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Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy


Introduction

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) affects around one-in-five pregnant women. Traditionally, PGP was viewed as a hormonal problem, untreatable during pregnancy and exacerbated by the weight of the baby. Customary advice was for rest, support belts and to await recovery following the baby's birth, resulting in ongoing pain and disability. Recent research shows that the cause is biomechanical, due to an asymmetry of the pelvic joints and not due to pregnancy hormones. Manual therapy effectively realigns and restores symmetry of movement in the pelvic joints at any stage during or after pregnancy.

Learning aims and objectives

After completing this module you will know how to:

  • Identify PGP during or after pregnancy
  • Understand the causes of PGP and how it can be managed and treated
  • Understand how PGP affects women physically and emotionally
  • Support birth planning for a woman with PGP
  • Explore resources available to manage, treat and support – locally and further afield – and refer onward to other health professionals appropriately

Keywords

Pelvic girdle pain, PGP, manual therapy, pelvic joint alignment, physical and psychological impact of PGP

The Practising Midwife featured article

Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy

Read the link article by Sarah Fishburn (November 2015). Complete this eLearning module and assessment to gain a certificate for your portfolio, ready for revalidation and proof of CPD

Recommended reading

National clinical guideline for PGP in Ireland http://www.rcpi.ie/content/docs/000001/667_5_media.pdf

National guideline in the UK: leaflet for health professionals http://pogp.csp.org.uk/publications/pregnancy-related-pelvic-girdle-pain-pgp-health-professionals

National guideline in the UK: leaflet for women with PGP http://pogp.csp.org.uk/publications/pregnancy-related-pelvic-girdle-pain-mothers-be-new-mothers