Can I Exercise With Pelvic Pain?

Q: I am about 23 weeks pregnant and have been doing your pregnancy exercises up until a month ago. In the last month I started having pelvic pain. I also had this with my last two children, but not as early in the pregnancy.  It is especially noticeable when I use uneven weight distribution between my legs (leaning on one leg to get off the floor, etc).

I was wondering if I should continue your pregnancy exercises, or if you have any special exercises to help with pelvic pain, or “Symphysis Pubis Pain” as I have heard it called.

Your baby’s head rests – or should I say constantly burroughs – in the pelvic girdle. Especially as you near the end of your pregnancy. So it is important to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong.


A: First, know that you are not alone! Pelvic pain during pregnancy is somewhat normal, especially in consecutive pregnancies. But it is important you know the difference between pain and dysfunction. As you mentioned it could be SPP or SPD (Symphsis Pubis Dysfunction).

Second, I would advise you talk to your OB about it.  You might very well have SPD or SPP, and once we know that, we know how to modify.  Either way it is best to avoid certain moves and exercises. You should avoid the following:

-abductions (where the leg moves away from the body)

-uneven leg distribution, such as side squats

-moves where your feet are further than hip width apart

-or any move that causes pain or distributing the pelvis area unevenly, such as crossing your legs.

Third, it is important to keep working your core with the pelvic tilts, kegels and inner core moves.  Download our Prenatal & Postnatal Starter Pack for more info!

Exercises for Pelvic Pain during Pregnancy

During pregnancy your joints are less stable due to the relaxin running through your system. Relaxin is great for helping the pelvis and rib cage to expand to fit your growing baby. But it will also cause loose joint stability, and can lead to pelvic pain during pregnancy.

As long as you have established with your OB or a Physiotherapist that you do not have SPD (see below), you can use these pelvic floor exercises. It is important to strengthen your pelvic floor, abdominals, back and hip muscles.

Is it pain, pressure or Symphysis Pubis?

It is important that you know the difference between the pelvic pain, pressure and dysfunction. Pubic pain or pelvic pain, is common later in pregnancy. It can hinder the way you walk and exercise. But if you are feeling pressure, cramps, groin pain or a backache, you could be in the beginning stages of labor. If SPD is present you might hear a clicking noise when you move. All of these pains should be discussed with your OB.

What is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction?

SPD is a condition that can be almost debilitating to a pregnant woman and can produce symptoms months after delivery. The pain results from a separation of the symphysis pubis joint. To ease the symptoms, you should work the pelvic floor muscles. It is best that you work one-on-one with a medical professional, physical therapist or physiotherapist.

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