Posterior Pelvic Pain

It’s 630am.  My husband and son are enjoying this beautiful scenery and weather as I sit alone in our hotel room.  It’s not where I want to be.  But, unfortunately, I am in a good amount of pain and am  having trouble walking.

Let me backtrack a moment.  I began feeling some discomfort in my lower back / right buttock area Monday afternoon.  I tried to keep off my feet as much as I could for the rest of the day.  I attributed it to a busy morning with my son which required me to hold him much more than I have been (with clothes and shoes he is about 30 pounds).

I woke up Tuesday and felt good so decided to go for a run.  The pain re-emerged within minutes of beginning the run but I was hard-headed and convinced myself that it was probably normal pregnancy aches and pains and so I kept running.  Sometime around 10 minutes in, the pain had dulled and I ended up running a slow 7.5 miles.  I felt *okay* the whole run – not great but not terrible either.  The instant I stopped running, the pain returned – but was a HUNDRED times worse.

I had a hard time even just walking into the house.  For the rest of the day/night, I hobbled around – literally taking one slow step at a time. The pain is just on my right side – just below my back/above my buttock.  It hurts to twist, walk, lean over, and especially when I try to walk up/down the stairs.  The timing, of course, was terrible as we flew yesterday and I had to walk a good amount in the airport.

I did some research last night and believe what I have is called Posterior Pelvic Pain (PPP) – a VERY common occurrence in pregnant women (we are 4x as likely to experience PPP than lumbar pain. (Note: I plan on calling my midwife today in order to confirm with her that this is what I really have.)

Source: www.coreconcepts.com

What is PPP?  (Sources: Core Concepts and Spine Health)

  • Also known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
  • Posterior pelvic pain arises from sacroiliac joint dysfunction, in other words, when the stability of SIJ is compromised.
  • The pain is typically felt below and to the side at the waistline, and/or below the waistline on either side across the tailbone (sacrum). Such pregnancy pelvic pain may be experienced on one or both sides.
  • The pain is typically worse with standing, walking, climbing stairs, resting on one leg, getting in and out of a low chair, rolling over and twisting in bed, and lifting. The pain improved when lying down.

Common Causes of PPP (Source: Spine Health)

  • Walking and running
  • Rolling over in bed
  • Bending forward
  • Twisting
  • Lifting
  • Navigating stairs.

The worst part of PPP?

The pain does not quickly resolve with rest, and morning stiffness may also be present. (Source: Spine Health)

I have NO idea if I actually have PPP.  However, based on my symptoms, it sounds like I may have developed it.  There isn’t much information in terms of remedies (other than seeing a physical therapist and/or chiropractor after delivery), so I’m hoping to throw out the question to see if anyone has experienced this before.

Did you develop PPP when you were pregnant (or know someone who did)?  
Do my symptoms sound like PPP?
Did the pain go away during pregnancy or did it last throughout the entire pregnancy?  
Have any good recommendations on home remedies? 

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    44 thoughts on “Posterior Pelvic Pain

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    2. A broad range of techniques are used to locate, analyze and gently correct vertebral misalignments (subluxations) in the spine. Chiropractors may use manual adjustment, electrical muscular stimulation, ultrasound or massage. But they never use pharmaceutical drugs or invasive surgery. Chiropractic is a natural method of healing that stimulates the body’s communication system to work more effectively to initiate, control and coordinate the various functions of the cells, organs and systems of the body.
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    9. +1 on seeing a chiro! I’ve had a lot of SI joint pain and problems pop up post pardum after my daughter and seeing a chiro has saved me! I don’t think you should give up on running for the rest of your pregnancy either, take some time off, see a chiro, and see how it goes, the way my chiro explains it, if your pelvis/hips are out of alignment then it throws everything else off, but with an adjustment or two, + possibly some ART to loosen any muscles that have been aggrivated by things, and it makes a world of difference. Good luck!!

    10. Hi friend!
      I’ve never been preggers, but know lots about what you’re experiencing (school, training, etc.). I have sent friends & clients to a chiro I love with great results. He’s in Manhattan (no help to you at all) but if you ever want his info, don’t hesitate to ask. He’s the best and I trust him implicitly. Hope you feel better soon! Hang in there.
      :) Abby
      Abby recently posted..WingsMy Profile

    11. I had the exact same thing when I was about 30 weeks along with my son. I desperately called a chiro and begged him to see me that day…even offering to pay double! After three visits, I was back running again….and ran throughout my pregnancy. I never had any pain again……and have maintained my visits to the chiro twice a month! My son is now two and my daughter is 5 months, and I am happy to report NO PAIN! My advice is…find a good chiro who is skilled in pre-natal care…..your body will thank you!

