Postpartum Pelvic Girdle Pain

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is defined as pain in the SI joint (the back pelvic joints) and can also occur with pain in the pubic symphysis (the front pelvic joint). It can develop in pregnancy or postpartum. Common symptoms include pain with rolling over in bed and pain with standing on one leg.

There are already clinical practice guidelines for treatment of PGP during pregnancy, and a new guideline came out recently specifically for the postpartum population. The authors analyzed research over the course of 5 years and compiled guidelines for PTs to use in practice. This guidelines help us have consistency in our practice and include information on who is at risk for developing postpartum pelvic girdle pain (PP-PGP), assessment techniques to use, and interventions (how we can help our patients!).

The most interesting finding to me: The authors found strong evidence that individuals who presented to PT beyond 3 months post-delivery have worse outcomes and more chronic pain than those who start earlier. That means early intervention can be crucial in this case! If you are dealing with pain in the pelvic joints (PGP) that either started in pregnancy or developed postpartum, it is important to get checked out sooner rather than later!

Simonds, Adrienne H. PT, PhD1; Abraham, Karen PT, PhD2; Spitznagle, Theresa PT, DPT, WCS3 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Pelvic Girdle Pain in the Postpartum Population, Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy: January/March 2022 – Volume 46 – Issue 1 – p E1-E38 doi: 10.1097/JWH.0000000000000236

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