Total Mums Pelvic girdle pain

Pelvic girdle pain is an umbrella term for pain felt during pregnancy and postnatally in the joints that make up your pelvic girdle (Symphysis pubis  and/or sacro-iliac joint). Throughout your pregnancy vast amounts of hormones are released, included is relaxin that softens and relaxes ligaments predisposing joints to dysfunction and/or injury.

Pelvic girdle pain can occur at any point during pregnancy or postnatally with a sudden or gradual onset. As every pregnancy is different so are the symptoms experienced. Commonly pelvic girdle pain is experienced as an irritation of the pelvic joints due to a change in pelvic mobility and an increase in load.

Possible symptoms:

  • Buttock pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Bruised sensation over joints
  • Sharp pain over joints
  • Pain shooting down legs
  • Heaviness of legs
  • Pain with changing positions

Possible causes:

  • Natural release and influence of hormones on pelvis
  • Baby position
  • Overload from incorrect movement patterns
  • Decreased activity in core muscles
  • Increased body weight
  • Excessive splitting legs apart
  • Pushing through legs during labour
  • Fall

Management and prevention:

  • Women’s health Physiotherapy
  • Education and modification of movement patterns
  • Decreasing aggravating factors
  • Posture and lifting education
  • Pelvic floor exercises and functional use
  • Support belts
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Mobilisations
  • Stretches
  • Modification of birth plan

QUICK TIP – What can you do to prevent pelvic girdle pain:

Avoid single leg standing, splitting legs apart and heavy lifting

At Total Mums we specialise in the care and rehabilitation of pelvic girdle pain throughout pregnancy and postnatally.


Association of charted physiotherapists in women’s health (


Powered by RHD - See New Zealand