Wendy Powell

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction Pain In Pregnancy

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How to reduce pain with SPD and PGP

To reduce symphysis pubis dysfunction pain in pregnancy, AKA SPD or Pelvic Girdle Pain PGP, be as active as possible… within pain limits. Never ‘work through’ pain. Pain is your body sending you a signal that something is wrong. Get help (see resources below) so that you can introduce movement without pain to help your body heal.

Ask for help! Many household chores and everyday activities may be difficult or painful – ask for and accept help wherever you can get it.

Rest and relax when you can. Sitting on a large exercise ball may be more comfortable than a chair and easier to get up from.

Top tips for comfort

• Sit down to get dressed and undressed – try to avoid standing on one leg
• Favour flat, minimal shoes without heels
• Avoid standing for prolonged periods (ironing = very bad for you 😉)
• Try to keep your knees together when moving out of the car.  A plastic carrier bag on the seat may help you to swivel (another top tip from the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists for Women’s Health)
• Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs
• Experiment with different ways of turning in bed e.g. turning under or turning over with your knees together and squeezing your buttocks
• Roll in and out of bed keeping your knees together
• Take the stairs one at a time or go down on your bottom
• Use a small rucksack to carry your stuff around – this leaves your hands free to hang onto something for support if you need to.

Reducing symphysis pubis dysfunction pain – Try to avoid or modify the following:

• Standing on one leg
• Bending and twisting to lift or carrying a toddler or baby on one hip
• Crossing your legs
• Sitting on the floor
• Twisting your body too much (for eg all curled up when sitting)
• Sitting or standing for long periods
• Lifting heavy weights (shopping bags, wet washing, vacuum cleaners, toddlers)
• Vacuuming
• Pushing heavy objects like supermarket trolleys
• Carrying anything in only one hand

Of course, not all of these activities CAN realistically be avoided. You have to lift and care for other children, pick up stuff, do chores and live life. Just try to get as much help as you can, go slowly and think before you move.

Stay as active as you can. Follow your physiotherapist’s guidelines and keep doing these core activation and pelvic floor exercises for symphysis pubis dysfunction every day if you can. You will get some relief as well as be training your vital core muscles in preparation for your post-baby flat tummy!

Thanks to the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists for Women’s Health for their great guidelines.

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