Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a common discomfort experienced by many expectant mothers, affecting approximately 1 in 5 women. Although PGP doesn't pose any harm to your baby, it can significantly impact your daily life, causing pain in the pelvic area and making everyday movements more challenging. The good news is that with proper care and management, you can improve your quality of life and make your pregnancy journey more enjoyable. Let's explore PGP and learn practical tips to help you cope with this condition.
Understanding Pelvic Girdle Pain: During pregnancy, PGP manifests as a range of uncomfortable symptoms in and around the pelvis. Various factors contribute to its onset, including increased body weight and pressure on the pelvic joints as the baby grows, hormonal changes softening the ligaments, and increased mobility of the pelvic joints in preparation for childbirth. The term "pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain" (PPGP) is preferred over the outdated term "symphysis pubis dysfunction" (SPD) since it encompasses the extent of the condition and its association with pregnancy. Symptoms can include pain between the top of the pelvis and the bottom of the buttocks, particularly in the sacroiliac joint region. The pain may also radiate down the back of your thighs or concentrate around the pubic bone.
You may find simple tasks such as rolling in bed, getting in and out of the car, navigating stairs or hills, and even getting dressed can trigger or exacerbate pain.
Here are my top 5 Tips for Managing Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy:
Mindful Movements When Getting in and out of the Car: Approach the task of getting in and out of the car with mindfulness. Imagine yourself wearing a tight pencil skirt to maintain hip alignment, avoiding the habit of swinging your legs apart. If needed, you can use a plastic bag as a swivel aid, allowing you to rotate your body toward the steering wheel. Just remember to remove the bag before you start driving!
Gentle Roll-out Technique from Bed: Adopt a smooth and controlled rolling technique when getting out of bed to maintain proper pelvic alignment. Start by rolling onto one side with your knees together and slightly bent. Use your hands to push yourself up while keeping your legs together, then gently swing them to the floor. Sit up with your feet balanced under your hips, using your hands to assist you in standing up.
Sit to Get Dressed: Getting dressed can become a daily challenge for women experiencing PGP. To minimise the strain, sit on the edge of your bed while putting on pants. Slide one leg in at a time, then stand up to pull them up. This method reduces the unnecessary load on one side, alleviating potential pain.
Modify Exercise: Exercise is beneficial for both your body and mind during pregnancy, but certain activities, like walking, may aggravate your pelvic girdle pain. Consider taking shorter, even steps at a slower pace to reduce the impact on your joints.
Seek Professional Treatment: If you're still struggling with PGP despite self-management efforts, it's essential to seek professional help. We offer manual release work to alleviate symptoms and identify underlying issues.
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