Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is pain experienced anywhere in the pelvic girdle – the area from just below the belly button to the SIT bones. Pelvic girdle pain can involve the joints of the pelvis including sacro-illiac joints (SIJ), the pubic symphysis or the coccyx region.
Types of Pelvic Girdle Pain
Patients who have PGP are typically limited in certain functional activities, such as walking, prolonged standing or sitting. PGP affects efficiency of load transfer through the pelvis, and people can feel like they lose power and strength in their legs.
Sacro-illiac joint (SIJ)
SIJ pain often feels like intermittent sharp, stabbing pain on weight bearing, ie standing up, or rolling in bed.
Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction (SPD)
*Also known as pubic symphysis pain: SPD feels like an intense sharp, stabbing pain at the front of the pelvis. It can significantly impact patient’s ability to move and function and is often associated with a waddling gait.
Coccyx pain (coccydnia)
Coccyx pain is pain in the tailbone region, and can be caused by trauma (direct fall, child birth or prolonged sitting) or can also be caused by excessive muscle tension from the muscles that attach to the coccyx. Read more about coccyx pain in this article by Angela James: Coccyx Pain.
How We Can Help
Complete pelvic assessment
Your physiotherapist will spend time thoroughly understanding your symptoms and medical history as well as conducting a full physical assessment of your pelvis. This may involve using either Real Time Ultrasound to assess your bladder and Pelvic Floor Muscles or an internal vaginal or rectal assessment.
Diagnosis and explanation of your pelvic issue
Once your physiotherapist diagnoses the cause of your pain or dysfunction, they will explain the reasons for this and the expected outcome of your treatment. Understanding your particular pelvic issue is an important element of getting you back on the road to wellness. It will help you engage in the course of your rehabilitation as well as giving you ownership over your outcome.
Management plan and treatment
Your treatment plan is individual and personal. It may involve pelvic floor and pelvic muscle releases and retraining, education, mindfulness and relaxation, bladder and bowel training and specific exercise rehabilitation.