By Dr Kristin Webb (Chiropractor)
Pelvic pain during pregnancy is common but should not be accepted as normal.
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is more common and results in greater disability than low back pain during pregnancy. It is most common towards the third trimester and is often misdiagnosed.
What is pelvic girdle pain?
It is defined as pain between the top of your hips and gluteal fold.
Why does it happen?
Many factors contribute to the development of PGP – hormonal, biomechanical, traumatic, metabolic and genetic.
It is a myth that relaxin hormone – which causes the ligaments to relax during pregnancy – is the primary cause for low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy.
There is often a causative biomechanical dysfunction which can be identified and corrected.
During pregnancy there is a shift in a woman’s centre of gravity forward, changing the mechanics and loading of her hips, low back and pelvis. Hypermobility of the pelvis, increased lumbar curve, as well as weakness of the glutes and adductor muscles all contribute to the development of PGP.
Pelvic pain during pregnancy is most common in women with a previous history of low back pain or previous injury.
An Australian study found 75% of women who reported pelvic girdle pain during their pregnancy were NOT offered any treatment!
How can my Chiropractor help?
Research has found treatment inclusive of manual therapy, stabilization exercises, and education to be the most effective treatment; women who received manual therapy, like chiropractic, experienced less pain than those who did not.
Your chiropractor can help:
- Pain relief! – Help manage the pain you are currently experiencing through hands on treatment.
- Prescribe exercises to help strengthen, stabilize and mobilize your pelvis.
- Treat pre-existing low back injuries prior to pregnancy.
- Prevent onset of pelvic and low back pain later in your pregnancy.
- Help you to prep your pelvis for birth.
- Help you modify your exercise so you can remain active throughout your pregnancy.
- Work with your general practitioner to ensure a comfortable, active pregnancy!
With effective treatment, outcome for women with pelvic girdle pain is great – up to 93% of women will have resolution within 3 months postpartum.