5 Strategies for Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) Pain Relief During Pregnancy
If you’ve experienced Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) during a pregnancy, you’d know it.
SPD is (essentially) the early spreading of your pelvic bones to prepare for baby. While this spreading is important for delivery, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction means relaxin (the hormone responsible for the relaxing/spreading of everything in your pregnant body) is doing its job ahead of time. (For more scientific/technical information about the condition, this article was incredibly helpful.)
For many women, including myself, this results in severe pelvic pain and can also cause severe back pain, too. Mine is specifically targeted to the pelvic joint or pubic bone – located squarely above your lady bits. I notice the worst pain comes when:
- Rolling over in bed at night
- Standing on one leg for any reason (e.g. standing up and putting on pants, standing on one foot at a time rather than with both feet equally, or moving something with one foot)
- Getting into and out of a vehicle
- On my feet or walking for an extended period of time (especially from the shifting back and forth from walking)
- After being on a flight
Since it’s nearly impossible to avoid all of these triggers, I’ve found the following gives me some relief and the ability to enjoy the rest of pregnancy a little more.
1. See a chiropractor
One of the best ways I’ve found to alleviate the SPD pain – and my OB agrees – is by regularly seeing a chiropractor during my pregnancy. Not only does she help adjust my back, hips, and alleviate round ligament pain, she’s been crucial with this SPD pain as it came on during the second trimester.
My chiropractor adjusts my pelvic area to keep the bones/ligaments from stretching too far and gives me enough relief until I see her the next week. So if you’re suffering, find yourself a good chiropractor! Better yet, find one (like mine) who specializes in prenatal care.
2. Ice, ice, baby!
Icing your pubic bone area for about 15 minutes every day also helps big time. Between the extra blood flow “down there” (in general) and the tender, stretching ligaments, the ice helps decrease swelling and pain immensely.
3. Stay off your feet
This one stinks because you want to be as active as possible during pregnancy, since you already have so many other things you can’t do. (Luckily, I can still do certain exercises that don’t affect my SPD.)
However, I’ve found that walking as little as possible, avoiding stairs whenever possible, and keeping my feet up whenever I can makes a huge difference to how bad my pelvic pain is by the end of the day. Also, make sure you avoid standing on one leg at a time by sitting down to put pants on.
4. Keep your knees together
One of the biggest mistakes I made (and paid for for a few days after) is doing deep child’s pose stretching with my knees apart. Though it felt great in the moment, the next few days were so painful, I was nearly in tears.
Keep your knees together when you get out of a vehicle (and step out with both feet at the same time) and turn over in bed at night. Keeping your knees together will help ensure you don’t cause the SPD to flair up more than it already is.
5. Get a belly band
Last, but not least, I purchased a belly band that helps not only with the pelvic pain, but also getting the weight of my growing belly off my hips a little. I wear the band when I am walking, on my feet for any length of time, and working out.
Have you experienced Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction? How did you work through it? Tell us in the comments below!