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‘Sensible advice’ for tackling pelvic girdle pain

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New information has been published for patients with pelvic girdle pain, which is designed to improve their quality of life through early diagnosis and treatment.

Pelvic girdle pain affects one in five pregnant women and can severely affect a woman’s mobility and quality of life, noted the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

“This guidance lays out straightforward and sensible advice for women suffering from what can be a difficult and distressing condition”

Carmel Lloyd

It has produced new patient information (see attached PDF) in order to try and increase early diagnosis and treatment to relieve pain and prevent symptoms from worsening.

The information noted that pain can be mild to severe, but is treatable at any stage in pregnancy and causes no harm to the baby. Symptoms include pain in the pubic region, lower back, hips, groin, thighs or knees, clicking or grinding in the pelvic area and pain made worse by certain movements.

The information also describes simple measures that can help and suggestions for treatment options if pain persists.

These include advice on avoiding movements that may aggravate the pain, exercises to relieve pain, manual therapy, hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

Geeta Kumar, chair of the RCOG’s patient information committee, said: “Pelvic girdle pain can be extremely debilitating and dramatically affect a woman’s day-to-day life.

“Symptoms and pain can be reduced with early diagnosis and continued support from a team of healthcare professionals,” she added.

Carmel Lloyd, head of education at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This guidance lays out straightforward and sensible advice for women suffering from what can be a difficult and distressing condition.

“Women should be offered an appointment with a physiotherapist who will make an assessment to diagnose pelvic girdle pain,” she said. “This will involve looking at a woman’s posture and back and hip movements, and ruling out other causes of pelvic pain.

“For most women, early diagnosis and treatment should stop symptoms from getting worse, relieve their pain and help them to continue with normal everyday activities,” she added.

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