Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain is a common condition, affecting lots women at various stages of their pregnancy or after birth. The condition includes symphysis pubis dysfunction and pain around the back of the pelvis in the sacroiliac joints. Pelvic pain affects between 20% and 60% of pregnant women.
In 2008 there were an estimated 887,800 conceptions in England and Wales, suggesting that between approximately 178,500 and 542,000 women in England and Wales are affected by pregnancy related pelvic pain each year.
Pelvic pain can be a very painful and debilitating condition. It is is related to poor stability of the pelvic girdle joints which may be due to a number of factors including weight gain, postural changes, muscle imbalances and ligament laxity due to hormonal influences. It has been suggested that, rather than the degree of laxity dictating the degree of pelvic pain, it is a relative asymmetry in laxity.
Physiotherapy treatment for pelvic pain includes exercises to improve the muscular support around the pelvis. The rationale for this treatment is based on evidence suggesting that the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and thoracolumbar fascia are key components in supporting the pelvic joints. These muscles become weak through the postural and biomechanical changes that occur during and after pregnancy.