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Posted: September 15th, 2023

Effectiveness of Alternative Therapies for the Management of Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Girdle Syndrome (PGPS)

Effectiveness of Alternative Therapies for the Management of Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Girdle Syndrome (PGPS)

Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle syndrome (PGPS) is a condition that affects many women during and after pregnancy. It causes pain and disability in the lower back and pelvic region, affecting daily activities and quality of life. PGPS can have various causes, such as hormonal changes, biomechanical stress, joint instability, muscle weakness, or inflammation. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may persist for months or years after delivery.

There are different types of treatments available for PGPS, such as medication, exercise, physiotherapy, manual therapy, or surgery. However, some women may prefer to use alternative therapies that are less invasive, more natural, or more holistic. Alternative therapies are methods of healing that are not part of conventional medicine, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, or herbal remedies. Some alternative therapies may have scientific evidence to support their effectiveness, while others may rely on anecdotal reports or personal beliefs.

In this article, we will review some of the alternative therapies that have been studied for the management of PGPS, and discuss their benefits, risks, and limitations. We will also provide some practical tips on how to choose and use alternative therapies safely and effectively.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy (qi) and restore balance. Acupuncture is believed to have various effects on the body, such as reducing pain, inflammation, muscle tension, and stress.

Acupuncture has been widely used for the treatment of various musculoskeletal conditions, including PGPS. Several studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce pain and disability in women with PGPS during and after pregnancy [1-3]. Acupuncture may also improve mood and sleep quality in pregnant women with PGPS [4].

Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe when performed by a qualified practitioner who follows proper hygiene and sterilization procedures. However, some risks and side effects may occur, such as bleeding, bruising, infection, nerve damage, or allergic reactions. Acupuncture should be avoided in certain situations, such as when there is a risk of bleeding (e.g., low platelet count), infection (e.g., hepatitis), or miscarriage (e.g., first trimester). Acupuncture should also be used with caution in women who have pacemakers or other electrical devices implanted in their body.

If you are interested in trying acupuncture for PGPS, you should consult your doctor first to make sure it is safe and appropriate for you. You should also find a licensed acupuncturist who has experience in treating pregnant women with PGPS. You should inform your acupuncturist about your medical history, medications, allergies, and pregnancy status. You should also ask about the frequency, duration, and cost of the treatment sessions.

Massage

Massage is a manual therapy technique that involves applying pressure and movement to the soft tissues of the body to improve blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, muscle relaxation, and pain relief. Massage can also have psychological benefits,
such as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Massage has been used for centuries to treat various health problems, including PGPS. Several studies have shown that massage can reduce pain and disability in women with PGPS during and after pregnancy [5-7]. Massage may also improve mood and sleep quality in pregnant women with PGPS [8].

Massage is generally considered to be safe when performed by a trained therapist who follows proper hygiene and safety guidelines. However, some risks and side effects may occur, such as soreness, bruising, swelling, or allergic reactions. Massage should be avoided in certain situations, such as when there is a risk of bleeding (e.g., low platelet count), infection (e.g., skin lesions), or preterm labor (e.g., contractions). Massage should also be modified according to the stage of pregnancy and the specific needs of each woman.

If you are interested in trying massage for PGPS, you should consult your doctor first to make sure it is safe and appropriate for you. You should also find a certified massage therapist who has experience in treating pregnant women with PGPS. You should inform your massage therapist about your medical history,
medications,
allergies,
and pregnancy status.
You should also ask about the type,
intensity,
duration,
and cost of the massage sessions.

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