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PGP in a nutshell

Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a common condition affecting up to half of all women and birthing people during and/or after pregnancy.

Pain is never normal

While PGP may be common during and/or after pregnancy, pain is never normal. Please talk to your GP or midwife as soon as symptoms start to discuss different options for your care, support and treatment. 

This means that it affects virtually everything you do in a day, which has a major impact on your life. This pain can be an ache, a sharp shooting pain or a deep muscle pain. You may also have a clicking or grinding feeling in your pelvic joints or in your hips.

Do I have PGP?

The main symptom that women report when they have pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is pain while walking, bending, climbing stairs and turning over in bed.

Find out more about PGP in our videos:

PGP can affect your physical mobility and your emotional wellbeing. Find out more about your PGP and how you can get treatment and manage your pain on our website and in our free ebook “PGP is treatable!”. 

Pelvic Partnership FREE ebook “PGP is treatable!”


PGP is a pelvic joint problem

Your pelvis is made up of three joints which work together in a ring-type system. In PGP these joints are not working normally. Often, one joint becomes stiff or stuck and this causes irritation in the other joints (you may not even feel pain in the stiff joint). By treating the stiff joint, a manual therapist can help the joints to function normally again, and allow the irritation at the painful joint to settle.

PGP used to be known as symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) but this name implies that it affects only the symphysis pubis joint at the front, which is not true as any or all of the three pelvic joints can be affected, and commonly the two sacroiliac joints at the back of the pelvis are the cause.

Getting treatment

Emotional impact of PGP

PGP can also have a big impact on how you feel emotionally, because coping with the physical challenges of day-to-day life can be difficult and leave you feeling low and isolated. One of the problems is that there is nothing to ‘see’ with PGP – you aren’t wearing a plaster cast and pain is not visible to others. Often, women feel cheated because they expect to be blooming and enjoying their pregnancy but, in fact, are struggling because they are experiencing pain that no-one can see. This can be compounded if you have other children at home already, and you are struggling to care for them too. 

Emotions and mental health

Practical suggestions for managing your PGP

Pain and PGP

It is common to experience depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder during and/or after having PGP. Please do not be afraid to ask for assistance from your GP or family and friends to help you get through this difficult time. You are not alone and there is support available, so please ask! 

Getting treatment

PGP can be safely and effectively treated with hands-on individualised treatment, including manual therapy from a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor.

Help others with PGP

Donate today to help us help others with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP)

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