Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, but for some, it can also be a very painful time. During pregnancy, some women experience neck pain and headaches, others experience pain in their lower back and also in the pelvis and groin. Pain may develop at any time during pregnancy, but don’t despair, Busy Body Physio can help.
Why do I have pain in the front of my pelvis?
Pain at the front of the pelvis or in the pubic bone is referred to as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) and is relatively common during pregnancy, especially in subsequent pregnancies. During the first trimester, the body starts to release a hormone called relaxin, whose job it is to make all of your ligaments relax and allow your pelvis to expand for the upcoming delivery of your baby. This expansion and increased movement at the front or back of your pelvis can lead to tenderness around the pubic symphysis area.
Pain in the pubic region and groin are the most common symptoms, however you may experience any of the following:
- Back pain, hip pain
- Pain down the inside of one or both of your thighs
- Increased pain with walking, standing from a chair, parting legs, walking up and down stairs
- Pain may be worse at night and even prevent you from sleeping.
* If you have had SPD in one pregnancy, it is more likely that you will experience it again in any subsequent pregnancies and it may even occur earlier.
Why do I have pain in my back and hips?
Women often complain of lower back pain during pregnancy and it can be related to the hormones that are being released in preparation for the birth. The increased weight at the front of the body puts more load on the lower back and some women even notice that the arch in their back increases. The backside muscles (glutes) often become very tight during pregnancy and this can put pressure on the nerve that runs down the back of the leg. This can cause leg pain or symptoms of sciatica.
The sacro-illial joint (SIJ) is another area in the lower back and pelvis that often becomes sore. This is where the pelvic meets the sacrum (lower part of the spine) and women experience pain in the dimples on either side of the spine, deep in their hip or in their buttocks. SIJ pain is sometimes called Pelvic girdle pain.
SIJ symptoms also include:
- Pain when standing on one leg - difficultly putting on pants
- Pain when sleeping on your side
- Increased pain with walking and standing from sitting
- Pain is often worse at night, particularly if you have had an active day
At what stage of the pregnancy does SIJ pain occur?
Pain can begin at any time, as early as during the first trimester or as late as just before giving birth. If the pain does not develop until later in the pregnancy, it may be because of changes in the pelvis as your baby’s head is engaging.
Help! How can physio reduce my pain?
If one side of your pelvis moves more than the other, this can make your pain worse. Busy body physios will assess your pelvis and address any movement issues, muscle tightness and muscle weakness. It is our job to make sure that you know how to better manage your pain e.g. when and how to use ice, sleeping with a pillow between your legs, and even give you some gentle stretches to ease your discomfort. If your physio thinks that it is necessary, a pregnancy belt will be prescribed and specially fitted to reduce the pressure on your pubic symphysis.
In severe cases, pelvic pain may persist after your baby is born. We can help and guide you after your baby is born, to make sure that you return to pain free life!
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