Pregnancy pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis disorder is pretty common. So much so that it is seen as a normal symptom of pregnancy. However, it is not something you have to put up with
Here are 7 simple things you can do straight away to reduce your symptoms right now (also to prevent the problem happening in the first place!)
1) Get out of heeled shoes
And that’s all heeled shoes even if they are only a few cms high. The height of the heel tips you forward so that your body weight is forced on to the front of your feet and your toes. It will create tension in your feet and leave you more susceptible to common foot issues such as bunions and plantar fasciitis.
As you tip forward on your heeled shoes you subconsciously adjust your posture to keep your balance – this will cause you to tip your pelvis and abdomen forward and lift your chest up. Pushing your pelvis forward means you are putting more pressure on the symphysis pubis joint causing the instability and pain here. (it will also cause back pain and increase your chances of pelvic floor weakness and diastasis recti postpartum)
That’s some major effects your shoes cause right? Meaning it can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself right now.
2) Get your weight in your heels
Once you’ve started wearing flat shoes it is time to retrain yourself to bring the weight back into your heels. A great doing this is to use a plumb line to see just how much you need to bring your weight back. Hold the plumb line in the centre of your hip and see where the end of it falls – it should be by your heels. This will help stabilise your pelvis reducing the instability and pain.
Here’s a video to help .
3) Build your butt!
(And you hamstrings, hips and calves) – this will help you to keep your weight back in your heels but also to help support your pelvis. The pelvis instability that causes the joints to move and cause pain is a result of the muscles around your hips not being strong enough.
4) Align your pelvis
It is very common for us as a result of lots of sitting, to have a tipped pelvis. You can check this now by putting your hands on your hips and feeling for the bony parts that are under your fingers and then locating your pubic bone. These two points need to be in line with each other. If they aren’t one easy exercise to do regularly is the psoas release, tension in this muscle pulls the pelvis forwards or backwards. The trick here is that you don’t need to stretch this muscle but to create a way to release the tension.
(see the above video of how to do this)
Getting out for a regular walk will help with building muscle tone and also creating stamina very useful for giving birth! Walking is also a wonderful way of giving you space and time to think.
6) Wrap your hips
If you are struggling to much with pain to walk then this might be useful. Use a scarf to tie around your hips to give them support and stability. Not necessarily something that you need to use all the time as it won’t allow your muscles to build, but definitely a way to get some comfort as and when you need it.
7) Bolster when you sit.
Making sure you sit with your pelvis aligned is really crucial.
Here is a quick video showing you how to do this.
If you are interested in a pregnancy exercise and birth preparation programme specifically designed to help you if you have pgp, pelvic floor weakness or abdominal separation then Birth Fundamentals is for you. The next term starts on 3rd March. Find our more here
Rosie Dhoopun is a Movement Teacher, Pregnancy Exercise, pelvic floor restore and diastasis recti rehabilitation specialist.