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Symptoms of PGP PDF  | Print |  E-mail

The main symptom of PGP is pain, and this can be in any of the pelvic joints. (This is why SPD is not an accurate description as it implies that it affects only the symphysis pubis joint at the front.)

There can also be instability of the joints, which makes walking and day-to-day activities around the house difficult.

The main symptom that women report is pain while walking, climbing stairs and turning over in bed. This means that it affects virtually everything you do in a day, which has a major impact on your life.

PGP is usually a mechanical joint problem

Usually in PGP the pelvic joints, which should work together in a ring-type system, are not working normally. Often one joint becomes stiff and this causes irritation in the other joints (you may not even feel pain in the stiff joint). By treating the stiff joint, a manual therapist can help the joints to function normally again, and allow the irritation at the painful joint to settle.

Frequently in PGP one of the three joints in the pelvis, often one of the SI joints at the back, becomes slightly stuck and the joints start to move asymmetrically. This then puts extra strain on the other joints which start to move differently and can become irritated and inflamed, leading to PGP. This is likely to respond to manual treatment.

Emotional symptoms

It is increasingly recognised that PGP can also have a big impact on how you feel emotionally, because coping with the physical challenges of day-to-day life can be difficult and leave you feeling low and isolated. One of the problems is that there is nothing to ‘see’ with PGP – you aren’t wearing a plaster cast and pain is not visible to others. Often women feel cheated because they expect to be blooming and enjoying their pregnancy but, in fact, are struggling because they are experiencing pain that no-one can see.


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