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UK Coaching Team
Supporting Specific Needs

Understanding Pelvic Girdle Pain Related to Pregnancy

Internationally renowned physio Alison Rose shines an expert light on pain in and around the pelvic girdle, which comes on during pregnancy, and offers expert suggestions for fitness professionals keen to help

Pain in and around the pelvic girdle includes pain in the thin public symphysis joint, pain in the sacro-iliac (SI) joints at the base of the spine, in the hips and the lumbar spine. It comes on during pregnancy and can still be present post-birth, causing numerous problems from the back downwards.

The main reasons for its onset are the growing baby bump and the production of the hormone relaxin.

Released from the beginning of pregnancy, relaxin increases laxity in the ligaments around the pelvis to enable the pelvis to expand during the birth.

The effects, which start to show at six weeks, peaking at 12 weeks, are particularly noticeable in the hips, shoulders, the feet and the ankles.

The resultant ligament laxity can be long-lasting, causing pain and altered biomechanics throughout the lower limbs, pelvis and spine. This is worse during the pregnancy itself, with the expanding bump affecting the mother’s centre of gravity.

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