If you are pregnant and are experiencing pelvic pain, you are not alone. Many women experience this type of pain during the late stages of their pregnancy. In this blog post, we will discuss what may be causing your pelvic pain and some strategies that you can use to alleviate it. We will also provide tips for staying comfortable during the final weeks of your pregnancy.
Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, some women may experience pelvic pain. This condition is also known as symphysis pubis dysfunction or pregnancy-related pelvic girdle discomfort (PGP) (SPD).
PGP is a group of uncomfortable symptoms brought on by stiffness in the pelvic joints or an unequal movement of the joints in the front or back of the pelvis.
The pain can be mild or severe and may affect one or both sides of the pelvis. Many women experience PGP during the third trimester of pregnancy as their body prepares for childbirth.
What Are The Some Symptoms?
Women go through a lot of pain during pregnancy but the symptoms of pelvic pain are usually different from other discomforts. Some of the most common symptoms of PGP include:
- Stiffness and discomfort in the pelvic joints, usually around the front or back of the hips.
- Pain or aching in the pelvic area, lower back, thighs, and buttocks.
- Difficulty walking or standing up straight due to pain or balance issues.
- Difficulty moving during sleep due to pain or difficulty getting comfortable.
- Discomfort while sitting, especially when crossing the legs or leaning forward.
- Tenderness or swelling in the pelvic area.
How Is Pelvic Girdle Pain(PGP) Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of pelvic girdle pain is done by a healthcare provider, typically a physical therapist or an OB/GYN. During a physical exam, your doctor may observe your walking and sitting posture, assess the range of motion in your pelvic joints, and touch the painful areas to determine where you are experiencing pain.
There is no single treatment that works for all women with PGP. Treatment options may include physical therapy, bracing, medication, or lifestyle changes.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain during pregnancy, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Working with a healthcare provider and following a treatment plan can help you manage PGP symptoms and enjoy a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.
What To Do For Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?
Your physiotherapist may recommend a pelvic support belt to help ease your pain, or crutches to help you get around. It can help to plan your day so you avoid activities that cause you pain. Treatment for pelvic pain is important as it can lead to a greater risk of depression and anxiety, poor sleep, and other health problems.
In addition, there are many different treatment options for pelvic pain, including:
- physical therapy
- medication management
- alternative therapies like acupuncture or massage therapy
It is important to talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about the best course of treatment for you, as what works for one person may not always work for another. Now, let’s further discuss some common options that can help you with pelvic pain during pregnancy:
Self-care is an essential part of your life. It should not be ignored in any case, here are a few options to help you:
- Stay as active as you can while still adhering to your pain tolerance and avoiding things that aggravate your pain.
- Rest whenever you can.
- Reach out to your family, friends, or partner for assistance with daily tasks.
- Put on supportive, flat shoes.
- Sit down to get dressed. For instance, when putting on jeans, do not stand on one leg.
- Lie down in a posture that is comfortable for you.
- Use ice or heat packs to soothe painful muscles and minimize inflammation.
- Performing mild stretches to increase range of motion and flexibility.
If your pelvic pain is severe or does not subside with these techniques, it is important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible. He or she may recommend medications or other treatment options to help you manage your pain and prepare for childbirth.
Physiotherapy is one of the safest options to treat pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Your physiotherapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that includes exercises and other strategies to help ease your pain and improve your comfort.
Some of the common treatments used by physiotherapists to manage pelvic girdle pain include:
- Manual therapy, such as myofascial release, soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, and electrotherapy.
- Strengthening exercises to promote stability in the pelvis and lower back.
- Exercises to improve your balance, coordination, posture, and alignment like, pelvic tilting, pelvic circles, inner thigh stretch, cat stretch, child pose stretch, lower tummy exercise, etc.
- Education on how to sit, stand, walk, lift objects, and perform other activities without putting strain on your pelvis.
- Other strategies include relaxation techniques, acupuncture, and massage therapy.
Surgery becomes a requirement in pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy when the diagnosis is not clear, or when there is a risk of serious complications.
When pelvic girdle pain (PGP) during pregnancy interferes with normal activity and is strongly suspected to be related to an injury of the sacroiliac joints and/or pubic symphysis, surgery may be indicated in cases where conservative management has failed.
In cases when there is a risk of serious complications such as nerve compression that causes loss of bladder control, incontinence, and/or numbness in the legs, surgery may be required.
So, you can see the different options to treat this condition. Now, you do not need to suffer in silence, please reach out to a professional and get help today for a better tomorrow!
Can It Be Prevented?
In some cases, it is possible to prevent the condition. And there are many things you can do to try and prevent pelvic pain from occurring. These might include:
- Be mindful of your posture, as this can have a big impact on how your body functions and feels overall. For example, sitting with proper posture in a chair or standing upright may help prevent muscle tension and pain from occurring.
- You should also make sure that you are getting enough exercise and rest, as both of these things can help prevent pelvic pain from developing.
- Additionally, practicing relaxing techniques such as meditation or deep breathing may also help to keep your symptoms under control in the long run.
If you are dealing with pelvic pain, it is important to reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider in order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. With the right treatment plan, you can definitely manage your condition and recover!
What To Avoid During Pelvic Girdle Pain?
There are some things you should avoid doing during pelvic girdle pain. These things include:
- Lifting heavy objects like grocery bags, wet laundry, or a toddler while standing on one leg.
- Bending and twisting as you lift.
- Holding a baby on one hip while sitting on the floor with your knees crossed.
- Pushing heavy objects like a grocery cart.
- Carrying anything with just one hand (try using a small backpack).
These are overall things to avoid during pregnancy in general but are important to keep in mind if you suffer from PGP. You may need to prop yourself up with pillows or use a pregnancy body pillow to get comfortable. When PGP is severe, some women find they can only sleep on their backs. But this isn’t recommended for long as it can put too much pressure on your back muscles and nerves.
Overall, with the right support and treatment, you can effectively manage your pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and feel more comfortable throughout the rest of your journey.
In conclusion, there are many exercises that can help to alleviate pelvic pain during pregnancy. These may vary according to the severity and condition of the person. But, eventually, these are considered a great option to manage pelvic pain. Additionally, you may also find it helpful to try stretches like cat stretch or child’s pose with a gym ball as a way to relax and relieve tension in your back and pelvis. So, do not hesitate to give it a try, but make sure to consult with a professional first!
Physical Therapy help patients recover from pain. If you’re experiencing Back pain, Shoulder pain, Knee pain, Neck pain, Elbow pain, Hip pain, or Arthritis pain, a physical therapist at MantraCare can help: Book a physiotherapy session.