Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
September 22, 2011
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) is a condition where the joints in the pelvis are unstable and hurt. The pelvis is a ring of bones. When one of the joints in the pelvis becomes stiff or stuck, others compensate by moving excessively. This causes pain and discomfort, particularly in pregnancy because the joints and ligaments are already lax from the effects of pregnancy hormones.
SPD affects all ages of women. It can occur during or after pregnancy or after childbirth.
Diagnosis of SPD is from assessing symptoms and evaluating other conditions. There are no tests to determine whether or not you have SPD. X-rays, MRIs and other tests can rule out diastasis of the symphysis, which is an actual separation of the symphysis pubis.
Symptoms of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
- Difficulty walking and doing normal activities due to pain and instability of the joints.
- Pain in the front and/or back of the pelvis and possibly in the groin, legs, back and pubic bone.
Tips to Help Recovery from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
- Keep your legs together to help avoid greater stress, pain and damage.
- Keep your body symmetrical when you move, sit, stand or lie down. Carry weight equally in both hands and carry babies in front, not on a hip.
- Avoid twisting movements.
- Avoid lifting.
- Allow the joints to heal while remaining as active as possible and regaining your strength and stability.
- Plan and think about how you can make tasks easier
- Get help if you can.
- Wear a pregnancy support belt.
- Get acupuncture treatments, chiropractic treatments, or physical therapy.
Exercises Which Have Been Proven to Aid Recovery from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
To be performed 3 times a day:
- Abdominal stabilization- sitting with your feet resting on the floor, gently pull in your lower abdominal muscles as if you are hugging your baby. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times, continuing to breathe normally.
- Pelvic floor- sitting tall, squeeze to close around your openings. Lift and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times, breathing normally throughout.
- Gluteus maximus muscle- while sitting or standing, squeeze your buttocks together. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
- Latissimus dorsi- sit on a chair in front of a table or a closed door. Grasp the door handle or table with both hands and pull toward you. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
- Hip adductor muscles- sitting down, put your fist or a rolled towel between your knees. Squeeze your knees together. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.