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Pelvic girdle pain when pregnant

Sacroiliac joint pain, also known as pelvic girdle pain, is pain at the back of the pelvis during pregnancy. Often one-sided, pelvic girdle pain could appear as shooting pains down the lower body, or general lower back and buttocks pain.

What causes it?

During pregnancy, the body releases a lot of funky hormones. One of these is called relaxin, and helps loosen the ligaments in the pelvis to ensure an easier birth. However, sometimes the ligaments get too loose and do not give the joint enough support, resulting in pain. Besides the loosened ligaments, your uterus is also expanding and putting more and more pressure on the joints and muscles surrounding it in the pelvis.

Tips?

Most pelvic girdle pain goes away after delivery, so you may have to be patient. However, rest and avoiding lying on your back can certainly help curb the pain, or at least inhibit it from progressing. And as is the case for many symptoms that affect the pelvic area, strengthening your pelvic floor with Kegels could help prevent pelvic girdle pain altogether. Other ways to avoid pain include trying not spend too long standing without a break, and avoiding heavy lifting.

Learn more about pain management

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Sources
  • AH MacLennan. “The role of the hormone relaxin in human reproduction and pelvic girdle relaxation.” Scandanavian Journal of Rheumatology Supplement. 88:7-15. Web. 1991.
  • “Pelvic pain in pregnancy.” NHS. NHS Choices, 7/17/2014. Web.

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