Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) often occurs during pregnancy and is usually the result of instability or restrictions in any of the three pelvic joints (two sacroiliac joints and the pubic symphysis).
During pregnancy the body releases a hormone called relaxin which allows the ligaments to stretch to accommodate the growing baby and allow passage through the pelvis during labour. As a result of this the pelvic joints can become misaligned and restricted more easily, resulting in muscle spasm, inflammation and pain. Increasing weight and the postural changes that occur also put more stress on the joints. This can cause them to become strained.
PGP can occur any time during pregnancy, even as early as the first trimester. Pain may be experienced low down over the pubic symphysis (the joint at the front of the pelvis) which might also be tender to the touch. It can also be experienced over the lower back, the hips, groin or lower abdomen. Occasionally pain radiates down the inner thighs or the back of the legs, one or both of the buttocks, there can be pain when moving the legs apart, or difficulty transferring weight through the pelvis and legs.
Chiropractic treatment is often very effective for PGP as it is safe, gentle, and most importantly drug free. Treatment involves mobilisations of the pelvic joints which can help to restore normal balance to joints that are being put under more stress than normal, and soft tissue work to relieve tension in the muscles.
Restoring balance and normal movement of the pelvic joints can make foer a much more comfortable and active pregnancy and some research has shown that chiropractic treatment during pregnancy in some cases can help reduce labour times.