Mobility aids are great tools to help women with PGP to get out and about. However, they should always be used in consultation with healthcare practitioners and alongside hands-on treatment, including manual therapy.
With effective treatment, many women with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) are able to stay mobile without physical aids.
You may find it helpful to use crutches alongside treatment, particularly if you have pain while walking. Crutches can help to keep you as mobile, independent and pain-free as possible between treatments.
Crutches also signal your need for help from other people, which can be useful (e.g. opening doors, carrying shopping). People will also accept that you are walking slowly and tend not to bump into you as much.
You can get a pair of crutches free of charge from a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or the Red Cross. They should show you how to use crutches correctly.
If your PGP is severe, a wheelchair can help you get out and about. Ask your physiotherapist or OT if they are able to supply a wheelchair. The Red Cross also has wheelchairs that you can borrow or hire.
When you are out and about, many major tourist attractions, travel hubs and shopping centres have wheelchairs that you can use. You may need to reserve these in advance, so check the website before you go.
Only use a support belt if you have been assessed by someone with experience in manual therapy. Support belts should be used as part of a treatment plan and should not be used in place of manual therapy. Used incorrectly, support belts can make your symptoms worse.
Support belts can be helpful to manage symptoms between treatments when used properly. They help to keep your pelvis supported in the correct position. However, if you wear one without first having your pelvic joint alignment checked, it is likely to aggravate your pain.
If your joints are not properly aligned, pushing them together with a belt can cause more irritation and pain at the joints. If you experience more pain when you put a belt on or after using it, take it off and contact your manual therapist for advice and treatment.
You usually need to remove a belt when you sit down as it can dig into the top of your legs and bump – belts are most effective when you are walking or standing.
Tubigrip™ is often given to women with PGP. It is very difficult to put on, is often not the correct size and is hot and uncomfortable to wear. Ask for more information about your other options if you are just offered Tubigrip™.
Often the most helpful support (once your pelvis is well aligned) is a sacroiliac support belt. You can ask your physiotherapist or OT to help you find the right belt.
Most women with PGP will recover with the right treatment. However, some women with severe and long-term PGP will need to consider a stairlift. There are several options to access stairlifts:
If you are considering a stairlift, do get in touch through our helpline.
We have a free telephone helpline if you want to discuss your experience on a 1:1 basis. Please call 01235 820921, leave a message and one of our volunteers will call you back.
You may have treatment options that could improve your mobility.