Wendy Powell

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction | Pelvic Girdle Pain | Minimising Pain During Everyday Activities

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Part 3 of 3 posts covering SPD / PGP during pregnancy.

See all relevant articles here. Previously I posted on Exercises for SPD / PGP, today we are talking about reducing pain and how to live with it.

What to do with to reduce pain with SPD and 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.

• Sit down to get dressed and undressed – avoid standing on one leg
• Wear flat, minimal shoes and absolutely no heels!
• Avoid standing for prolonged periods (someone else’s turn to do the ironing:))
• 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
• Try 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 pain is possible by avoiding:

• 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
• Sitting twisted
• 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 – of course, you have to lift and care for other children, pick up stuff or go to the supermarket. 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 the core activation and pelvic floor exercises described in this post EVERY DAY. 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

The MUTU System Program is safe and beneficial during a healthy, low risk pregnancy. The 12 Week Program is safe for pregnant women.  It focuses on alignment, muscle stretching and release, core and pelvic floor muscle connection and engagement, and includes low impact, more intensive workouts for you to progress to when you’re ready.

MUTU System programs are recommended and endorsed by specialist Physiotherapists and Industry experts.

Life-Changing Results for Moms

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Jamie KnickerbockerJuly 22, 2017

I just started week 1. During the second round of exercises when laying on my back and squeezing the ball I started having “twinges of pain” with my spd. Do you think I was doing it wrong? It didn’t start hurting persay, but I could tell it was close to doing that.

Wendy PowellJuly 26, 2017

Hi Jamie,

Hold off from this exercise until you’ve spoken to your pelvic physical therapist or specialist women’s health physio. You should never work through or ignore pain so please do get in touch with your doctor and see this page here about referral to a women’s health physic: https://mutusystem.com/referral-to-a-womens-health-physiotherapist


RebeccaNovember 26, 2015

I have osteogenesis imperfecta (a collagen disorder resulting in weak ligaments) and just had a hysterectomy. I was doing great until one week after when the left side of my pelvis shifted downward at the SI joint. The pain was horrid, but it clunked back into place the following day. However, I am now having intense pain in both SI joints ,to the left of my pubic bone and down into my legs.. I’ve been to docs and the ER because the pain is so intense, but they cannot figure out what is causing the pain. After reading through this blog and comments, I’m wondering if it is PGP. Sure sounds like it. My OBGYN told my husband after surgery that I would probably have back pain but acted completely shocked when I told her about my pelvis. Is it possible she knows nothing about PGP?

Wendy PowellMarch 8, 2010

Hi Theresa, I’m so glad they helped! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, Wendy

TheresaMarch 8, 2010

Thanks Wendy! This information is super helpful! I went from being very active in exercise every day to barely being able to walk overnight at only 6 months pregnant. These tips and the exercises are helping me get back on track!

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