Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy

I am writing today about Pelvic Pain in pregnancy, as a client of mine has been struggling with this for a while.

Specifically, I am thinking, as she mentioned to me, that it may be SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) It occurs when the symphysis pubis joint becomes sufficiently relaxed to allow significant 'gapping' or instability in the pelvic girdle.
SPD is a result of a combination of factors:
  • an altered pelvic load
  • hormonal and biochemical alterations causing ligament laxity and,
  • a weakening of pelvic and core musculature during pregnancy

You may have SPD if you have one or more of the following:

  • localised to your symphysis pubis, (see pic) including shooting, stabbing and burning pains, grinding and audible clicking sensations and/or persistent discomfort.
  • Pain radiating to lower abdomen, groin, perineum, thigh, leg and back
  • Difficulty in walking, climbing up or down stairs, rising up from a chair, impaired weight bearing activities, e.g. standing on one leg or lifting/parting the legs, turning in bed, getting out of the car

Here are some things pregnant women with SPD can do to minimize their discomfort.

Make a "nest" of pillows for a more restful sleep!
  • Avoid activities which cause discomfort, e.g. lifting, carrying, prolonged standing, walking and strenuous exercise

  • Rest more frequently in a position which is comfortable, such as:
    lying with your knees bent and supported
    lying on your side with a pillow between your knees
    sitting with your knees slightly apart
    avoid sitting with legs crossed.

  • Mild to moderate exercise, including abdominal wall and pelvic floor exercises, is acceptable.

  • Avoid straddling and squatting movements, which means moving with knees apart (hip abduction), when getting in and out of car.

  • Try to keep knees together, while
    getting in and out of bed.

  • When moving in bed, try to keep legs together particularly when moving from side to side.

  • Do not push with one foot as this will worsen the pain.

  • Push equally with both feet to move about the bed.
  • Adopt good posture, avoid bending and twisting.
  • If swimming, avoid the breast-stroke with the legs kicking outwards.
  • Ice packs can be used for five minutes at a time or an ice cube can be rubbed on the symphysis pubis for 20–30 seconds
Wear a maternity support belt for maximum stability.
The height of fashion, all the moms are wearing them!! :)

Most of this post material taken from:


treesrme said...

I just wanted to let you know that the suggestions for relief do help. After stabbing pain in the groin a couple of times one lears to be aware of what they are doing with their legs. The pillows realy help. In fact last night I took one of those memory-foam bed covers and folded it in half and put it on my side of our very hard bed. What a difference! I actually slept for a full 6 hours straight. This may not sound like a lot , but being 9 months, and with aching hips this was a blessing. Thanks again for the suggestions