Commonly, most of the pregnant women experience pelvic pain in the first trimester. It is actually normal. But, some of them will still experience pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy.
So why they still suffering from pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and other related symptoms in post-pregnancy? Even years later?
Introduction to Postpartum Pelvic Girdle Pain
According to the article published in NCBI, pelvic girdle pain is a discomfort condition yet normal symptoms as a part of pregnancy where no treatment is needed.
Moreover, pelvic girdle pain (PGP) usually arises in relation to a medical history of the patient, including last pregnancy, accident, arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Women who experienced PGP reported the pain mainly between the uppermost and largest part of the hip bone and in the fold of the buttock.
Some of the cases are in the surrounding area of the sacroiliac joints which is the joint between the sacrum and the ilium bones of the pelvis. Furthermore, the pain may spread out in the hamstring muscles (posterior thigh).
As a result, pelvic girdle pain lowering the capability when standing, walking, and sitting.
Actual PGP problem begins after the labor and childbirth
Living with pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy is tough. The patient often reported a difficulty when walking and standing for long periods of time.
Not only the moment after delivery, but Postpartum PGP may also still occur even until 4 years and sometimes it is hard to just get out of the car or walk up the stairs.
What is the cause of postpartum pelvic girdle pain?
Lumbopelvic Muscle Impairment
When the beginning of PGP in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy, the baby is growing fast resulting in increasing of the weight and volume.
As a result, there are following conditions such as abdominal stretching and a shift of body gravity center that can possibly the cause of the muscle impairment.
Commonly, lumbopelvic muscle injury only lasts for a few months after the childbirth.
Pubic Symphysis Diastasis
A symphysis is a fibrocartilaginous combination between two bones, and have a characteristic of a slightly movable joint.
PGP after pregnancy often associated with trauma due to Pubic symphysis diastasis. It is an exceptionally rare problem that occurs in women who are giving birth.
Furthermore, Pubic symphysis diastasis happens when there is a separation of the two pubic bones during delivery at the symphyseal joint.
Typically, during the childbirth process, there is a popping sound that can be heard as an indication that there could be a case of a ruptured symphysis.
A rupture of the symphysis, however, is mostly associated with pelvic girdle problems after pregnancy.
Treatment after pregnancy
Non-surgical treatment options
- General treatment: Resting and minimizing activities. Stabilizing exercises (lumbopelvic & spinal) and maintain a balance between rest and exercise.
- Pelvic belt: With pelvic belt application, most of the stressed sacroiliac joint ligaments can be relieved.
- Physical exercise but not too much
- Local cold/hot compress application
- See a physical therapist.
Surgical treatment options
This is actually a rare condition. When there is a finding such as in the case of extreme pubic bone separation (symphysis diastasis), the surgical option is needed to fix the joint.
Pelvic Girdle Pain during or after Pregnancy: a review of recent evidence and a clinical care path proposal