Pelvic Girdle Pain (or PGP) is a challenging discomfort that affects pregnant women. If this is you, you may be familiar with the pain, instability and limitation it can cause. For some women, the pain can even be quite debiliting.
According to NHS figures, 1 in 5 pregnant women will experience PGP, and it is not specifically known why it affects them. That said, there are some likely causes. Women with a history of lower back or pelvic pain, previous pelvic injury, uneven pelvic joints, or the position of the baby might all be factors for PGP.
However, massage therapy has huge benefits– and it can certainly offer plenty of advantages if you are experiencing Pelvic Girdle Pain.
Generally, the condition presents just into the second trimester of pregnancy. Unfortunately, the pain often worsens as the pregnancy progresses. If you
think you might have the condition, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible (midwife, Doctor.) Many women are referred to physiotherapy, which is great- but some women (for whatever reason) may not receive quick referrals. Lots of these women, therefore, seek complimentary therapies- of which massage is an ideal and appropriate treatment. In an ideal situation, physiotherapy, alongside regular massage treatment, will certainly prove beneficial to sufferers of Pelvic Girdle Pain! At holistic touch we offer many types of massage to make you feel utterly relaxed and calm.
We know that massage is powerful in its ability to reduce pain, relieve anxiety, and aid sleep. It has been proven that it has an amazingly positive effect on our hormones, and is a therapy to release higher levels of oxytocin and endorphins. These hormones help your body to fight the feeling of pain attributed to the pelvis in PGP.
Massage therapy also relaxes the nervous system, which encourages the release of endorphins and, as a result, the expectant Mother can be calm and at ease. This, in turn, will promote and help sleep: something many sufferers of PGP struggle with (as if sleeping in the late stages of pregnancy wasn’t tricky enough!)
It is further argued that massage could also help prepare a Mother for a less anxious delivery (when the time comes,) because the sedating effects can provide stress relief. Regular pre-natal massage can be a safe and positive way to prepare for giving birth. Holistic touch can advise and guide you on styles of massage that are suitable in pregnancy, and make you feel thoroughly at ease.
Some who experience PGP might additionally find that the pain wraps around to their lower back. Therapists are able to offer direct massage of the sacroiliac joints and lumber spine- areas that might feel under pressure and strain for you. Massage to the hip flexors may further provide comfort. A therapist might move the hip joint and its surrounding muscles in a way which will release tension- exactly what you might need if those areas feel limited or restricted during pregnancy.
Finally, the massages we offer at Holistic Touch aim to be restful, restorative and invigorating. We want you to feel assured that there are ways in which massage can be a wonderful remedy if you are experiencing PGP.
There are a range of things that you can consider on a daily basis to minimise the pain of PGP during pregnancy which include:
Rest as much as possible. Try to have some daily bed rest.
Think about your posture when doing daily tasks. For example get into the car by sitting on the seat first, and then lift your legs inside, get dressed while sitting on a chair rather than standing etc
Try to keep your knees together when turning over in bed.
Avoid lifting additional weight such as shopping bags and toddlers (easier said than done!)
Avoid positions where your legs need to be open i.e straddled accross something (!!)
Listen to your body - if you are walking or doing the shopping and your pain levels increase then you are walking too far or doing too much shopping!