Pelvic Girdle Pain

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) can result in pain in the lower back, tailbone, side or back of thighs, groin, and pubic bone area. This article explains what PGP is and ways to treat it.

This post was written by Agnes Budyn, Registered Physiotherapist with special interest in Pelvic Health.


What is Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)?

  • PGP is pelvic pain/instability that often occurs during pregnancy and can linger on postpartum.
  • It involves the bones that make up your pelvis, held together by ligaments, muscles, and cartilage which relax and stretch in pregnancy.
  • As your belly grows the demands on your pelvis change, increasing the loads on the muscles and joints.
  • This can result in muscles that are tight, weak, or overworked, causing misalignment or asymmetry of the pelvis and subsequent pain.


What does it feel like?

  • PGP can be sharp, burning, or sore in and around the pelvic area.
  • Commonly affects the lower back, tailbone, side or back of thighs, groin, and pubic bone.
  • This can impact your daily activities such as turning in bed, standing/sitting for long time, bending, getting dressed, walking, using stairs amongst others.


Try performing these 2 movements to check for PGP:

  1. Lie flat on your back, with legs straight and try lifting 1 leg, 1-2 inches off the ground and lower back down. Then repeat with the other leg. Do you experience pain or difficulty lifting 1 leg versus the other? Use your hands to push your hips together as you attempt to lift again, 1 leg at a time. If you have PGP, pushing your hips together as you lift should make this movement feel easier or less painful.
  2. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat. Move your knees apart while keeping your feet together. Is it painful or uncomfortable? Does 1 side feel tighter than the other? If so, you may be experiencing PGP and should seek assessment from a pelvic health physiotherapist.


Ways to treat PGP:

  • Modify painful activities if possible: For example, if standing on 1 leg to get dressed is painful, try dressing while seated.
  • Watch your posture: try to sit or stand in a neutral posture, with your ribs stacked over your hips as much as possible.
  • See a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist to assess and treat muscle imbalances and postural changes!


The best way to diagnose and treat PGP is to get a proper assessment by a certified Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. A pelvic floor PT can assess the muscles and joints around your pelvis both internally and externally to determine what is contributing to your pain. Then provide you with appropriate manual therapy or pregnancy safe exercises to address the issue.


Agnes Budyn:

Agnes is a Registered Physiotherapist with a special interest in pelvic health.
Agnes sees patients in Toronto, ON at Vital Physiotherapy and from her home office in East York.

If you’d like to see Agnes for a physiotherapy session, you can contact her below:


Note: This post is for educational purposes only and does not replace medical advice or treatment from your healthcare provider. Always follow the advice of your primary care provider when making decisions about your health and well-being.

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