Pregnancy & Childbirth Myths Busted

Have you ever heard of Pelvic Girdle Pain? Lindsey Graham of Totally Tranquil explains more…

Pregnancy related aches and pains are common and in most cases treatable. These can include lower back pain, postural tension, especially around neck and shoulders and pelvic girdle pain (PGP).

PGP affects approximately 1 in 5 women and can often be misdiagnosed as SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction). This was an old term only describing pain at the very front of the pubic bone, which does not necessarily occur in all women with PGP.

PGP can happen at any stage in your pregnancy. It can give you pain and a feeling of instability anywhere within the pelvis, front (around your pubic bone), lower back/ bottom or at the side (around the bony bits of your hips).

The pelvis itself is made up of three joints and often the reason PGP occurs is because of stiffness in one of these joints. This stiffness in turn causes irritation and pain in the other parts of the pelvis and tightness in muscles.

You may have difficulty walking, especially up and down stairs/ on and off curbs, getting on and off chairs/ in and out the car and turning over in bed.

If your PGP has been misdiagnosed or not treated during your pregnancy your may still experience problems post-natal. Physiotherapy is still able to help you at this stage.

Physiotherapy

At totally tranquil physiotherapy, we will take time to listen to you, which in turn helps us understand what is happening and therefore diagnose the problem accurately.

We will look at and feel how the joints at the back and front of your pelvis move when you move e.g standing on one leg, bending forwards/ backwards. Then in lying (on your back and/ or side) we will feel how symmetrical the joints are and how they move, as often one side of your pelvis is stiffer than the other.

PGP

Once we have looked and felt all the necessary areas and joint we will discuss the findings and agree a plan of treatment with you, explaining what we are going to do.

We won’t just simply give you a belt and tell you there’s nothing else that can be done until after pregnancy!

This is likely to include realigning joints which have moved slightly, so that they move symmetrically again. This is called manual therapy. These are adapted especially for the pregnant woman and it is often a pain free treatment. We may also do some massage techniques on the tight muscles. Acupuncture can also be safely used in pregnant women to treat PGP.

You will normally be given gentle exercises to help your pelvic stability. As you recover, your exercise programme will be adapted to suit your individual needs until you get back to normal.

You may need to come back for a short course of treatment.

*If needed we will liaise with your GP, Midwife or Consultant throughout any stage of your treatment with us.

We have a team of female Physiotherapists at totally tranquil and all have a special interest in Women’s Health and pregnancy.

To find out more about how we can help, you can contact us on 0191 5483388 or email [email protected] . www.totallytranquil.co.uk

Lindsey Graham

Senior Physiotherapy

MCSP HCPC AACP