Kicking pregnancy pain to get more sleep – by Dr. Rebecca Farthing

Pregnancy is such a personal journey that has many different challenges for each of us. Me, my challenge was the pain. Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PRPGP) to be precise. Pain, pain, pain… and it started early in my pregnancy. That sensation of being kicked in the groin by a horse followed by my lower back run over by a train. Sound familiar?


It is a condition in which you feel pain in the back of the pelvis over the sacroiliac joint region, the front of the pelvis over the pubic symphysis…. Or if you are lucky… both!

shutterstock_312239621Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the front or back of the pelvis, groin, buttock, thigh, hip and  lower back
  • Difficulty walking or a waddling walking pattern
  • Pain when standing on 1 leg
  • Pain when turning or twisting
  • Pain in hips when rolling in bed
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the car
  • Clicking/clunking sounds from the pelvis
  • Pain when opening your legs
  • Shooting pain down the inner thigh   
  • Sharp fleeting pain especially on rising up from sitting in a chair – felt on either side of the back of the pelvis (pain can switch sides easily)
  • Shooting pains into the buttocks or down the back of the legs to the knee
  • Pain when lying on your back and side without support between the knees
  • One sided pain concentrated in the buttocks area.


Some women do not experience this pain…. others do. Why? We do not know.

What we do know: as your abdomen, skin, muscles and ligaments all stretch to accommodate as your bubba grows, weight is distributed to your back and pelvis. This occurs with the production of the hormone relaxin allowing relaxation and easier stretching of the ligaments, tendons and muscles. This allows your body and pelvis to change and expand with the growth of your bubba. Over time, core strength is weakened and various postural compensations kick in. This keeps you moving upright while pregnant!

What we don’t know: is why for some women, this process causes great pain in the back and pelvic region.
preg ladies 3


I got very friendly with my osteos and my fit ball! I got regular treatment and did pilates to strengthen my core and relieve my pain. Did it help? Sure did! I managed to keep exercising until 42 weeks… (yes, that was not a typo) although, what exercises I could do changed weekly. That was where my treating osteos advice really helped to adjust my program and keep it very personal to my needs. I also wore a pregnancy belt and used my fitball to do my exercises.


Would I do it again if I had pain for my next pregnancy? Absolutely!

Did I still have pain while looking after myself? Yes. The pain did not subside completely for me. Some women get full relief of their symptoms, I was not one of them. But my exercises and osteo treatments helped relieve my pains to get me through the next week.

My advice…. Talk to our osteopaths. Every pregnancy is a personal journey with different challenges. It is our job to get it right for you… chat to us and we can discuss the best direction to point you in.

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