Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain
During pregnancy, your body undergoes multiple physiological changes, which includes the following:
In preparation for childbirth, a hormone called relaxin is released, which relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis, and softens and widens the cervix.
Postural and mechanical change:
As your baby grows bigger, your center of gravity shifts, which may lead to the lower back overarching. Your abdominal muscles are also stretched and become less activated.
These changes may unfortunately lead to lower back pain or pelvic girdle pain. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of women experience these pains during pregnancy. It is advisable to seek professional help early to manage and reduce existing symptoms, and ensure that they do not affect your quality of life during and after pregnancy.
Tips for pain relief:
Stretching and strengthening exercises:
- Pelvic tilts can help to relieve back aches
- Pelvic floor exercises are important for core stability and continence
Care for your back
- Understanding proper lifting techniques
- Managing loads and distributing loads evenly
Get the right gear
- A maternity support belt may help to relieve pain
- Good footwear is important in relieving or preventing aches in your feet
Include physical activity in your daily routine
- Regular exercise helps to strengthens muscles in general
- Safe exercises during pregnancy include walking, stationary cycling or swimming
How can a Physiotherapist help?
A physiotherapist can provide:
- Education on proper postures and positioning during pregnancy
- Advice on relevant maternity supports if required
- Pain relief with manual therapy to restore normal joint and soft tissue movement
- Targeted exercises to strengthen and stretch muscles
- Instructions on how to start or continue general exercise to maintain physical fitness