Working with pregnant ladies I often end up advising and chatting about pelvic pain. I also have a few other non-pregnant ladies with this type of pain, who had this type of pain in pregnancy and it’s continued after birth.
Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) has been renamed Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. Big terms for pain in the joint that make up the pelvis, the syphysis pubis joint and the front and the sacroiliac joint at the back. Pain can be felt in the lower back, groin, thighs, hips and pelvic floor. This can lead to pain walking, climbing the stairs, getting in/out of the car and bath, straddling, turning in bed and standing on one leg.
There are many reasons suggested as to why this pain can occur, in some cases the pelvic joints can be damaged or weak, there could be a biomechanical problem or it could be due to hormones. Between 14-22% of pregnant ladies get PGP and in many it is a random thing that cannot be predicted!
Pilates can really help prevent and minimise PGP. In my ante-natal classes we focus on strengthening the muscles above and below the pelvis, so helping the pelvis remain strong. We strengthen the core muscles and also muscles in the thighs, legs and bottom. For example a pelvic tilt or small roll up can strengthen the core and modified squats and oysters can strengthen the gluts and thighs muscles.
If you get pelvic pain then here are my top tips:
See a physiotherapist. In Southampton you can self-refer to the obstetric physio, which is an amazing thing. the midwifes will pass on the number to you. A physio will assess your pain, range of function and possibly realign your pelvis.
Once you have seen the physio, then Pilates exercises can help strengthen you to minimise any further pain. Try a one to one session for some specially tailored exercises to do at home or attend a class.
Remain active within the limits of your pain, keeping active is important and will help, but obviously you don’t want to be in constant pain, so you will need to judge how much you can do.
Avoid activities that make it worse, standing on one leg often does this or having the legs too wide apart. Try keeping some activites seated.
Using a pillow between your legs when sleeping can provide relief for some ladies.
Ask for help when you need it!
Priya will be releasing her own worksheets to help with this area and her own Pilates in Pregnancy DVD very soon, contact us to pre-order.
To book a one to one session click here.