The “Golden Rule” for women suffering from pelvic girdle pain (PGP) in pregnancy

Lifespan Osteopathy Essendon / Pregnancy  / The “Golden Rule” for women suffering from pelvic girdle pain (PGP) in pregnancy

The “Golden Rule” for women suffering from pelvic girdle pain (PGP) in pregnancy

If you’re pregnant and suffering from pelvic girdle pain (PGP), then it’s VITAL that you adhere to our “Golden Rule” of PGP in pregnancy…


Avoid putting all of your body weight on one leg as much as possible.

This is because when you do this, you’ll put a lot of shearing forces through either/both the pubic symphysis (where the two halves of your pelvis join together at the front- a.k.a. “the groin”, “the crotch”), or the sacroiliac joints- where the two bones that most people call their “hip” bones join onto the Sacrum (“tailbone”).


When you’re pregnant, especially towards the latter months, you’ll have higher circulating levels of the hormone “relaxin”.


The role of relaxin is generally to help soften the ligaments of the pelvis, to prepare your body for the delivery of the baby through the birth canal.  However, in some women, it appears that relaxin works a little too well, and they can end up with some instability in their pelvic joints, which results in pain.


If you’ve already got more movement than is ideal, even simple maneuvers such as standing on one leg can result in large forces going through joints that are already struggling to keep up with demand.


Some of the ways you may be unintentionally doing this include and some potential solutions include:

  • Putting on or taking off your pants or socks– sit down while doing this
  • Washing or drying your feet- a sturdy plastic stool/chair in the shower or bathroom may help
  • Going up and down stairs-  use a lift where available.  If you’re at home, place a basket at the top or bottom of the staircase and accumulate a few things before carrying one slightly larger load, rather than going up and down multiple times.  Be careful not to overload the basket, however, so it is not too heavy.
  • Getting in and out of the car- sit down on the seat first, and swivel both knees in or out of the car together.


Once you’re aware of the aggravation that putting your body weight on one leg can cause you, there will be a number of other ways you find yourself doing this throughout the day.  Wherever possible, have a think about the task, and try to come up with a better solution.  PGP can be quite debilitating, so if you can avoid aggravating it, you’ll be much better off in the long run.


If you would like more information, we’ve also discussed PGP in previous posts.  This includes treatment options here, and self-management strategies here.


If you would like more personalized advice, give us a call on (03) 9372 7714 or book online today.