This guidance has been specifically developed for women experiencing pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and healthcare practitioners who provide care, support and/or treatment to women experiencing PGP.
For more general guidance related to pregnancy, being a pregnant healthcare worker or providing care, support and/or general treatment to pregnant and postnatal women, please see the relevant association below:
Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and pregnancy
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Information and guidance for CSP members about the coronavirus outbreak
Q&As for women experiencing PGP and their families during COVID-19
Are pregnant women more likely to become ill with COVID-19?
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG), “pregnant women do not appear to be more likely to be severely unwell than other healthy adults if they develop the new coronavirus. It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/fly like symptoms”.
Along with the rest of the UK, pregnant women are being told to stay at home to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Can I still go to my antenatal appointments?
As outlined in the RCOG guidance, “attending antenatal and postnatal care when you are pregnant and have a new baby is really important to ensure the wellbeing of you and your baby”. Before any appointments please contact your maternity team to check if it will still be held in person or by telephone or using videoconferencing.
Please keep in touch with your maternity team and ensure to continue to call and ask them any questions or discuss any concerns with them throughout your pregnancy and once your baby has been born.
How can I get manual therapy to treat my PGP during self-isolation?
Many manual therapists have been advised to stop providing in-person consultations by their regulatory bodies and/or professional associations. This is to ensure the safety of their patients, themselves and their families and limit the spread of COVID-19, in line with the Government recommendations.
For women experiencing PGP however, this news will mean that they can no longer get hands-on manual therapy to treat their PGP.
Many practitioners are still available to provide consultations by telephone or video conferencing if they are able. Please contact your own physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor to discuss your own treatment plan and identify next steps. Please do not attempt any exercises without consulting with your manual therapist. Although exercises may help in the short term by keeping you moving, they won’t sort out the underlying problem.
If you don’t have a manual therapist yet, please discuss with your midwife or head to our list of recommended practitioners to see if there are any practitioners near to you who may be providing alternative consultation options.
If you want to discuss this with one of our trained volunteers, please give our helpline a call on 01235 820921.
Q&As for healthcare practitioners who provide care, support and/or treatment to women experiencing PGP during COVID-19
Please note that the different regulatory bodies are giving different advice. Please visit your own professional association for more current information.
I am a physiotherapist, should I be providing face-to-face consultations?
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has confirmed that face-to-face consultations must stop unless absolutely necessary.
NHS England has stipulated that patients should only be offered face to face consultations if:
- They are in hospital and require physiotherapy.
- You have a high suspicion of risk of serious deterioration from underlying pathology and you are unable to determine this remotely.
- They have urgent rehabilitation needs, which if not met, will require care from General Practice, secondary care or social care agencies. This is particularly important if they are themselves a carer for someone else who is vulnerable.
- They require rehabilitation to support their rapid discharge from secondary care.
The CSP has also confirmed that group classes must not be delivered face to face at this time.
I am an osteopath, should I be providing face-to-face consultations?
The General Osteopathic Council’s advice is for professionals to use their own “professional judgement in determining whether it is appropriate to see patients”, pointing to the different advice in different parts of the UK:
“Osteopaths are allied health professionals in England and may also work in a range of roles including within the NHS. However, many osteopaths have now closed their own practices to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and protect the public. We note that the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governments have identified that only essential, urgent or emergency services should be delivered and many routine NHS services are now suspended for public protection.”
Having said this, remote consultation options and stringent infection control procedures if in person consultations are held, are highly recommended.
I am a chiropractor, should I be providing face-to-face consultations?
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has advised members “to cease all face-to-face appointments in order to be compatible with strong government advice on staying home”.
The BCA strongly encourages patients to contact their own chiropractor to explore remote consultation options.
How can I provide care, support or treatment for women experiencing PGP during the COVID-19 outbreak?
As outlined above, while you are not allowed to continue face-to-face appointments outside of a hospital setting, consultations can still take place using alternative approaches, such as by telephone or by video conferencing.
I want to provide care by telephone or by video conferencing, what resources are available?
How can I connect with other practitioners at this time?
Our Facebook Closed Group for Healthcare Practitioners who provide care, support and treatment to women experiencing PGP launched recently and is a forum for all practitioners to share ideas and advice, to promote best practice in the treatment of PGP. Given that face-to-face consultations have ceased in the majority, this group could offer an avenue for practitioners to work together and find creative solutions to help women with PGP during the COVID-19 outbreak.
To discuss any of these issues in more detail, please email our co-ordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org or call our volunteer helpline on 01235 820921.
This information is updated regularly but please advise if there are any broken links or information that is now out of date.