What Is Pregnancy Girdle Pain

You will know how pregnancy girdle pain affect your body and how to prevent it using the right products. Pregnancy girdle is a device mainly used in pregnancy to help ease the pain. It is available in different styles and types, you can choose according to your own physical condition or find out which one is convenient for you. To get relief from the pain of your body and give yourself more comfort, especially when having a maternity period, it is necessary to have this product. Pregnancy belt helps women avoid back pain caused by pregnancy and wear it during any physical activity so that you feel relieved.

Pregnancy girdle is one of the most important things to keep you comfortable in your pregnancy, helping support your growing belly and back muscles. The upliftment of your changing body will help with circulation as you carry your child. It is something that affects up to 80% of women during pregnancy and can cause a lot of discomfort. The growing fetus puts pressure on the intestines, stomach and other internal organs which makes you feel bloated, tired and painful.

Pregnancy girdles are used to provide support for the uterus, reduce back pain and swelling. Commonly found in maternity stores, they come in many variations and can be made of either fabric or plastic. Most pregnancy girdles are designed to compress the stomach or waist area and create an indentation between your hips. During pregnancy, many women are left to endure the aches and pains of the growing baby while they are made to stand in place by their doctors. Why do they have to suffer?

What Is Pelvic Girdle Pain After Pregnancy

Pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy is the most common type of pelvic pain in women. It starts during or after pregnancy and can last for many years. There are a number of causes, but the most common problem is musculoskeletal strain from carrying your baby weight, which can cause muscle tightness, fatigue and pain. Pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy is common in women and lasts, on average, up to two years. Pelvic girdle pain, also known as pelvic girdle syndrome and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), is a group of related problems that can affect your pelvis and lower back. The pain usually doesn’t start suddenly and may initially be described as dull or aching. The symptoms may ebb and flow over time.

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is the general term for all pelvic pain. It includes pubic pain – previously called symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). PGP includes pain anywhere from the lower back down to the thigh, either at the front or back.

The pain may range from a mild ache to severe pain that limits your daily activities. This may start at any time during pregnancy, labour or in the weeks after giving birth.

Women often feel that PGP affects their daily life, and that their emotional and mental health can suffer. Support is available if you need it, especially if you feel low or isolated because of your PGP.

“For most women, early diagnosis and treatment should stop symptoms from getting worse, relieve your pain and help you continue with your normal everyday activities”

What causes pelvic girdle pain (PGP)?

It’s hard to say what causes some women to develop PGP and not others. The main reasons seem to be a history of previous lower back, pelvic girdle or joint pain, hypermobility syndrome and/or previous trauma to the pelvis.

Poor muscle function in the back and pelvis at the beginning of pregnancy is also related to severe pain and disability throughout pregnancy.

Symptoms of pelvic girdle pain (PGP)

Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) highlight the following common signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty walking (a waddling gait).
  • Pain when putting weight on one leg, such as climbing stairs.
  • Pain and/or difficulty in straddle movements, such as getting in and out of the bath.
  • Clicking or grinding in the pelvic area.
  • Limited and painful hip abduction. (Hip abduction is the movement of the leg away from the middle of the body, such as when you step to the side or get out of a car.)  
  • Difficulty lying in some positions, such as on your side.
  • Pain during normal activities and/or pain/difficulty during sex.

Symptoms can increase through pregnancy as the baby grows. This is because of changes in the body’s centre of gravity, and therefore posture. It usually occurs in pregnancy due to the hormone ‘relaxin’ softening the ligaments in your body. This allows your pelvis to open up and make room for your baby to be born.

Coping with pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy

The condition is usually diagnosed after a thorough assessment of the pelvic joints and spine. Your healthcare team will be able to refer you to a specialist physiotherapist.

Getting a diagnosis as early as possible can help minimise any pain and avoid long-term discomfort.

