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Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Pain

Posted by Eqphysio on 28 February 2020
Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Pain

Many women experience pain in the pelvic joints during or after pregnancy. Pelvic joint pain may occur because of:

  • Changes to your posture and physique

  • Increased pressure on your pelvis due to the growth of your baby

  • An increase in pregnancy related hormones (relaxin) which soften the ligaments that support the pelvis

These changes place increased strain on the pelvic joints, making them painful. Approximately 20% of pregnant woman experience pelvic pain during their pregnancy.

Luckily for the majority of women, these symptoms will relieve post birth and women usually have no long lasting effects two-three months after their baby is born. As the pregnancy related hormone relaxin leaves the body, a woman's joints should return to their pre-pregnancy state.


What are the symptoms?

  • Clicking, locking or grinding in the pelvic joints

  • Pain in the front or back of the pelvis, buttocks, groin and/or radiating into the thighs.  The shaded areas in the picture below show where pain commonly occurs.


What activities may increase pelvic pain?

  • Prolonged walking

  • Fast walking

  • Getting in and out of the car or bed

  • Rolling over in bed

  • Laying flat

  • Deep squatting or lunging

  • Going up and down stairs

  • Standing on one leg (e.g. putting on pants)

  • Moving from sitting to standing

  • High impact exercise (e.g. running and jumping activities)


How can I manage pelvic pain?

  • Don't push through pain

  • Take smaller steps when walking

  • Walk shorter distances

  • Reduce heavy lifting and pushing and pulling activities such as vacuuming

  • Break up large tasks into smaller activities

  • Rest between activities

  • Keep your knees together when rolling in bed

  • Sleep on your side with a pillow in between your legs

  • Get in and out of bed with your knees together

A physiotherapist may assist you to ease your pregnancy related pains. Treatment can include core stability exercises, massage as well as prescription of supports that can relive pressure off your pelvis e.g. support belts, taping or pregnancy garments.





  • Use an ice pack on the painful area for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours. Wrap an ice pack in a damp cloth so that the ice pack does not contact your skin directly.

  • Brace your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles before and as you move or change position.

  • Use a support belt to help stabilize your pelvis when you are standing and walking. Your physiotherapist can measure and fit one of these for you.

  • Avoid twisting your body - keep your feet and shoulders facing the same direction.

    • Sit down backwards in a car and turn around with your legs together (a plastic bag placed on the seat will help

    • Turn in bed with your knees pressed together and a pillow between the legs (from knees to feet)

    • Wear a slippery night dress (nylon, silk, satin) to enable you to turn easily at night.

  • Make sure your movements are symmetrical, especially when carrying extra loads.

    • Stand with even weight on each leg

    • Rest with support in symmetrical positions with your hips slightly flexed e.g. side lying with a pillow between your knees

    • Sit down in a chair when getting dressed e.g. putting on your pants or wiping your legs after showering

    • Take stairs one at a time (minimize the number of times you go up and down stairs if you can).




If we can help you with any of your pregnancy related issues, please feel free to contact us:

Phone: 9553 8145
Or if you're in the area, drop on by and have a chat with us to see if we can help in any way.
We're located at 1/45 Montgomery St, Kogarah NSW 2217.

Tags:Pelvic PainPregnancyWomen's Health

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