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Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

During pregnancy, your hormone levels change dramatically to cause all the physiological changes that are happening in your body. Some of these hormones, especially one called relaxin, causes a softening of the ligaments of the pelvic joints in order to eventually allow the passage of the baby through the birth canal.


In some women the softening of the pelvic ligaments, combined with the weight of your growing baby, can cause discomfort or pain.

Pain can be felt either at the back of the pelvis (the sacro-iliac joints) or in the front over the pubic bone (pubic symphysis joint) or in both places. Pain may be referred into the buttock, groin and vaginal area. This is known as pelvic girdle pain (may also be called pelvic joint dysfunction or pelvic instability).

Management of Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

It is important to see a physiotherapist who is experienced in Women’s Health so that you can be taught how to manage your PGP. A pelvic support belt may be prescribed to improve your movement control as well as stability exercises, movement modification strategies, massage and ice or heat.

It is important to keep exercising, and while walking and land-based exercise may not be suitable, exercising in the water is safe and appropriate.

Exercising in water is possible for women with PGP because buoyancy reduces the weight transmitted through the pelvic joints and enables low- or zero-impact exercise.

In an Aquamums class special attention is given to modifying exercises so that they are PGP- friendly. You can work on your cardiovascular fitness without aggravating the pelvic joints and do core strengthening exercises to support the pelvic girdle joints.

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Post-Natal PGP

Usually PGP resolves once your baby is born. The relaxin hormone ceases to be produced after the birth but its effects may last for a few weeks and so symptoms may be felt for this short time.

In a very small number of women PGP may continue in the longer term and these women should continue to exercise in the water and consult with their women’s health physio.

Individual Aqua Sessions

For women with more severe pelvic joint dysfunction, Aquamums advises an individual aqua session ie. a one-to-one session in the pool with the physiotherapist prior to joining the classes. The physio will assess your exercise requirements and tailor the aqua program to your specific needs to enable you to get an effective cardio-fitness workout and core strength while protecting the pelvic floor and pelvic girdle.

Alternatively, ongoing individual aquatic physiotherapy treatment can be arranged instead of participating in the group format.

Aquamums is an excellent exercise option for women who have PGP or back pain.

10 Tips for Pelvic Girdle Pain

  1. Reduce your walking and take shorter strides. Walk less on land, excercise more in the pool.
  2. Avoid walking on uneven ground, hills and lots of stairs. Go up and down stairs one at a time.
  3. Take the weight off your feet whenever you can, especially at the end of the day. Float on a noodle in the pool.
  4. Avoid standing on one leg. Sit down to put on your socks. When standing, keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet.
  5. Engage your core (deep abdominals and pelvic floor muscles) during activity. Avoid heavy lifting and pushing.
  6. When getting in and out of the car, keep your knees together and swivel legs around.
  7. Keep your legs together when rolling over in bed. Try sleeping with a small pillow between your legs.
  8. If you go swimming, avoid vigorous kicking. Don’t do frog-kick when doing breaststroke swimming – you can try a butterfly-kick instead where your legs stay together.
  9. In the pool, avoid side-ways walking as well as large strides.
  10. Do aqua-aerobics classes that are instructed by a physiotherapist. Some exercises done in regular aqua classes may not be suitable if you have pelvic girdle pain.

Contact Us

For further information on Aquamums classes, locations, registration, costs and payment methods, use the quick contact form. Your enquiry will be responded to promptly.

Please note that it is essential to contact the Aquamums office to obtain our Registration Form for medical clearance.

To make bookings for classes please contact Mandy at the Aquamums office by email or phone (03) 9826 6346.

Free Aquamums app is available to download onto your mobile phone. Go to your app store and search “Aquamums”. Handy for making bookings and receiving updates about classes.

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Locations

The City - City Baths

Armadale - Goodlife Health Club

Ashburton - Ashburton Pool & Recreation Centre

St. Kilda - South Pacific Sea Baths

Kew - Kew Recreation Centre

Cheltenham - Sandringham Family Leisure Centre

Ringwood - Aquanation