Pelvic girdle pain (or sometimes called pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain) is now the umbrella term for all pelvic pain, including pubic pain which was previously called symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). This umbrella includes pain any where from the lumbar spine/abdomen down to the thigh; either at the front or back.
It’s incredibly common during pregnancy and the severity and location can vary from woman to woman. If you are suffering from PGP it doesn’t mean that you need to stop exercising, in fact strengthening the core, hips and glutes is a great way to prevent the severity of the PGP. You just may need to make a few modifications to minimise pain and it’s always best to visit a physiotherapist who can assess the position and symmetry of movement of your pelvic joints.
Some handy tips:
Keep active but avoid exercises that aggravate or make the pain worse.
The main group of muscles that need to be strengthened are the core muscles; in particular the transverse abdominus (TVA) and the pelvic floor.
Also include exercises that strengthen your hips, glutes and back.
5 exercises that are essential to preventing/managing your PGP (and essential for your pregnancy fitness journey) are:
TVA connection and activation ; something that takes a little practice but identifying, engaging and connecting with you TVA is essential; you can then ensure you’re engaging your TVA through out the following exercises.
Quadruped hold AKA supermum!
Kegels (pelvic floor exercises)
Stretching is also very important, your body will be tightening and compensating for any discomfort so releasing tension as your body progresses and changes during pregnancy is a must.
Doing these exercises at least once a day will be incredibly beneficial, however if your PGP pain is severe it is important you see a physiotherapist – as the exercises won’t be as effective if you’re unable to do them properly.