17 May 2019

Take 8: Managing pelvic girdle pain

O&G Women

Women who have pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy will often describe it to their doctor as being sciatica, says Dr Jason Chow a pain medicine physician, gynaecologist and obstetrician.

“What they describe is a pain which shoots down the buttocks and thigh,” he says.

This pain does not necessarily depend on mobility and may happen in bed at night when rolling over or when moving while sitting in a seat.

Some experts believe pelvic girdle pain could be caused by an increase in hormones including relaxin and progesterone which can help relax ligaments during pregnancy.

“Some women also have a pre-disposition where they may already have some dysfunction [in their core],” Dr Chow says.

Avoiding pain relies on three factors – pelvic girdle, the pelvic floor tone and also the abdominal wall tone. The balance of these three increases stability and helps women avoid pain. Women may also find low-impact exercise as helpful for managing pain and gaining tone.

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