Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)
Pelvic pain during pregnancy can be debilitating and most commonly the name for this was Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), until more recently it is commonly referred to as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP).
Lets talk anatomy for a second here, and note that the pelvis is made up of two pelvic bones. First one being the Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) which sits in a triangle shape on your lower back, and the second is the Symphysis Pubis, towards the front pubic bone.
Because of hormones fluctuations in Pregnancy, mainly Relaxin, this can have an impact on connective tissue relaxing. This coupled with the weight of the baby on your pelvis, creates postural changes thus leading to area of over compensation and weight bearing instabilities on the joints in and around the pelvis.
Typically the pain felt by someone with PGP can be described as a burning, continuous ache, and weekness. This may be spread over the lower back, abdomen and into your thighs.
Activities that can aggravate the condition may include walking and standing or laying for long periods. this pain is also exacerbated by opening the legs whilst getting in and out of the car, in and out bed, bending over, climbing stairs and particularly swimming breaststroke. It is recommended to reduce these activities but not to stop activities all together as this can actually make the condition worse with nil movement..
It is estimated that 39-80% of the population will experience PGP during pregnancy.
Thankfully Pregnancy Massage can help during this painful condition and if you find a good massage therapist, they will target the large muscle groups that work to stabilise the pelvis. By working these muscles including the glutes, hamstring, adductors etc, this will allow more range of motion in and around the pelvis and take the pressure off.
The good news is that 90% of the time PGP disappears right after birth, so be kind the the body after the birth and don't forget to book your post natal massages in as well.