You could have a Pelvic Instability.
This can be avoided and also addressed with specific pregnancy and post natal exercises. You do not need to be suffering from this condition during your pregnancy. It is avoidable!
What is Pelvic Instability?
Also known as SPD (symphysis pubic dysfunction), pelvic girdle pain, diastasis symphysis pain
Pelvis instability can be extremely painful or just mildly frustrating. It happens more commonly during pregnancy and post pregnancy due to the pregnancy hormones Progesterone and Relaxin.
These 2 hormones soften and loosen ligaments. This loosening of the ligaments needs to happen during pregnancy so you can give birth as it widens your hips. This is how the problems arise.
You have 2 joints in your pelvis. The Sacroiliac Joint in the centre of your pelvis and at the bottom of the pelvis is your Symphysis Pubis Joint. Muscles and Ligaments cross these joints.
Your pregnancy hormones cause the ligaments to loosen which makes them longer and weaker it also make the joints become unstable in your pelvis.
A small amount of movement is ok but too much movement causes increased pelvis instability which then leads to aches and pain.
Instability in the sacroiliac joint or the symphysis pubic joint can cause either SPD, sciatic pain or both. You can feel a number of pains and symptoms associated with Pelvis Instability:-
• Pain at the symphsis pubis joint- can feel like a hot poker type of pain
• Pain in the groin which radiates into your adductors (inner thigh muscles)
• Pain whilst walking and you can start to waddle during your 2nd Tri-mester
• Increased pain standing on one leg
• Pain and aches around your hip and lower back
Is this Avoidable and how can I avoid this?
With corrective exercise and good pregnancy posture you can help minimize pelvic instability.
Increased Pelvic instability is caused by weaknesses in your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles; these are your hip stabilizing muscles. Many women suffer from weak ‘glute’ muscles as we just don’t use them! We sit down on them for long periods, have poor posture and adopt standing and seated positions along with carrying young children incorrectly which all increase muscle imbalances!
If you can increase the strength in these 2 muscle groups it will reduce the chances of developing lower back and hip pains associated with pelvic instabilities during your pregnancy and beyond. Strengthening the muscles at any stage during your pregnancy will be of great benefit. These exercises should also be performed post pregnancy to avoid pelvic instability post birth.
I advise and program the corrective exercises you should be doing during your pregnancy and beyond in the on-line Pregnancy and Post Natal exercise programs that I sell on-line at http://pregnancyexercise.co.nz
Here are a some examples of exercises and stretches you need to do to reduce and prevent hip and lower back pain and discomfort:-
Stretch: I.T Band(illiotibial band)/ T.F.L (Tensor fasciae latae)/Quadriceps- These muscle groups are normally dominant and need to be stretched prior to strengthening the gluteus medius muscle to increase activation in the weakened muscle:
Side Lying leg lift:
Strengthens Gluteus Medius performed properly this is a great exercise. It is important that you feel the correct muscle engage and you don’t dominate the exercise using your quadriceps muscles (thigh muscles) Keep your pelvis vertival, avoid leaning back, try to keep your body straight. Take the leg back slightly placing your hand on the muscle you are trying to activate (gluteus medius). Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 lifts
Ballerina’s: Exercise to increase functional hip stability, increases gluteus medius and gluteus maximus strength. This is an advanced exercise and not done during the first stages of re-hab
Swiss ball glute Bridge: Increases glute strength do this during your 1st and 2nd Tri-mesters you should not feel this exercise in your lower back . Concentrate on pushing through your heels to engage your muscles correctly. Aim to do 2-3 sets of 10 reps
I have a full program guide and exercise description of these exercises and many more on my face book page:Pregnancy Exercise and all these exercises are included in the Pregnancy Exercise Programs available at http://pregnancyexercise.co.nz
Poor Gluteus medius activation
If you have pain then you need to avoid lunges and walking until you have good muscle activation and hip control or avoid these exercises until post pregnancy. You still need to do the hip stabilizing exercises post birth before a walking program commences.
Exercise you can still do and enjoy with pelvic instability and discomfort that will not increase pain are cycling and swimming and you can do re-habilitation exercises 3-5 times a week along with a specific pregnancy or post natal exercise program
Positions that should be avoided:-
• Sitting with crossed legs-this increases a muscle imbalance and a weakness in the gluteus medius muscle
• Standing on one hip- again increases hip separation
• Carrying young children on one hip-as above-try to carry in the centre of your body and if you have to carry on one hip try to make sure that your hip bones are level
• Sleeping with no pillow support in-between your knees -read my article on sleeping positions during pregnancy for the best sleeping position to avoid hip instability: http://pregnancyexercise.co.nz/information/pregnancy/better-sleeping-positions-for-pregnancy
Purchase a Pre & Post Natal Exclusive Video Link For Just $9.99nz
A 20min exercise video that shows you the exercise program you need to follow to reducle lower back and hip pain pre and post pregnancy:
Pre and Post Pregnancy Exercise Programs are also available to purchase from my website.
If you have any questions about this article please comment or Post on facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pregnancyexercise
Visit my website; http://pregnancyexercise.co.nz Email:Lorraine@pregnancyexercise.co.nz
If you feel any pain or discomfort whilst exercising, stop. If pain continues consult you L.M.C or G.P. The information included in this article has been written by Lorraine Scapens: She is not able to provide you with medical advice the information is used as guidelines. You cannot hold Lorraine liable in any way for any injuries that may occur whilst training.