During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to experience a feeling of tightness in the pubic area. Léa Taillade, osteopath, tells us what pubalgia is and how to relieve it in pregnant women.
What is pubalgia?
“As the name suggests, pubalgia is a pain in the pubic rami. (commonly called the pubic bone), ie in the bones that form the front part of the pelvis.”, explains Lea Taillade. However, pubalgia is very common in athletes, especially footballers and fencers it often affects expectant mothers as well. “The pain can be localized directly at the level of one of the two pubic rami, or at the junction between the two bony rami (the so-called pubic symphysis), or at the level of the tendon insertions, which represent the tendons of the adductors (downwards). and abs (top).“, adds the osteopath. It also happens that pubalgia is accompanied by referred pain in the adductors and, following the alignment of the abdominal muscles, ascends to the lower abdomen (the suprapubic area). In pregnant women, pubalgia can also be caused by ligament pain, which is also very common during pregnancy.
Why do I have pubic and adductor pain during pregnancy?
When not pregnant, the tension in the muscles that attach to the pubic rami is balanced and this area is not painful. “More in pregnant women, the change in back curvature and enlargement of the abdomen increase the tension in the abdominal muscles and ligaments of the organs of the small pelvis, which will alter the balance and mobility of the pelvic bones.”, explains the specialist. As the pregnancy progresses, the symptoms will obviously increase. In addition, depending on the morphology and development of the uterus during pregnancy (e.g. very low or very far forward), this can add mechanical weight restraint directly on the pubic rami.
When Does Pubalgia Occur During Pregnancy?
It’s also classic from the 6th/7th month of pregnancy that the woman can develop pubalgia, although it occurs earlier in some expectant mothers. “Beginning in the 3rd trimester, the increased lumbar arch and pelvic tilt result in a change in gait and slight external rotation of the lower extremities, forcing the adductors to do more work while walking..”, she adds.
Fortunately, if pubalgia can be very painful, sometimes to the point of making it difficult to walk, there are ways to relieve it! The first thing to do is of course rest and reduce long walks and activities that require standing for too long. “Gentle stretching, yoga, swimming or general water activity, wearing a pregnancy belt, manual therapy (osteopathy, physiotherapy, etc.) are also very useful to relieve pubic pain‘ adds Lea Taillade.
As the osteopath observes, Pregnancy is sometimes synonymous with quitting sports and lack of exercise, which can also promote pain of this type. We can never say it enough, it’s important to move even during pregnancy! Of course, the exercises and physical activity must be adapted to the state of health of the expectant mother and her abilities. For pregnant women who have never exercised before, it is therefore useless to practice it intensively during pregnancy. but Walking, gentle gymnastics, swimming can be very beneficial.
Pubalgia in pregnancy: osteopathy to relieve symptoms?
It is always a good idea to consult an osteopath during pregnancy as they will test the mobility of the entire body taking into account the patient’s history and the morphological and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. Manipulations that can be done up to the end of the 3rd trimester and of course adjusted to the term and possible complications of pregnancy. “These gentle manipulations are aimed at reducing muscle tension exerted on the pelvis and restoring mobility to restricted areas through various levers.s (muscles, fascia, ligaments, joints, intestines).“, explains the osteopath. “Osteopathy combined with advice adapted to the woman, her physical condition, her work and her daily life can allow her to reduce her pain and improve her well-being until the end of pregnancy..” she concludes.
Thanks to Léa Taillade, osteopath.