Why do some women experience pelvic girdle pain? PGP
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a common condition affecting one in five pregnant women.
It call also be called SPD at times, which stands for symphysis pubis dysfunction.
Essentially, PGP and SPD are the same thing.
What is PGP?
The NHS defines PGP as:
"PGP is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis."
It's not harmful to the baby, but we know from personal experience just how, can it be painful PGP can be for mum-to-be.
Symptoms of pelvic girdle pain can range from a niggle in either the front or the back of the pelvis to more debilitating pain. A pregnant woman might be in a lot of pain when walking or taking stairs, standing on one leg or turning over in bed.
This can mean mum can't sleep properly, and the pain can zap any energy left in the tank.
What causes pelvic girdle pain?
So why do you have PGP and your friend doesn't?
We think it is caused by a combination of altered pelvic biomechanics during and after pregnancy including increased movement in the pelvic joints, altered posture, stretching of the abdominal muscles, and changes within the pelvic floor complex.
According to this article by Dr Lucy Tinning, are several possible reasons why women get PGP.
If the pregnant woman has a strenuous or carries out an activity which involves a lot of twisting and bending the back, it is more likely to be linked. Likewise, if there is a history of low back pain, pelvic girdle pain or previous injury to the pelvis, the pregnant woman may feel less pelvic stability.
As the baby grows bigger and the bump gets heavier, the pregnancy causes the woman to change her posture when sitting and standing, which applies greater more.
How do you treat PGP?
There are certain ways to help to reduce the pain caused by pelvic girdle pain, although it is likely to only resolve after birth. Some women report of still having PGP pains years after pregnancy however.
We recently asked Jo Gipson, a pelvic health physio for her top physio tips on keeping pelvic girdle pain at bay.
- Keep active within your pain-free activities and avoid aggravating factors
- Keep your knees together and squeeze your glutes when you are turning in bed or getting in and out of the car
- Avoid asymmetrical activities (think rucksack not handbag!)
- Make your steps shorter when walking
- Try an antenatal Pilates or yoga class as strengthening the pelvis often helps
- Try the scarf test! Tie a scarf in a wide band around your pelvis and go for a walk. If this helps you may benefit from some extra support, such as our pregnancy support leggings.
If you are struggling with pelvic pain during pregnancy, the best thing to do is get reviewed by a specialist physio who can point you in the right direction.
How our products can help with pelvic pain during pregnancy
Our Beltfree maternity leggings have in-built back and pelvic support which encircles the torso. It takes the weight off the pelvis and there is lower pelvic support that goes between the legs, stabilising the pelvis.
- Our products are a maternity and pelvic support in one.
- The support made of knitted compression fabric is inbuilt into the leggings or shorts.
- This means that the pelvic instability support encircles the pubis, lower pelvis, hips and buttocks.
- The maternity support goes under the bump to lift the weight off the pelvis.
- The back support encircles the torso.
- It's the only product on the market that does all of this within one single premium garment which can be worn right through the pregnancy, and afterwards.