Pelvic Girdle Pain?

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction – now called Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) – is a common pregnancy problem.  1 in 5 women in pregnancy experience some level of pelvic pain – either at the front or back of the pelvis. The severity of the symptoms varies and the pain is not always progressive. It can be actively treated with physiotherapy and exercises.

What is PGP?

PGP is pain from the joints that make up your pelvis – it includes: symphysis pubis joint (SPJ) at the front and or the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) at the back.  Pain / discomfort is often felt over the pubic joint at the front, below your tummy, or across one side of your lower back or both sides

What symptoms will I have?

You may experience: difficulty walking, pain when standing on one leg e.g. climbing the stairs, dressing or getting in and out of the bath, difficulty getting in and out of the car, clicking within the pelvic joint, limited hip movements, painful to turn in bed and pain / difficulty during intercourse.

What causes PGP?

It is usually caused by a combination of factors: uneven movement within the pelvic joints, decreased muscular support due to the growing tummy and change of activity levels, a previous injury to the pelvis, or position of the baby. Also in pregnancy there is a natural increase in the width of the pelvic joints due to the laxity of connective tissue under hormonal influence.

How to manage PGP

If you are suffering with pain it is important to get advice from a Chartered Physiotherapist.

The important thing to remember is to keep equal weight through both legs, keep as good a posture as possible and try to keep you pelvis level.

Advice to follow in pregnancy

  • Be as active as possible within pain free limits.
  • Identify activities that increase your pain both at home and at work and see if you can avoid these activities, modify them or get someone to help.
  • Listen to your body – rest when your body tells you to.
  • Avoid prolonged standing.
  • Make sure when you are standing that you put equal weight through both legs.
  • Do take moderate exercise – walk with a shorter stride, avoid breaststroke leg kicks but continue with swimming.
  • Don’t take up a new sporting activity.
  • Take the stairs one at a time. Going up, lead with your less painful leg and going down lead with the more painful leg.
  • Pace your activities throughout the day.
  • Try intercourse lying on your side.


  • Activities that make your pain worse.
  • Standing on one leg.
  • Bending and twisting to lift, or carrying a toddler or baby on one hip.
  • Crossing your legs.
  • Sitting twisted.
  • Lifting heavy objects / pushing heavy objects.
  • Vacuuming.
  • Carrying anything in only one hand.
  • Impact exercises.

FitBack & Bumps classes will teach you specific exercises to strengthen the pelvic region which can help to reduce the incidence of PGP.

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