Musculoskeletal problems

Pelvic floor dysfunction 

Diastasis Symphysis Pubis (DSP)

DSP is a true separation at the symphysis pubis joint of more than 1cm out of alignment, either horizontally or vertically. It can happen if you have had a fall or another trauma to your pelvis (including a very difficult birth). The majority of women with PGP do not have DSP. If your PGP symptoms do not get better with good manual therapy treatment from an experienced practitioner (remembering it can take time to find the right practitioner), it can be helpful to have further investigations to exclude DSP.

The normal range of movement (vertical shift or horizontal gap) is 0-3 mm, and moderately abnormal is 3-10 mm. Women can still function very well with this amount of movement, but it may need to be taken more into account when looking at types of exercises in the rehabilitation phase of treatment. If the shift is over 10 mm this can be more difficult to manage (see DSP above), but if you have not yet had any manual treatment you should discuss the options with an experienced practitioner before deciding on further treatment, and it is usually worth trying this before exploring more invasive treatment such as steroid injections or surgery.

Lumbar spine disc problems

Misleadingly known as a ‘slipped disc’, this is actually where damage to the outer fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out.

Possible symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the lower back/pelvic area.
  • Referred pain in the upper back, buttocks, genitals, legs and feet.
  • Numbness.
  • Weakness.
  • Sciatica.

For more information about lumbar spine disc problems, their treatment and management, visit: and NICE guidance for Managing low back pain and sciatica

Labral tears

A labral tear usually affects just one side of the hip and is where there is a rip in the labrum (the cartilage that surrounds the rim of the hip socket).

Possible symptoms can include:

  • A sharp pain in the hip.
  • Feeling that the hip is locking during activity.
  • A grinding or popping sensation when the hip is rotated outwards.
  • A dull, subtle pain felt on the outside of the hip joint and near the groin.

For more information about labral tears, their treatment and management, visit: 

Hip bursitis

This refers to inflammation or swelling of the hip bursa (a sac of fluid) which is present under the skin and usually found over the hip joints where it acts as a cushion between the tendons and bones. The bursa on both sides of the hip can be inflamed or swell as a result of injury, from over-repeating a movement and occasionally from an infection. However, the cause is not always clear.

Possible symptoms can include:

  • Pain around the hip.
  • Swelling and stiffness around the hip joint.
  • The area may become warm or red.

For more information about hip bursitis, its treatment and management, visit: 

Hip dysplasia

This is a condition often first found in newborn babies and children where the ‘ball and socket’ joint of the hips doesn’t form properly. The problem is at the top of the thigh bone (femur) where it is attached by the hip joint to the pelvis.

Possible symptoms can include:

  • Pain in one or both hips.
  • Difficulty walking – walking with a limp.
  • Referred pain in the pelvic area.
  • Early onset of osteoarthritis in the hip joints.

For more information about hip dysplasia, its treatment and management, visit: 

Hypermobility and hypermobility syndromes 

Return to ‘If it’s not PGP, then what could it be?’ page.

Content added in 2017.

Charity Registered in England: 1100373                                           © Copyright Pelvic Partnership 2017
Please note, the Pelvic Partnership consists of volunteers who have had Pelvic Girdle Pain and wish to support other women. We aim to pass on information based on research evidence where available. We are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice. The Pelvic Partnership takes no responsibility for any action you do or do not take as a result of reading this information.
This website was built by Jigsaw Web Design Ltd  ~ Website content reviewed and updated: 2016 – 2017 

Charity Registered in England: 1100373 

The Pelvic Partnership consists of volunteers who have had pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and wish to support other women. We aim to pass on information based on both research and the experience of other women with PGP. We are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice and the information we provide should not take the place of advice and guidance from your own health-care providers. Material on this site is provided for information and support purposes only.

   © Copyright Pelvic Partnership 2021

This website was built by Jigsaw Web Design Ltd

We would also like to acknowledge the support of the National Lottery's Corononavirus Community Support Fund, which funded our COVID-19 Response Project. 

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