Many women have found that making small changes to everyday activities can reduce their discomfort. POGP suggests trying the following:

  • Remain active within the limits of what you find comfortable and can manage. Avoid activities that you know makes the pain worse.
  • Accept offers of help and involve your partner, family and friends day-to-day.
  • Rest more frequently or sit down for activities that normally involve standing, e.g. ironing.
  • Avoid standing on one leg so try dressing sitting down, for instance.
  • Consider alternative sleeping positions, such as lying on one side with pillows between your legs for comfort. Turn ‘under’ when turning in bed, or turn over with knees together and squeeze your bum.
  • Try different ways to climb stairs. You could try going upstairs one leg at a time with the most pain-free leg first and the other leg joining it on the step.
  • Plan the day by bringing everything you need downstairs in the morning and set up changing stations both up and downstairs. You might find a rucksack helpful to carry things around the house, especially if you have to use crutches.
  • Avoid activities that involve asymmetrical positions of the pelvis, such as sitting cross-legged, reaching, pushing or pulling to one side, and bending and twisting to lift or carrying anything on one hip.
  • Consider alternative positions for sex, such as lying on the side or kneeling on all fours.
  • Organise hospital appointments for the same day if possible, such as combining appointments for antenatal care and physiotherapy.

Planning birth with pelvic girdle pain

Many women can have a spontaneous vaginal delivery if they want to. Talk to your midwife about your pain relief options, as well as alternative positions for birth, such as supported kneeling or side lying with pillows/knees to chest. Using a birth pool may help you move around more freely without pain.

A caesarean section is not usually needed or recommended for women with PGP, as this might slow down your recovery.

What treatment will I be offered for PGP?

Your healthcare provider will refer you to a physiotherapist who will make an assessment and put together a treatment plan. This could include:

  • Advice on avoiding activities that make your pain worse and alternatives.
  • Exercises, including those to strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
  • Treatment by an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist who specialises in PGP.
  • Therapy that includes use of hot and cold packs, hydrotherapy, use of a TENS machine or acupuncture.
  • Support belts can be effective if used regularly for short periods.
  • Using crutches.
  • If the pain is severe then regular pain relief medication might be needed. Your GP can discuss options with you.

While PGP in pregnancy is common, it isn’t normal. You should always seek help if you think you are suffering with it. It is a treatable condition that you can get support to manage.

Is Pelvic Girdle Pain Normal During Pregnancy

Pelvic girdle pain is a problem that affects many pregnant women. There’s nothing normal about pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, so if you’re experiencing it, you want to make sure what you do next is right. Pelvic girdle pain usually occurs during pregnancy, caused by the growing fetus and pressing on the pelvic bones.

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a common pregnancy complaint, affecting about one in five women. It can cause mild discomfort to severe pain and debilitation, especially in later pregnancy and during labour. PGP is known to increase as your baby grows in late pregnancy, which may contribute to increased pelvic pain during labour itself

How Long Does Pelvic Girdle Pain Last During Pregnancy

Pelvic girdle pain can last any amount of time and varies from woman to woman. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell how long you’ll have pain during pregnancy because every woman experiences it differently. Some women feel pelvic girdle pain during their entire pregnancy while others experience it only at the very beginning or end. One thing is for certain, though: pelvic girdle pain isn’t normal during pregnancy and needs to be treated. If you have pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, it may last for the duration of your pregnancy. However, once you deliver and the baby is born, most women with this condition find that their symptoms improve significantly.

Many physiotherapists once used terms like symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction for this type of discomfort, but now prefer the term “pelvic girdle pain” because it encompasses the whole pelvic region. PGP can happen during pregnancy or start soon after delivery, and can be constant or come and go. 

What causes pelvic girdle pain? 

During pregnancy, women’s bodies release a hormone called relaxin, which helps the ligaments to loosen and the joints to expand so the baby can grow. This change in the body can contribute to “muscle imbalances as the body tries to come up with a way to hold the pelvis together,” says Marcella Paoletti, a physiotherapist at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre. But relaxin is one just factor among many, including pre-existing imbalances and injuries. The muscles in your legs or back may tighten and pull on the pelvis while other muscles might weaken. “How you move, when you move and how you feel about those movements” can also put extra strain on your pelvic area, adds Tesca Andrew-Wasylik, the program director at Citrus Pelvic Health Centre in Toronto.

Am I at risk of having pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy?

“We can’t isolate which people are going to get pelvic girdle pain,” says Carolyn Cossenas, another physiotherapist at BC Women’s. But there are a few factors that may increase your risk:

  • Previous births
  • Joint hypermobility (or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome)
  • Increased BMI
  • A history of hip or low back pain
  • Prior trauma to your back or pelvis (through an accident or high-impact sports like figure-skating or gymnastics)

What does pelvic girdle pain feel like?

Pelvic girdle pain is mild to severe pain in the pelvic region and may be felt in a few different areas: the symphysis pubis, the pelvic floor, the groin, the inner thigh, the side of the hip, the lower back or the buttocks. “It’s usually a pretty sharp pain,” notes Andrew-Wasylik, and often happens during single-leg weight-bearing movements like standing on one leg to put on pants. Pregnant women with PGP may also feel pain getting out of bed, or simply sitting or standing for long periods. 

