What is PIA? How to contact PIA

What is PIA?
How to contact PIA
The Pelvic Instability Association (PIA) is an
Australian not for profit association, staffed
by volunteers.
Go to our website for more info:
Members of PIA include women who are
experiencing Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)
currently, women who have experienced
PGP in the past and want to support
others, and health professionals with a
special interest in this condition.
Send us an email at:
We look forward to a time that PGP will be
diagnosed and managed early in a
woman’s pregnancy so that women get all
the help and support they need.
The aims of PIA are to:
• Provide support & information to
women and families affected by
PGP in Australia
[email protected]
Write to us at:
The Pelvic Instability
Association Inc. (PIA)
ABN 41 713 849 396
PO Box 449
VIC 3204
Or leave a message on our telephone
answering service:
Tel: (61-3) 9539 3217
Help us help you!
• Raise awareness of PGP in the
community and amongst health
Some of the activities of PIA include:
Informative website; online blogs; written
pamphlets; newsletters and support
meetings. Our volunteers also provide
individual support via email and
PGP is recognised as an important
women's health issue in the UK and Europe.
It has also been described as Pelvic
Instability or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
Membership is free! Why not support us by
donating or volunteering with us?
All donations made payable to the Pelvic
Instability Association Inc. over $2 are tax
The purpose of this pamphlet is to offer information and support
to women with Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) and having been
prepared with reasonable care, is intended only as a guide. This
pamphlet is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Always consult with your medical practitioner about your
personal circumstances when considering the information or
advice contained in this pamphlet. No liability whatsoever is
accepted by the Pelvic Instability Association Inc. for the
accuracy of information contained in this pamphlet. (Reviewed 2011)
Reference: Vleeming, A., Albert, H., Ostgaard, H. C., Sturesson,
B., & Stuge, B. (2008). European guidelines for the diagnosis and
treatment of pelvic girdle pain. European Spine Journal, 17,
What is Pelvic Girdle Pain?
What are the symptoms?
Where can I find help?
Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is the name given to a
condition where pain is experienced in the
joints, muscles or ligaments of the pelvis (pelvic
girdle) during and/or after pregnancy.
It is important to recognise PGP, so that it can
be managed as early as possible in your
pregnancy. This can help improve recovery,
reduce pain and its effects on your lifestyle
and family. Some of the symptoms that
women may experience include:
You should make an appointment as early as
possible to see a women’s health physiotherapist
who has experience treating Pelvic Girdle Pain.
This can be through your maternity hospital or
private physiotherapy clinic.
During pregnancy, hormonal changes help to
soften and stretch ligaments and tissues in the
woman’s body, particularly around the joints of
the pelvis. This is a normal process that assists
childbirth and does not usually cause lasting
It is thought that around half of all pregnant
women experience some degree of pain in the
lower back and/or pelvic area. This can be
explained by the softened ligaments, as well as
changes to the woman’s posture and centre of
gravity, as baby grows. These changes put
extra stress on the muscles and ligaments of the
back, stomach, pelvic floor, hips as well as the
pelvic girdle.
In PGP, pain may occur in the area of any or all
three of the pelvic joints: the pubic symphysis at
the front of the pelvis, and the left and right
sacroiliac joints at the back. PGP may also
occur with or without back pain. For some
women the pain that is experienced can be
severe, significantly interfering with everyday
activities such as walking, as well as disturbing
The cause of PGP is not fully understood. PGP
may be related to the effects of pregnancy
hormones, to a previous fall or injury to the
pelvis and/or back, or to altered alignment of
the pelvic joints. In rare cases PGP may occur
because of complications in labour or after
• Pain in the front or back of the pelvis, groin,
buttocks, thighs, hips, or lower back.
• Difficulty walking or a waddling gait.
• Pain felt when standing on one leg: getting
dressed; climbing stairs; getting in and out of
the bath.
• Pain felt when turning, twisting or bending:
getting out of bed; out of the car; pushing a
shopping trolley; day to day activities.
• Women may feel and/or hear a clicking,
clunking, grinding sensation in the pelvis.
• Some women find it difficult to part their legs
without severe pain.
• Pain and difficulty with sexual intercourse.
Symptoms of PGP can be
mild, moderate or severe.
Symptoms can improve, stay
the same or progress as the
pregnancy progresses. Pain
may start as early as the first
trimester or sometimes not until after the baby
is born. PGP can return in future pregnancies.
NOTE: Every woman's experience of PGP
will be individual. Women may experience
only some of the symptoms described.
Your physiotherapist will advise on appropriate
exercises, with consideration of birthing positions
and postnatal care. A properly fitted pelvic
support belt can assist with pain and some
women may require mobility aids (such as
crutches or a walking stick).
Finding time to attend physiotherapy can
improve your chances of recovering more
quickly. Most women recover from PGP within
the first few months after delivery.
In rare cases, PGP can last for a long time
and/or symptoms can be particularly disruptive
or disabling. Women may find they need help
from their doctor, allied health, home-help
services and child-care.
Support from your family and friends is vital.
Talking to other PGP sufferers at the Pelvic
Instability Association can offer reassurance that
you are not alone.
One in five pregnant women will
experience some level of Pelvic Girdle
Pain. Most women will experience mild