Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
SPD may occur with the release of relaxin throughout pregnancy, a hormone that results in increased flexibility. The ligaments that normally keep the pelvic bone aligned during pregnancy become relaxed and stretchy in preparation for labour & delivery. Sometimes relaxin loosens the ligaments before the baby is preparing for birth and this can cause pain in the pelvic joint.
Symptoms may be increased pain when walking or climbing stairs, getting dressed or in and out of a car and moving positions in bed. SPD pain can range from discomfort to severe pain that affects mobility.
The good news is that symptoms will disappear once the baby arrives.
Tips to ease the discomfort of SPD during pregnancy:
- Avoid heavy lifting and sit down while getting dressed
- Use a heating pad for not longer than 10 minutes (you don’t want to raise the baby’s temperature)
- Apply an ice pack to the pelvic area
- Stretching exercises that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic such as Kegels and pelvic tilts. Check with your health care provider to assure any stretch exercises are safe during pregnancy.
- Stay active but avoid any activities that cause pain.
- Rest as often as possible during the day.
Although Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction does not hurt the baby, it can make you more uncomfortable during pregnancy and labour and delivery may be more uncomfortable.
Chiropractic care can provide relief for SPD by addressing pelvic alignment.
Dr Natasha Hayden is a pediatric and prenatal chiropractor that is passionate about helping her community discover just how good their bodies are designed to feel, so they can do more of what they love.
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