvic Girdle Pain obviously stems from the forward growing of a big baby bump. On top of this the ligaments holding the pelvis together are starting to soften in preparation for giving birth. Often mums can have worse pain with their second or third child as their ligaments have a 'memory' and soften off even quicker.

The osteopaths at The Perrymount Clinic are able to looker deeper at the structure of the low back and pelvis to see just where the problem is stemming from and very gently release this for pain relief. What can possibly happen is:

  • When the sacroiliac joints in the pelvis move unevenly, one can be stuck, the other moves too much
  • Changes occur in the muscles that support the pelvic girdle joints. For example the glutes (or buttock muscles) go very tight to stabilise the joint that is moving too much.
  • Because of the big tummy growing out front the low back dips into a deeper curve which can irritate the low back muscles, joints and ligaments.

Your osteopathy treatment

Osteopathy is excellent at helping Pelvic Girdle Pain in pregnancy. The low back and pelvis are what osteopaths trained for four years to help! Osteopathy techniques can easily be adapted for a pregnant women, they can be more gentle, especially cranial osteopathy which is extremely gentle. A mum can also lay on her side or even sit in a comfortable position and we do not have to perform the “click”, in favour of other techniques.

How long to get better

We always hope to totally resolve a pregnant mums pain. However, there is a big factor involved in this pain; that you are pregnant! Your osteopath will discuss with you a short-term plan to get you out of pain as quickly as possible and then possibly a maintenance plan to keep you out of pain up until the delivery. This may included regular treatments that are spaced out at the correct lengthen according to you needs, a “prep” treatments and probably a check up after the delivery to make sure you are re-aligned correctly.

Your new baby

Don’t forget we love to look after you baby too! Have a look at the baby help tab in the menu above.

 Special offer for pregnant mums

We consider pregnant mums as doing a very special job! And we have a special offer for you. A pregnant mum can have her first osteopathy appointment at the rate of only £25. To book your appointment call 01444 410944 or book online here:


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The Perrymount Clinic
Unit 5
Hurstwood Grange
Hurstwood Lane
Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH17 7QX

01444 410944

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