What is pelvic girdle pain (PGP)?
The pelvic girdle is a ring of bones around your body at the base of your spine. PGP is a pain in the front and/or the back of your pelvis that can also affect other areas such as the hips or thighs. It can affect the sacroiliac joints at the back and/or the symphysis pubis joint at the front.
The main symptom that women report when they have PGP is pain while walking, bending, climbing stairs, and turning over in bed. This means that it affects virtually everything you do in a day, which has a major impact on your life. This pain can be an ache, a sharp shooting pain, or a deep muscle pain. You may also have a clicking or grinding feeling in your pelvic joints or in your hips. PGP is usually a mechanical joint problem
Your pelvis is made up of three joints that work together in a ring-type system. In PGP these joints are not working normally. Often, one joint becomes stiff or stuck and this causes irritation in the other joints (you may not even feel pain in the stiff joint). By treating the stiff joint, a physiotherapist can help the joints to function normally again, and allow the irritation at the painful joint to settle.
PGP used to be known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) but this title implies that it affects only the symphysis pubis joint at the front, which is not true, as any or all of the three pelvic joints can be affected, and commonly the two sacroiliac joints at the back of the pelvis are the cause.
It is recognized that PGP can also have a big impact on how you feel emotionally because coping with the physical challenges of day-to-day life can be difficult and leave you feeling low and isolated. One of the problems is that there is nothing to ‘see’ with PGP – you aren’t wearing a plaster cast and pain is not visible to others.
It is not uncommon to experience depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder during and/or after having PGP. Please do not be afraid to ask for help from your GP or family and friends through this difficult time. You are not alone and there is support available, so just ask!
We treat pelvic dysfunction in Women, Men and Children. If you can’t find what you are suffering from here and are in any doubt as to whether we can help, please contact us to discuss and we will advise accordingly.