The experience of women living with pelvic girdle pain and participation in activity after childbirth

Rosie Elkins-Bushnell, Paul Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pelvic girdle pain is a musculoskeletal condition associated with pregnancy that can continue long-term after childbirth. At the moment, there is limited information as to how to support women with this condition. The aim of this study was to explore the occupational difficulties that are experienced by women with pelvic girdle pain, and acquire an understanding as to how they participate in activity.

Five women experiencing pelvic girdle pain after childbirth were recruited purposively through a charity in the UK. A qualitative study drawing upon hermeneutic theory was conducted using semi-structured interviews. The data were then transcribed and analysed by way of thematic analysis.

Four themes emerged from the data including: activity affected by pelvic girdle pain; factors restricting participation in activity; factors promoting participation in activity; and the emotional impact of a change in participation.

This study highlights the broad range of activities that are affected by this condition, and the complex interplay between internal and external factors that can impact on participation. The findings may assist health professionals when considering ways of supporting women living with pelvic girdle pain after childbirth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, copyright © MA Healthcare, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see


  • Activities of daily living
  • Mothering
  • Pelvic girdle pain


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