Pelvic Pain & Tightness
Pelvic pain is defined as pain in the anterior lower abdomen including the organs. In females, pelvic pain may be a sign of menstrual cramps, ovulation, a gastrointestinal issue such as food intolerance or postpartum pelvic girdle pain.
Postpartum pelvic girdle pain often affects women during and after pregnancy due to the weight of the growing baby or trauma during delivery, causing instability and limitation of mobility and function in the pelvis.
Pain is commonly experienced in the vicinity of the sacroiliac joint and may radiate towards the hips or in the symphysis. With pelvic girdle pain, core stability is compromised and lumbopelvic coordination is also reduced.
The most common symptoms of the pelvic girdle pain are:
- Pain in the front and center of your pubic bone (pubic symphysis)
- Pain in your lower back on either or both sides
- Pain in your perineum
How does pelvic girdle pain occur?
During pregnancy, a hormone known as relaxin is released to relax the ligaments in the pelvis and widen the cervix. This loosening is intended to increase your range of movement in preparation for childbirth. However, this can also mean that your sacroiliac joints are more mobile and unbalanced than they usually would be.
As your pregnancy progresses, the core muscles such as your pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscles are stretched to accommodate the growing baby. This can in turn lead to a decrease in the ability of these muscles to stabilize your pelvic joints. The change in your center of gravity to support your baby often also causes decreased functional stability, increased load and wear and tear of your pelvic joints.
Postpartum pelvic girdle pain will normally resolve in most women 4 months post-pregnancy. However, up to 20% of women who experience this report continuing pain for up to four years after childbirth.
More often than not, this pain stems from the misalignment or stiffness of your pelvic joints during pregnancy.
How does postpartum pelvic girdle pain affect you?
Daily activities such as walking, running, twisting your torso, lifting heavy weights and even getting in and out of bed or the car may cause you pain. When this happens, it is important to be mindful of your posture in your everyday life.
- Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs.
- Avoid sitting cross-legged, instead sit with your two feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Take smaller strides while walking and rest when you feel pain.
- When carrying heavier items, try to spread the weight out evenly between both sides of the body. Opt for a backpack instead of one that hangs over one shoulder for better weight distribution.
- Keep active and focus on exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and transverse abdominals.
- Avoid anything that requires you to shift most or all of your weight on to one leg.
- Sit down whenever you need to get dressed or changed, especially when putting bottoms on.
- If you spend long hours at a desk-bound job, swap your chair out for a stability ball or an ergonomic chair to help with the pain and to take pressure off your pelvis.
High intensity electromagnetic energy to treat Incontinence and Diastasis Recti.
EXILIS Ultra Femme 360 to tighten the inner vaginal canal walls and firm up the labia.
One-to-one exercises for muscle stretching and strengthening customised to the individual.
Orchard Clinic is a specialised centre for Postnatal and Postpartum conditions, helping clients achieve healthy and pain-free lifestyles.