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Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain

General aches and pains are often thought to be part and parcel of pregnancy. In reality there is much that can be done to minimise the effects of hormonal changes and a growing bump. 80% of women experience low back or pelvic pain during their pregnancy and 20% experienced moderate to severe pain (Mens et al (2012)).

Why do we experience symptoms?

  • Decreased support available from stretched abdominal muscles
  • Altered posture to accommodate the ever growing bump
  • Ligamentous laxity to accommodate the growth and delivery of the baby
  • Fatigue; the extra demands of a growing baby

Tips for keeping a healthy back during pregnancy

  • In bed when lying on your side, place a pillow between your knees.
  • Make a habit of taking frequent short walks during your day.
  • Stand with a good posture; stand tall with your bottom tucked in.
  • Sit in supportive chairs; you may require a small cushion in the small of your back for comfort.
  • At your desk, avoid crossing your legs.
  • High heels increase the load on your lumbar spine and should be avoided. However, flats such as pumps do not provide sufficient support either. Supportive, comfortable footwear is the key.
  • Exercise during pregnancy is recommended but seek advice from your chartered physiotherapist or ante-natal clinic before commencing a new form of exercise. Inactivity decreases your fitness making life more difficult in the later stages.
  • Rest when you are tired, this may not always be at night time!

Role of Physiotherapy

Firstly, being pregnant does not protect you from common musculoskeletal injuries such as; ankle sprainsneck pain etc. These should be treated promptly to minimise any knock-on effects. The normal physiological changes in pregnancy must govern treatment of any musculoskeletal injuries and any chartered physiotherapist at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy clinic with their extensive medical background are best placed to manage these problems. Specific management of low back or pelvic girdle pain is recommended. The increased load that your pelvis is exposed to during pregnancy can result in an imbalance. The good news is that these changes can be managed quickly and effectively through specific exercise (Stuge et al (2004)), manual therapy and advice. In our experience, this problem is managed effectively and safely with early intervention.

To find out more about the services that Ballsbridge Physiotherapy can provide please contact us.

Your uterus is not the only part of your body that has to stretch to accommodate your growing baby. During the 2nd trimester your rib cage has to expand as the baby sits high in the uterus. This can result in rib or mid back pain. If you work at a desk this section of your spine is often quite stiff and the resulting rapid expansion can cause significant discomfort.

Thoracic pain is a common problem in pregnancy and it can be quite disabling. The most common symptoms are pain on turning your trunk/ deep breathing or coughing. This pregnancy symptom can be safely and effectively treated by our chartered physiotherapists here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic. Manual therapy and exercise will resolve the problem quickly and easily. Thoracic pain is less common in the later stages as the baby descends in the pelvis.


  • Relaxed deep breathing helps to stretch the tiny muscles between your ribs. Just 5 breaths at a time.
  • Watch your posture at your desk. Avoid over-reaching and regularly changing position.
  • Heat applied between your shoulder blades or to the muscles of the neck/shoulder area can give a lot of relief. Watch the temperature of the hot water bottle and your posture when you are using it. Do not apply heat over your bump.

To find out more about the services that Ballsbridge Physiotherapy can provide please contact us.

Pelvic pain is often misunderstood. The muscles and tissues of the pelvis are no different to the rest of the body and are prone to triggers points and imbalance. Symptoms can arise as a consequence of childbirth, surgery or direct pelvic trauma. Incorrect use of the pelvic floor can result in this over activity with the muscles then becoming a source of pain. This problem can lead to such conditions as;

  • Vaginismus
  • Anismus
  • Vaginal or rectal pain

Treatment includes manual therapy to the painful tissues, trigger point release, dry needling, deep tissue massage and release the muscles of the low back and thighs and re-education of correct pelvic floor muscle action.

Our chartered physiotherapists are experienced in treating pelvic pain during pregnancy. If you are having any problems, please contact us here.