Pelvic instability: Causes, symptoms and treatment



Do you ever have pain in your pelvis, lower back, or groin? Or feels like climbing stairs suddenly no longer nice? Chances are that you suffer from pelvic instability. An annoying or painful sensation in the region of the pelvis is especially common in pregnant women. How does pelvic instability develop, what symptoms can you experience and how do you reduce any complaints? In this blog we give explanations and tips if you suffer from pelvic instability. So that you can quickly get rid of your pregnancy can enjoy without complaints!


Did you know that more than 50% of women suffer from pelvic instability in pregnancy?


What is pelvic instability?

Actually, the word says it all; pelvic instability is instability of the pelvis, mainly during or after pregnancy. In the groin this is called called symphysiolysis. Symphysiolysis literally means splitting (lysis) of the connection (symphysis) between the two pubic bones. They do not actually split but the connective tissue becomes softer and more stretchy. Pregnancy has a significant impact on your body; you have hormone changes as your body prepares for a baby. During this process, the ligaments in the body become softer. This is normal, because a baby takes up space and with the eventual birth the pelvis has to be able to open and stretch. Nothing to worry about, but you want of course prevent you from getting complaints due to pelvic instability.


Pelvic instability sometimes becomes pelvic pain or symphysiolysis. These are other names for the same complaints.


What does the pelvis consist of?

Your pelvis consists of four bone parts (the sacrum, the tailbone and the left and right pelvic bones) which are connected to joints and ligaments. These joints are located at the bottom of the back, on both sides of the spine. Normally they move very little, so that back and pelvis are firmly connected to each other. The more flexible ligaments provide more room for movement for the joints and can thus cause instability. The pelvis sometimes becomes too unstable, so that it can no longer carry your body weight. Especially as you baby grows and pressure downwards from gravity. This can cause pain in the back of the pelvis or in the groin.




Causes pelvic instability

The biggest cause of pelvic instability is stretching the ligaments around the pelvis, in preparation for pregnancy. Most women experience problems around the 20th week of pregnancy, when the pregnancy hormone (relaxin) influences the changes. Pelvic instability can also occur after the childbirth, for example due to an unfavourable position of the baby, a challenging labour or a quick delivery. You can also suffer from pelvic instability due to an accident or sports injury (women & men). The symptoms are very similar.


Symptoms of pelvic instability

The symptoms of pelvic instability are not the same for everyone. Often you get tired faster and you have a nagging, sharp or burning pain. Sitting or lying in the same position for a long time is unpleasant. You can suffer from of the following symptoms:

  • Pelvic pain

  • Lower back pain

  • Pain in the lower abdomen

  • Pain in the thighs or groin

  • Pain around tailbone (coccyx)

  • Morning stiffness

  • Pain when walking

  • Pain when climbing stairs

  • Pain when turning over in bed

  • Pain and difficulty (unstable) when standing on one leg

  • Pain when starting to walk, after sitting for a long time

  • Pain with certain movements such as cycling or running


Most of the pain during pregnancy goes by itself about, but that can take months. Your body needs time to repair.


Treatment of pelvic instability

Pelvic instability is a natural process of your body. Low back pain or mild pelvic pain are complaints that often occur during pregnancy and disappear on their own after a few weeks. Sometimes it is recommended to use a use pelvic band to keep the pelvis in the correct position. Also it is important to do certain exercises. The most important thing is to have a balance between effort and relaxation. By resting, you recover faster. But too much rest is counterproductive, as it will weaken the pelvic muscles. Pay close attention to your posture. You can prevent or reduce complaints due to pelvic instability by standing upright. Many pregnant women lean backwards too much with their body, this puts a lot of pressure on the pelvis. Distribute your weight over both feet with the toes facing forward.


Did you know that you can be treated in all phases of your pregnancy? By a chiropractor? Even up to and including the due date. We use special techniques for this.


Tips for pelvic instability

  • Pay attention to your breathing while moving, try to breathe well.

  • Lie on your side while sleeping, possibly with a pillow between your legs.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable chair that you sit comfortably in.

  • Is climbing stairs difficult? Try to sit slowly down the stairs.

  • Avoid vacuuming and ironing for a long time, this is too heavy.

  • Don't sit with your legs crossed.

  • When getting out of bed, first roll on your side and stick your feet out of the bed. Then push your arms up and get up further.


Exercises for pelvic instability

By training the pelvic muscles, you prevent pelvic instability from getting worse is. It often also relieves pelvic and low back pain.


Exercise 1: Raising the pelvis

Lie on your back with bent knees and feet flat on the floor. Bring the pelvis slightly up and then down. Repeat this exercise for about 10 time.


Exercise 2: Lifting the thigh

Lie on your side and support your upper body with your arm. Lift your top leg up, tighten your pelvic floor muscles, and lower again. Repeat this exercise 10 times and then switch sides.


Exercise 3: Alternate stretching

Get on your hands and knees. Put your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles and pelvis and stretch your right arm and left leg. Hold this for a few seconds and switch sides. Do this 10 times.


Chiropractic and pelvic instability

Pregnant women with pelvic instability can greatly benefit from chiropractic. We aim stabilising the pelvis with chiropractic corrections, exercises and advice. A correct muscle balance around the pelvis is very important for a healthy pregnancy, birth and post-partum recovery.


Avant Garde Chiropractic is specialised in the treatment of pregnant women. Chiropractic is safe, comfortable and gentle during pregnancy. Would you like to know more about what chiropractic can do for pelvic instability? Would you like to reduce your complaints and have the most comfortable pregnancy possible? More energy? Then book an appointment for an initial consultation. You do not need a referral from the general practitioner (GP).

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