Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) or Symphosis Pubis Disorder (SPD) during pregnancy can be extremely debilitating. Symptoms can range from a dull ache in the front of your pubic bone or lower back when turning over in bed, to excruciating pain when moving , walking or standing on one leg.
Unfortunately it is becoming very common during pregnancy, but it is certainly something you shouldn’t just accept and ‘put up’ with as this may well lead to it becoming worse, with problems post pregnancy and beyond. Your first port-of-call should be to inform your midwife who can refer you to the women’s health physiotherapist at the hospital. They will assess the level of your PGP and decide on where to take further treatment.
If you find the wait to see an NHS physiotherapist is too long – I highly recommend you contact Gillian McCabe. Gillian is a fantastic women’s health physio based in Cardiff. Click here to find out more about Gillian and her treatments.
Pelvic Girdle Pain is usually caused by the misalignment or asymmetry of the normal movement of the pelvis. Very often one side of the pelvis or Sacroilliac joints can become quite freely movable with the presence of increased relaxin hormone, this causes the other side to respond by trying to stabilize the pelvis and tighten up. This imbalance in the pelvis causes pain. The muscles and soft tissue in the area tighten up in response, and can lead to issues such as sciatica, lower back ache and pain in the front of the pubic bone and inside thighs.
Massage can be extremely beneficial in providing relief from the muscle imbalances in the pelvis and also addressing the tight piriformis muscle associated with ‘sciatica’ or ‘piriformis syndrome’ which is more commonly the issue during pregnancy. Whilst it is very unlikely to ‘cure’ the problem, massage can certainly help with the management of the condition and prevent it from getting any worse as the pregnancy goes on.
Facts & Myths
Facts About PGP
- a mechanical condition
- treatable with manual therapy
- can occur at any stage in pregnancy
- can affect any woman
- may continue for months or years postnatally
- if managed well does not need to be so serious in a subsequent pregnancy
- breastfeeding makes no difference: best for mum and baby
Myths About PGP
- only occurs in late pregnancy
- affects women who are not active enough
- will get better as soon as the baby is born
- gets worse with each pregnancy
- will stop when you stop breastfeeding
For more information and support with Pelvic Girdle Pain click here.
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for your help with my spd during my pregnancy. I was definitely far more mobile during this pregnancy which was much needed with 2 little ones to run around after!!! I’d definitely recommend to anyone with spd/pelvic pain. Thanks once again Nicola – it was lovely to meet you!” Tor, Radyr
“This was my first pregnancy massage, Nicola was amazing – knew exactly what she was doing with my SPD. I even managed to stand on my feet till 11 the following evening and still woke up with no pain. Weirdly my headaches have disappeared as well. Totally recommend, the location of the building is brilliant as well feel relaxed soon as walk in. Will definitely be treating myself to a monthly massage with Nicola from now on, so worth it” M.Dyckhoff