Preventing and Managing Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: Physiotherapy Insights

Preventing and Managing Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: Physiotherapy Insights

Physiotherapy for Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

Sarah was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant with her first child, and she and her husband dove into preparing for their new family addition. But amidst all that excitement, a dark cloud moved in: pelvic pain. Fortunately, physiotherapy for pelvic pain during pregnancy helped Sarah cope–and it may be able to help you as well!

Sarah first started to experience pain around her 18th week of pregnancy. The sharp, stabbing pains started over her pubic bone but often spread to her lower back and down into her thighs. And because it often seemed to worsen when Sarah was walking, it started to really affect her quality of life, keeping her from prepartum exercise, baby-related shopping trips, and more.

Eventually, one of Sarah’s friends suggested that she try physiotherapy. It turns out that pregnancy-related pelvic pain is relatively common (affecting an estimated 20% – 50% of women). The suggestion turned out to be a lifesaver. Through targeted pelvic floor exercises and other treatments, Sarah could find the relief she needed until her baby was born.

If, like Sarah, you’re struggling with prepartum pelvic pain, call the team at MSK Health and Performance Clinics. We offer physiotherapy for pelvic pain during pregnancy and can help you find the relief you need.

What Does Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Pain Feel Like?

The experience of pelvic pain during pregnancy will vary from woman to woman–just like any other pregnancy symptom. Even the sensations of the pain itself can vary. Women report pain that feels:

  • Stabbing
  • Shooting
  • Dull
  • Burning

And here’s that pain might manifest or impact your everyday life:

  • Pain in the pelvic girdle (roughly in line with your hips)
  • Pain that radiates to your lower back, upper thighs, or perineum (area between the vulva and anus)
  • Difficulty walking quickly, sitting down, standing on one leg, and/or standing for longer than 30 minutes
  • Difficulty completing day-to-day tasks, such as chores, playing with your kids, or getting dressed, because of pain
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • Clicking or grinding sensations in the pelvic area

While pregnancy-related pelvic pain can be extremely uncomfortable and make it hard to stay active, there is some good news: it does not harm your baby. It likely results from hormonal or physical changes in the pelvic girdle in preparation for giving birth, including a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. By strengthening those muscles, you can find relief as you prepare for your baby’s arrival.

How Physiotherapy Can Help You Manage Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

Pelvic pain often peaks during the second or early third trimesters, resolving by the time you give birth. However, if the pain is intense enough to interfere with your daily life, there’s no reason to suffer! The physiotherapists at MSK Health and Performance Clinics have several options to help:

  • Manual Therapy: We have several techniques that provide drug-free pain management, such as soft tissue manipulation, myofascial release, or gentle mobilization of the hip joints, which can help improve your mobility and reduce your pain.
  • Pelvic Floor Exercises: Strengthening your pelvic floor is one of the best ways to manage pre partum pelvic pain. We’ll work closely with you and other members of your pregnancy care team to develop a customized exercise program that suits your needs.
  • Support Belts: Some women report wearing a support belt/belly band can help minimize pelvic pain. We’ll help you find one that works for you and ensure you use it correctly.
  • Activity Modification: Because pregnancy-related pelvic pain generally only lasts during your pregnancy, it may be enough to simply modify your daily activities, especially if your pain is mild. Our therapists can help you identify the movements causing you trouble and suggest appropriate modifications.

We understand that every woman–and every pregnancy–is different. For that reason, we always customize the treatment plans for each of our patients. Our goal is to help you have the happiest, healthiest pregnancy possible!

What To Expect During Your Physiotherapy Appointments

Firstly, we pride ourselves on offering a welcoming, discreet space where you can freely share your symptoms and concerns. We know pelvic pain can often feel embarrassing or difficult to discuss, so we strive to create an environment where you can be as open as possible.

During your initial consultation, we’ll conduct a comprehensive physical examination to help us better understand you, your pregnancy, and your symptoms. We’ll look at your health history–including the history of your pregnancy–and can collaborate with your obstetrician to ensure the best possible care.

We’ll also perform a gentle hands-on examination to help us better understand any impairments that might be contributing to your pain, including asking you to complete some simple movement screens. All this information allows us to pull from our various physiotherapy techniques to create your customized care plan.

At subsequent visits, we’ll walk you through that plan. We might start with manual therapy to manage acute pain, then move on to your personalized exercise program, showing you how to perform each movement and ensuring you’re doing them correctly. We’ll help you with strategies to manage pain outside our clinic, and we’re always available to answer any questions or concerns you have.

Physiotherapy for Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: One Key to Alleviating Your Discomfort!

While pregnancy is a magical time, it can also be challenging–after all, you’re growing an entire person! MSK Health and Performance Clinics offers the tools you need to manage the challenges that can accompany pregnancy, including pelvic pain.

If you think you’d benefit from physiotherapy for pelvic pain during pregnancy, request an appointment at our (town) clinic today!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *