The good news is that, because PGP is a mechanical joint problem rather than a hormonal problem, it can usually be treated effectively by ‘hands-on’ manual therapy from a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor experienced in treating PGP. PGP is treatable at any stage of pregnancy, or postnatally as soon as you feel able to visit a manual therapist. The therapist gently uses their hands to release stiff or ‘stuck’ pelvic joints and relieve painful muscles, restoring normal movement to your pelvis and reducing your pain.
Exercises, mobility aids and pain-relieving medication can help you to manage some of the symptoms of PGP but they do not address the underlying cause of your pain, your pelvic joint dysfunction. Often, a high degree of pain prevents muscles from working properly so, regardless of how much you exercise, your muscles are unlikely to function correctly. However, once your pelvic joints and muscles are treated with manual therapy and move more freely (normally), thus reducing your pain, exercises are important to help to strengthen the muscles supporting your pelvis, and mobility aids and pain relief can help to manage symptoms between treatments.
For more information about the correct treatment for PGP please read our ‘What to expect from treatment’ page.
Please note: unfortunately, many NHS and private manual therapists do not know how to effectively treat PGP using manual therapy techniques. If your PGP does not improve after each treatment, then it is important to try another therapist, as you may not be receiving the best treatment available.
For information about why you may not be improving following manual therapy treatment please visit our ‘What to do if treatment is not helping’ web page.
If you are told that it is too early or too late in your pregnancy to do anything, or that treatment is not effective during pregnancy and you have to wait until you have had the baby, or that you are too acute to treat, or that your symptoms are too mild to worry about, it is worth getting another opinion. Ask to be referred on to someone who has experience of treating PGP in pregnancy, or look for private treatment if this is an option for you.
Traditionally, it was thought that nothing could be done in pregnancy, but it is now known that for most women PGP is a treatable condition, and the women who contact us confirm this regularly.
Content reviewed and updated in 2017.