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Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Owner of BodyRight Chartered Physiotherapy Sarah Plunkett answers your questions on Injury & Pain Management, Postural Problems, Women's Health and Core Strengthening.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Postby Bodyrightphysio » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:52 pm

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Posts: 174
If you suffer from Symphasis Pubic Dysfunction (also known as Pelvic Girdle Pain), you'll know how limiting and painful it is. The main symptoms are excruciating groin and pelvis pain on walking and turning which usually worsens as pregnancy progresses.

Its caused by a straining of the the Pubic Symphasis which becomes more flexible with the change of hormones during pregnancy and your growing baby. The good news is that most cases spontaneously resolve once baby is born. Some more good news is that physiotherapy treatment can help manage symptoms during pregnancy and help prevent the condition worsening.

Your Chartered Physiotherapist can also fit you for a pelvis support which can be really helpful, and they'll also teach you how to strengthen your own internal pelvis support: your core muscles and pelvic floor.

Its important to avoid activities that put strain on the pubic symphasis, avoiding strenuous exercise, prolonged standing, vacuum cleaning, stretching exercises and squatting. Try to do the following:

* Engage the pelvic floor muscles before performing any activity which might cause pain

* Sit down for tasks where possible (e.g. preparing food, ironing, dressing)
* Avoid lifting and carrying.
* Avoid stepping over things.
* Avoid straddle movements especially when weight bearing.
* Bend the knees and keep the legs 'glued together' when turning in bed and getting in and out of bed.
* Place a pillow between the legs when in bed or resting.
* Avoid twisting movements of the body.

If the pain is very severe, using elbow crutches will help take the weight off the pelvis and assist with mobility.

You should also talk to your Midwife or Obstetrician regarding your birth plan, as SPD does affect what postions you can use in labour.

Re: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Postby pixie71 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:43 pm

Posts: 29
I had this with my second pregnancy, and boy was it uncomfortable. I had a belt and sat down for nearly everything. I gave birth on my knees, leaning on the back of the bed and it was great, I would definitely recommend that position.

Re: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Postby Taylor5 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:19 pm

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Posts: 13827
I suffer with my sacrio iliac joints, i have trouble every month, when the joints move out of place and my hip rotates.... i would use most of the advice above, i find getting in and out of bed or the car the worst, i do sit when i iron and i sometimes have to use a support.

Its not nice at all, would you believe the only time it didnt give me too much trouble was when i was pregnant!!!
Great advice
Be strong be different!

Re: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Postby Sabbi » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 am

Posts: 8018
Very interesting topic and thanks to Bodyright for posting the information.

Its awful for the women who suffer with this but good to know they can get help for it. Sarah at Bodyright is lovely and if anyone has worries about this or any other physical pain as a result of pregnancy/birth you can contact her on T: 041 9843950 / M: 087 7986355 / Email: and she can advise.

Re: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Postby pookie2 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:05 pm

Posts: 632
Def not nice.

Was advised when travelling in car to sit on telephone directory or similar. Make it easier to swivel out of the car, keeping knees together etc. Sounds daft, but it does help...

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