Pelvic pain, also called Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain, or PPGP, can be a real 'pain' during pregnancy. PPGP usually refers to pain felt in the area low down at your front, around your pubic bone, but it can also be used to describe pain felt around the vagina, or lower back.
Not all pregnant women will experience PPGP, and for those who do, it varies from slight discomfort, all the way up to an inability to weight-bear (think: crutches, bed rest, very frustrated, etc!).
We don't really know why some women end up with this annoying issue and others don't, but those super smart experts suggest you are more likely to end up with PPGP if you have:
- A history of back pain or pelvic pain
- Previous trauma to pelvis/back; or
- Previously had PPGP.
There's a few simple things you can do to help minimise your risk and/or reduce symptoms of PPGP. Have a read through these, and if you have any questions, please comment below!
1. Keep your knees together in bed.
No, this is not a sexual reference! Rolling over in bed is one activity that becomes a challenge for lots of women, sometimes very early in your pregnancy. This can be for several reasons, but one of them is often that it hurts around the pubic bone.
If you can manage to keep your knees gently pressed together when you roll over in bed, and when you get in/out of bed, you will put less 'stretching' load through the pubic joint, and likely experience less pain.
2. Try not to sit with your legs crossed.
Sitting with your legs crossed is a habit for so many of us, and a hard one to break too! However, many sufferers of PPGP will find sitting cross legged exacerbates their symptoms - it's best to get yourself out of the 'crossing legs' habit as early in your pregnancy as possible. Try to sit with your weight evenly balanced between both sides, and remember to change positions very regularly (ie dont sit for more than 15 minutes at a time).
3. Sit down to get dressed!
Yes, this might make you feel like you've turned into a little old lady... But before you dismiss this suggestion, consider that when you stand with your weight entirely on one leg, you've just doubled the load going through that side of your pelvis. In a pregnant state, the ligaments around your pelvis are already under greater stress, so don't overload them! Park your butt back on the bed, unload your legs, and get your knickers, pants and socks on in a much easier way! Your pelvis will thank you for it!
Try these simple tips to help lessen the load upon your pelvis, and let us know if they help!
If you find you are continuing to struggle with PPGP, you can click here to book an appointment with our Physio at bodyBEgood - there's lots more we can do to help.