    12. Hey Michele! So discouraging! I had SI joint pain from 36 weeks to 2 weeks postpartum (delivered at 38.5 thank God). It developed mostly from always lying on my left side. I was a figure skater so always had a loose pelvis. I’m a PT too and honestly agree that if it is an alignment issue a chiropractor will help provide relief. Honestly, for me, walking hurt more than running. But, I had to be realistic and decided to switch to cycling. It was a heart breaking two weeks so I can only imagine how it feels to be considering this with 10 weeks to go! I never used a pelvic support brace or a belly band so check that out for sure and definitely find a good pregnancy chiro! Wish you the best, and feel free to shed some tears…it’s so tough!

    13. Doh – sorry! I posted that comment before I was done! Anyway my last point I wanted to make was that the relaxin stays in your system while you are nursing, so seeing the chiro while training and asking so much of your body is really good. Also — Pilates really really really helped and continues to help me a great deal with this kind of stuff and much of it is very safe to do while still pregnant!
      You are going to be fine – I know this is so hard and I hate that you’re going through it. But I also know you will get through it because I did and I am stronger now than I have ever been. And I know you will be too!!! xxxxoooo
      Jessica recently posted..Running Long in the HeatMy Profile

    14. Oh my goodness Michele I know exactly how you are feeling! I experienced this for the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Gus. It was terrible. It hurt and I was practically immobilized and just wanted to cry (and did). I went passed my due date (by a week!) and the day my doctor told me he wanted to induce me I was so grateful (and I really preferred not to be induced since I wasn’t with the other two, but enough was enough). I was unable to see a chirp but I did talk to one and he gave me exercises to do which helped somewhat. After he was born I immediately felt SO much better, but when I started running postpartum things really felt out of whack. I started seeing my chiro 4 weeks postpartum and it was the best decision I could have made. Gus is 17 months old now and I see my chiro about once a month during marathon training just to keep things in check. While I trained for three marathons and improved my time by more than an hour as a nursing mom, Visits to my chiro kept everything in check. The relaxin in your system keeps your joints “loosey goosey
      Jessica recently posted..Running Long in the HeatMy Profile

    15. Oh! I am glad to hear that my comment was helpful! I only hope that we have the same thing so that you will have the same wonderful results! :) Just like with lots of other pregnancy related things for me – running seems to do me good and not the reverse :) I mean, yesterday I could barely hobble around the house, and my hips hurt as well because the chiropractor didn’t adjust them this week but only straightened my pelvis a bit – he was overly cautious about adjusting them this far in to things! And then today while running my hips were fine. Anyway – hope the chiro is able to help you!! :)
      Coreyanne Armstrong recently posted..Running to the Starting Line…My Profile

        • I think I’m pretty much done running now (at 35 weeks). I made it to 38 weeks with the 1st pregnancy. Sigh, oh well. Long walks it is =)

          Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and #2. Our two are spaced about the same =)
          Lindsey recently posted..Run/WalkMy Profile

    16. Well I hope everything is ok! Def call the midwife and see what she says. Hopefully it’s something that’ll go away fast. Just keep off those feet, use this as an excuse to relax and get pampered 😉

    17. Hey Miche, I had something similar earlier on this time. In fact my right side felt almost numb to above my knee/hamstring area. I began seeing my chiropractor, focused on carrying Brance on the left side of my body and stepped up my pre-natal yoga. All made a difference and I’m feeling much better. Keep me updated!!!

      • Blair, thank you for this!! I really only carry AJ on my right side – which is where I’m having the pain. I’m sure that is only exacerbating the problem. Glad to hear that you are feeling better!! Pregnancy is SO different when there is a toddler to chase after. Lol
        Michele @nycrunningmama recently posted..Posterior Pelvic PainMy Profile

    18. I also had this during my last pregnancy. Two things really helped: first I went to a chriopractor for the first time ever in my life and a couple of treatments made a huge difference. 2nd I bought a “pregnancy support belt” but instead of wearing it up hight to support my belly I wore it lower and tight around my hips to lessen movement in my pelvis. I also had a great deal of pubic symphysis pain and this help with that and my SI joint pain.

      I hope you can get this fixed!!

    19. I have had this with all six pregnancies, I believe, and it is what drove me to chiropractor for the first time – with my third pregnancy. I just kind of bore it for the first two, but I think it sets in sooner and gets worse each time. Most chiropractors don’t let you just walk in for an adjustment – a lot of them want you on a plan and want to get your whole spine healthy, etc. It can cost a lot of money. I think I was about 5 months along, though, with my third when I first went in, and from that visit on had pain for one more day between those first two visits and then only had it again when I was away from the chiropractor for a two week visit to Alaska (and with the long flights and car trips it was horrible that whole trip.) Once I returned home and was back into the chiro every week that kept it under control until I delivered, and then it was completely GONE after delivery. I maintained my “spinal health” by going once a month still, but I never had the pain again. It’s always my left hip/buttocks, and occasionally my right. With the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th (there was a miscarriage in there between kids 4 and 5) pregnancies the pain would start in around two weeks after a positive pregnancy test — because it’s not just the baby’s weight and position that bring it on (like they do later in a pregnancy), but it’s the movement of the joint due to the relaxin. I think that because my body gets more efficient at being pregnant each time, the relaxin kicks in and my joints start moving as soon as I’m pregnant. So anyway – sorry for the long story, but I have done NOTHING for the problem (maybe a little stretching here and there) – haven’t had to stop running or anything – except go for regular chiropractic adjustments, so I swear by that. With pregnancies number 5 and 6 I had been going to the same chiro for a while, having been in Hawaii for a while already, so I was able to just ramp up the visits and get it under control quickly. Pregnancies number 4 and 7 I have just moved to new places and have had to go in and be seen just for this issue – so often that has meant more frequent visits (2-3 times a week), but it’s totally worth it. When I’m not pregnant I occasional have this kind of pain, but only after sitting for looooooooong periods – like 13 hour roadtrips or 8 hour flights. For the most part, though, absolutely no trouble when I’m not pregnant. Hope this helps some!! :)
      Coreyanne Armstrong recently posted..Running to the Starting Line…My Profile

