Hormonal shifts help the fetus grow properly and prepare her for child birth. While this is expected and normal, there are times when hormones start functioning too early. This causes instability and pain.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, also known as SPD, is a common painful condition associated with pregnancy in which the ligaments responsible for holding the pelvic bones become too relaxed and stretchy. As a result, the symphysis pubis or the pelvic joint becomes unstable, causing moderate to severe pain. Women with symphysis pubis dysfunction during pregnancy often face major functional difficulties resulting in a considerable decrease in quality of life.1 Many women report mild to severe pain in the pubic region, groin, and inner aspect of the thigh, frequently accompanied by sacroiliac, low back, and suprapubic pain (pain above the groin and in the center of the lower stomach). Generally, pain is worst during standing activities, walking and when lifting one leg. PSD can also make sleeping difficult. Occasionally you may hear or feel a clicking or grinding sensation in the joint at your lower stomach.
Some signs of this dysfunction are:
A specialty trained Pelvic FloorPhysical Therapist can help minimize these symptoms and ensure that this issue does not continue beyond childbirth. After a comprehensive evaluation, physical therapy treatment may include soft tissue mobilization/massage, strengthening and stabilization exercises to improve support of the pelvic girdle, pelvic floor strengthening exercises, postural exercises, and education on body mechanics and strategies to minimize pain with activities of daily living.
The use of pelvic support belts to manage pelvic joint pain during pregnancy if often advocated clinically. The rationale for using belts to provide an external force that stabilizes the pelvic joints. These belts will only provide relief if the pelvic joints have been balanced by different manual techniques by the physical therapist, then applied. If your pelvic joints are not aligned, then the belt may increase or not change your symptoms.
Some ways to manage at home are:
Pregnancy is the ultimate strain on the body. A Specialty Trained Pelvic Health Physical Therapist can help make the experience a positive one.
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