SPD: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
SPD is a common condition that can crop up during pregnancy or postpartum. I’ve seen a lot of this in my practice recently so wanted to talk about it!
What are the signs of SPD?
Pain is usually felt directly on the pubic bone or groin area and can be debilitating at times. Some people may notice a "clicking" in the pubic bone.
Movements that separate the legs are often very painful such as getting out of bed, walking, putting shoes on, going up and down stairs, getting out of seated positions, one-legged exercises, rolling over in bed, etc.
What causes it?
The hormone relaxin relaxes the joints and ligaments of the body during pregnancy, and as a result, sometimes the pelvis can become very unstable. An imbalance of muscles (too tight or too weak on one side) can also pull on the pelvis and cause stability issues and pain.
How can it be treated?
Chiropractic adjustments and pelvic floor PT are my top recommendations for SPD. I’ve had people hobble into my office with pain so severe they can barely move. Many people see a big reduction in pain and improved mobility after an adjustment.
Pelvic floor PT can help correct pelvic floor imbalances, which can also contribute to SPD.
What can be done to prevent SPD?
The best thing is to properly strengthen your glute, hips, and deep core prior to any symptoms arising.
If you’re already experiencing this pain, try to avoid aggravating activities and modify how you get out of bed or chairs. As your pain eases, gradually add in some mobility exercises and glute/hip and adductor (inner thigh) strengthening exercises.
A simple exercise such as squeezing a pillow or soft ball between the knees helps engage those inner thigh muscles used for pelvic stability.
P.S. This is not a substitute for medical advice. Please see your healthcare provider for individual guidance and specific recommendations!