Pelvic girdle pain is commonly associated with pregnancy, and one of the many reasons Specialist Osteopaths Dr Nick Penney and Dr Shelley Joe are now available to see patients at Bella Mama.
In a study published in 2012 of 548 pregnant women 73% reported pelvic girdle pain being present by week 30. In the first 6 weeks after delivery 48% reported PGP and this had only dropped to 43% by week 12.
Pain is described by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP of which both Nick and Shelley are longstanding members) as being understood as a complex Biopsychosocial problem; an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. Pain that is present for 3 months or less is defined as acute pain, and that which persists more than 3 months, as chronic. The figures quoted from the study above show that a significant number of women suffer ongoing PGP beyond this 3 month cut off when pain generally becomes much harder to treat.
The study identified a few risk factors for developing significant PGP, these include a previous history of low back pain or increasing levels of PGP at 6 weeks. Uncomfortable positions at work or the presence of what are known as medically undifferentiated symptoms, such as headaches, chest pain, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue are also predictive of higher levels of PGP.
Post-partum, a higher birth weight and fewer days of bed rest were also found to be predictive factors of developing PGP.
The importance of this study is that it helps us identify which patients we should be managing and treating to minimise pain and disability throughout their pregnancy, and who might need treatment post-delivery. Acute back pain can also strike at any time and early intervention is important to prevent a more long term or chronic problem developing.
So if you have a history of back pain or other medically undifferentiated problems, are already developing PGP or get uncomfortable at work we can provide evidence based information, management and treatment. To make an appointment to be seen at Bella Mama please ring Jessica at Integrative Pain Care on 522 9240 and ask to be seen in Belmont.
However we do not just see pregnancy related problems! So if in doubt, please ask! Musculoskeletal Pain Medicine is our specialty.