By Dr. Brittany Rush, DC
Getting pain in the front of your pelvis can be a little scary. Everybody talks about their aches and pains in their feet, or their back after a long day at work, but rarely do you hear about pain in the front of your friend’s pelvis after they go for a walk or climb the stairs. So what’s going on and what can you do to help it?
If you have anterior pelvic pain while rolling over in bed, climbing the stairs, walking, running, or standing on one leg, your pain is probably mechanical in origin. This means it’s the joints, muscles, and possibly even your ligaments that are the source of your pain. If the pain is mechanical, you may feel pain in your pubic area and in your low back and often times the pain will radiate or travel into your groin or leg.
Mechanical groin pain can be provoked by several activities including: walking or running on uneven surfaces, pregnancy, and muscle imbalances. This is why athletes (especially runners and soccer players) and pregnant women are more prone to pain in the front of the pelvis over other groups of people.
To better understand what’s going on, let’s look at anatomy. The pelvis has 3 joints: 2 in the back and one in the front. The joint in the front has a disc to cushion where the two pubic bones meet. There are several muscles that attach to the pubic bones and to the pelvic bones in the back. If these muscles become unbalanced it can pull one of the three joints out of place which puts extra stress on the remaining two joints. Think of a tight muscle acting like a string on a marionette puppet that won’t release, it pulls on a joint and causes dysfunction. This also leads to hip pain, typically on the same side.
For athletes: running on an uneven surface can jar a joint out of place which can tighten the muscles around it to act like a brace to protect the area. Joints that aren’t moving properly and muscles that are tight or in spasm can cause the mechanical pain that you are experiencing.
For pregnant women: the natural progression through pregnancy shifts your center of gravity forward. This is largely due to the increase in weight of your growing baby. As your body compensates for this added weight, it puts more stress on your low back and pelvis. It also throws your muscles off balance around your pelvis. Because of these natural changes, 1 in every 4 pregnant women experience pelvic pain.
For others: you don’t have to be an athlete or pregnant to have pelvic pain. Dysfunction in one of the two joints in the back of the pelvis can cause dysfunction of the joint in the front of the pelvis. This means your low back pain can be the cause of pelvic pain in the groin area. Remember, the body is a funny thing and you don’t have to have pain to have dysfunction, so even if you don’t have low back pain, your low back could still be contributing to your groin pain.
Chiropractors are like the auto mechanics for your body which make us experts to help you with your mechanical pelvic pain. Our job is to restore the motion in your joints, reduce nerve interference, calm the tight muscles, and rehab your body using exercises to keep your body balanced. Here at Spinal & Sports Care we use a variety of low force adjustments that are comfortable and effective, and your care plan will be tailored to your specific needs to target your problem areas. Don’t wait to get help, life is too short to be in pain.