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The Gist

Pain in one or more of the joints in the pelvis is considered pelvic girdle pain. The pelvic girdle consists of the bones and joints that make up the pelvis. The pelvis has 3 main joints, the pubic symphysis in the front and 2 sacroiliac joints in the back where the pelvis meets the sacrum. The main functions of the pelvic girdle are to support organs, connect the trunk to the legs, and to maintain balance and load transfer during most activities.

The shape of the pelvis changes during pregnancy. It typically widens and the joints become looser due to hormonal changes. Changes in the shape and stability of the pelvis can lead to pelvic girdle pain.

Learn more about the different types of pelvic girdle pain: sacroiliac joint dysfunction and symphysis pubis dysfunction.

Additional Reading and Sources

Stuge, Britt, et al. "The Efficacy of a Treatment Program Focusing on Specific Stabilizing Exercises for Pelvic Girdle Pain after Pregnancy: a Randomized Controlled Trial." Spine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Feb. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15094530

Fisher, Michael. "Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Pelvic Joints." StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Feb. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538523/

R. Keriakos, S. R. Chaudhuri Bhatta, F. Morris, S. Mason & S. Buckley (2011) Pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and puerperium, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 31:7, 572-580, DOI: 10.3109/01443615.2011.598970, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/01443615.2011.598970?journalCode=ijog20

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