Managing Posterior Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy isn’t an easy time for any woman, and back pain is a problem that is often associated with pregnancy. In fact, according to estimates, between 50% and 80% of women suffer from back pain during pregnancy. While it’s common, it isn’t something that you or your loved one should take lightly. Not only does it make the pregnancy itself harder to deal with, but, in some cases, may also mean the start of chronic back pain if it isn’t handled correctly. Fortunately, back pain can be managed well, and...


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Pregnant women may face two kinds of back pain, lumbar back pain and posterior pelvic pain, the latter being much more common. Posterior pelvic pain is normally felt below the waistline, all the way past the tailbone. It can be felt on one side of the back or on both sides, and may sometimes extend even to the hips and upper thighs. It is important that this pain be properly diagnosed by a doctor, since the treatment for both is different.

Symptoms of Posterior Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

If you have any of these symptoms, then you may be suffering from posterior pelvic pain.

  • A deep, intense pain around the back side of the pelvis or pelvic bone.
  • Radiating pain that may reach the groin or thighs.
  • While the pain stabilises when lying down, it is normally worse when standing, walking on level ground or stairs, getting up from bed or while lying down or standing up from a low seat.
  • Sometimes, a burning sensation may be felt in the pelvis.
  • Normally starts after the eighteenth week, but may even start earlier.

Managing Posterior Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

This pain is often managed by exercises and physiotherapy, which aims to strengthen the core muscles around the pelvic region. Your doctor may also ask you to wear a sacro-iliac belt for quick pain relief. Physiotherapy may include mobilisation of the hip, pelvis or back, myofascial release or muscle energy technique (MET). Your doctor may also prescribe medicines or injections that can help relieve the pain.

It is also important to watch your posture and body mechanics during this time, as this will greatly affect the pain. Some steps that you can take are:

  • Avoid lying on your back for too long, lie on your side (preferably left) instead.
  • While getting out of bed, roll to one side first, and use your hand to raise your body to an upright position.
  • To get out of a chair, sit on the edge, lean forward till your head is above your knees, and use your hands on your knees to push yourself up. Keep your back straight, and tuck your tummy in.
Posterior Pelvic Pain In Pregnancy
Posterior Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
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