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 www.pelvicinstability.org.au [email protected] Write to us at: The Pelvic Instability Association Inc. (PIA) ABN 41 713 849 396 PO Box 449 BENTLEIGH VIC 3204 Or leave a message on our telephone answering service: Tel: (61-3) 9539 3217 SUPPORTING WOMEN WITH PREGNANCY RELATED Help us help you! and • Raise awareness of PGP in the community and amongst health professionals 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 telephone. 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 (SPD). 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 deductible. PELVIC GIRDLE PAIN 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, 794-819. www.pelvicinstability.org.au 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 discomfort. 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 sleep. 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 birth. • 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 symptoms.
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