Managing Pregnancy Pubic Symphysis Pelvic Pain

Managing Pregnancy Pubic Symphysis Pelvic Pain

Managing pregnancy pubic symphysis pelvic pain

What causes pelvic related girdle pain?

Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) was formally known as symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) is a common condition that affects about 50% to 70% of women during pregnancy. Women experience different symptoms and these are more severe in some women than others. This information is provided to give you advice, helpful tips and exercises to manage you pain effectively.

You may have difficulty with:

  1. Walking
  2. Taking weight on 1 leg at a time e.g. climbing stairs, dressing, getting in & out of bath
  3. Parting your legs e.g. getting in and out of car
  4. With hip turning movements e.g.       turning in bed
  5. Lying on your back or side
  6. With normal daily activities of life
  7. Increasing the fluid into legs and congestion of breast tissue.

What causes PGP?

It is usually a combination of factors not just 1 particular thing. We rely on strong ligaments and muscles to support and balance our hips and pelvis for stability. Ligaments around your pelvis can have increased laxity due to pregnancy hormones. This can lead to an increase of unbalanced movement happening in the pelvis. This extra movement in itself can cause pain.

As your baby grows your posture changes and a shift in your centre of gravity and this pull you forward causing you to increase low back curve. This leads to a change in the activity pattern of the muscles in your tummy, low back, pelvic girdle, pubic joint, hips and pelvic floor. With the increased weight of the baby pressing down on pelvic floor, this can increase the strain on the lower back, pubic bone, pelvis, hips, and pelvic floor muscles.

Tips for managing PGP

Daily activity

Pace your daily activities, you may need to rest more often than you are used to. You may find it difficult to stand for long periods.

  • Be as active as possible within your pain limits and avoid activities that make the pain worse.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and housework such as hoovering.
  • You may find it easier to sit when doing some house work such as ironing or preparing food.
  • Take care when pushing a heavy shopping trolley. Avoid turning quickly or twisting as this cam strain your pelvis. Always maintain equal weight through both feet e.g. avoid standing on one leg i.e. sit when getting dressed / undressed.
  • Wear comfortable supportive shoes, avoid wearing heels.
  • If you find climbing the stairs difficult or painful, go with one step at a time. When going upstairs try leading with the good leg. Going downstairs lead with painful leg and hold onto bannister for support.
  • Take care when lifting heavy objects or small children. When lifting bend your knees and keep back straight or kneel on one knee to lift or get to a lower height. Try to minimise the amount of lifting that you do and avoid stooping over.