      • Oh Coreyanne! I am literally crying reading this. Thank you thank you thank you!! I am SO relieved to hear that you are still running despite having this pain. NOTHING that I read even mentioned continuing walking, let alone running. For the past 36 hours or so, the only 2 thoughts in my mind has been “How am I going to take care of my son for the next 10 weeks?” and “How am I going to go without running for 10 weeks?!?”. Obviously the first one is the most important one. I’d rather just be well enough to chase after him and if it means no running, so be it. I’m just kicking myself for finishing that run yesterday. Ughh. Definitely going to find a chiro that will see me and get in for an appt ASAP.
        Seriously thank you – you have given me so much hope =)

    20. I’m in week 36 of my pregnancy, and something like what you describe recently showed up for me. It isn’t quite as bad as all of those symptoms above, AND mine is a lot like what I experienced before pregnancy when my training was extremely intense, so I have no idea if mine is PPP or not.

      However, I have mostly nipped it in the bud and that is with my foam roller, my husband massaging all around the area (upper back and lower back, and the sides), and stretching (usually the butterfly stretch, changed up to get all the areas I want to stretch).

      This has helped a TON and in 3 days it has subsided considerably. I’ve stopped running for about a week, although that is due to my pregnancy more than the pain, although I am doing a lot of walking, pilates, weights and swimming. OH! Swimming made a HUGE difference as well! I forgot that one.

      Anyway, I am not sure if I have PPP or something like it, but that is what I did and it is so much better. I sure hope you find relief soon!
      Jane recently posted..ChanceMy Profile

    21. So sorry. I didn’t have it when j was pregnant but had something similar a few years back. I ended up seeing a chiropractor (which I still see) and it was all SI joint related. Stretching helped as well as a foam roller. Also found ice packs on the low back were awesome. Hope this passes soon.

    22. I’m pretty sure I had just that with my first pregnancy. I never really got a diagnosis, but it sounds like it. I found a chiropractor who would work with a pregnant woman and he fixed me after just a couple of visits. Maybe you could find relief that way or through massage? Acupuncture? Good luck and feel better!!
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    23. Ugh!!! I didn’t have this with Em but it doesn’t sound fun! I definitely don’t do the miles now that you are so I don’t have it just yet! Good luck on getting it all figured out! I hope it feels much better soon!!
      Fancy Nancy recently posted..Almost Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    24. So funny you posted this – I was going to email you to see if you had experienced it!

      I am almost 19 weeks and get it after I run. I feel very stiff and it takes awhile for it to go away, although it does. I have noticed that my hamstrings and IT band are both very tight, so I’m trying to roll and stretch more to see if that helps. But I’m also getting a lot of round ligament pain, so maybe it’s just a lot of growth right now. It stinks because I feel good other than that and it’s been nice to run a relatively normal pace.

      I’ll be interested to find out what else you discover. Thanks for posting!
      Victoria @ Running Peanut recently posted..We’re So Vain – or are We?My Profile

    25. Oh, I am so sorry!! I had the same thing happen to me at 35 weeks. I went for a run, felt a dull pain. At first I thought I strained something picking up my 2 year old but after a week of pain, I finally went to my doctor and a physical therapist and they diagnosed it as SI joint point. Now, at 37 weeks, it still hurts, especially when trying to care for my two year old when I am on my feet ALOT. My therapist recommended some stability work (you can read them on my blog). I hope you find some relief. So far, stretching, icing, have helped but still I don’t think it will ease up until post baby. If you find any more info on things that help out, please post or let me know!

      • sorry, forgot to add but this does sound like PPP (or what my therapist called) SI joint pain. She said with your hips expanding due to hormones (relaxin), it is very easy to develop before and right after you have the baby.
        stephanie recently posted..Full TERM!My Profile

    26. I had horrible back pain during my second pregnancy. I don’t know if it was PPP so much as baby resting in a way that tweaked my sciatic nerve. There were days I could barely walk and stairs were the worst! I did lots of stretching and switched to riding the stationary bike because running got to be too painful. I hope you get your answers and feel better soon!
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