How do you relieve pelvic girdle pain?

If you’re experiencing pain, the best thing you can do is visit a chiropractor or physiotherapist that is specifically trained to treat pregnant women. They will gather your history, observe how you move and complete a few tests to determine if you have any issues with stability, strength or joint mobility. “It also depends on how the woman is presenting,” says Paoletti. “If she’s in extreme pain, we might be very limited in her testing and might be going by her history.”

Though pelvic girdle pain isn’t harmful in itself, it can affect quality of life, movement and even your ability to take care of yourself or your child. That’s why early diagnosis and treatment is so important. Your treatment plan will vary depending on your pain level, physical ability and the reasons behind your pain. “We’re trying to relieve or ease the pain and find better ways to move,” says Cossenas. “There is no cookie-cutter treatment.” Your plan may include: 

Soft tissue work

During and after pregnancy, certain muscles (like the lower back) may become tight, while other areas (such as the core, hips and glutes) might be stretched or weakened. Massage or other release techniques can relax tight muscles.

Core and pelvic floor strengthening 

“You can think of the core almost like a cannister,” says Andrew-Wasylik. “There are four major players—the diaphragm, transversus abdominis, pelvic floor and multifidus—that work in unison to create a stable base that optimize movement. I try to get my clients to become more aware of all those muscles working together and improve their motor coordination and control.”

Movement and sleep modifications

Your practitioner can give you helpful modifications to common movements that cause pain, like getting out of bed, lifting your child(ren) and getting dressed (i.e. sitting down instead of balancing on one leg). A lot of it comes down to weight distribution. For example, you may find that sleeping with a pillow between your legs may ease discomfort.

At-home exercises

Your practitioner will likely suggest exercises to perform on your own. Andrew-Wasylik recommends an app called Rost Moves Mamas, which was developed by a physiotherapist and includes tricks for moms that experience any type of pelvic pain.

Labouring and giving birth with pelvic girdle pain

While pelvic girdle pain will not cause any harm to your baby, it may create additional discomfort during labour and delivery—especially if you contort into positions that put strain on one half of your body. Try to stay balanced on both feet, knees, or on all fours. “You don’t want to be on one leg or the other because that’s an imbalance that’s going to aggravate things,” says Cossenas. “Don’t let other people force your legs or hips into an excessive range of motions, especially during your pushing phases.”

Does pelvic girdle pain go away?

For some, the pain will be relieved after delivery, but that isn’t guaranteed. “It took you 40 weeks to grow your baby,” says Cossenas. “Give yourself at least that time to re-stabilize your body—even a year or two, depending on how strained it was.”

Though it may take more time to recover than you would like, you don’t have to suffer in silence. A lot of people don’t realize that there are professionals specifically trained to help with pregnancy-related pain, adds Andrew-Wasylik. “But I think it’s important for moms to know that there is help, and the sooner they get it the better.” Pelvic girdle pain is a common complaint in pregnancy. Pelvic girdle pain is often focused in the lumbosacral area of the spine, buttocks and hips. The pain can worsen before and during menstruation, at the end of pregnancy, or during delivery. Most women have a decreased amount of pelvic pain postpartum, but some find that it persists well into the postpartum period or beyond.

Can Pelvic Girdle Pain Go Away During Pregnancy

Pelvic girdle pain is a common problem that most women will experience at some point. It is said to be especially common during pregnancy, but can it really go away? From what I researched and learned from making my own choices as a mother, I found that yes – there are several things you can do to reduce stress on your pelvis.

The pain may continue to worsen during pregnancy. If you’re having a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, pelvic girdle pain does not get worse. For some women, however, the pain does become worse over time. It is also possible for pelvic girdle pain to flare up right after childbirth. A lot of women who struggle with pelvic girdle pain find some relief during pregnancy. This is because the growing baby puts pressure on a number of areas of your body, including the pelvis and hips. When the baby starts moving around in there and your skin stretches, sometimes you can feel relief from pelvic girdle pain.

A lot of women who struggle with pelvic girdle pain find some relief during pregnancy. This is because the growing baby puts pressure on a number of areas of your body, including the pelvis and hips. When the baby starts moving around in there and your skin stretches, sometimes you can feel relief from pelvic girdle pain.

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