THIS IS THE THIRD INSTALMENT ON SYMPHYSIS PUBIS DYSFUNCTION (SPD) / PELVIC GIRDLE PAIN (PGP)
We already looked at exercises to alleviate SPD and how to minimise discomfort during everyday activity. So now you’re hopefully a little more comfortable, we’ll go to part 3 of 3 of these posts, and have a look at what is, why have you got it.
The sacrum is at the base of your spine, above your coccyx, and fits between the two halves of the pelvis. These pelvic bones are called the iliac bones. This is where the sacroiliac joints are formed (the 2 dimples in the small of your back). These three bones of the pelvis -the sacrum and the two iliac bones – form a ring.
The iliac bones meet at the front of the pelvis, forming a joint called the symphysis pubis. This joint is extremely vulnerable during pregnancy. Both raised levels of the hormone relaxin, and pressure from your baby, cause the joint to become more elastic and to widen in preparation for birth. This makes the whole pelvic joint less stable. The pain of SPD is not necessarily related to the degree of separation, but owes more to the instability of the whole pelvis.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, now know as Pelvic Girdle Pain, refers to pregnancy-induced instability, pain and dysfunction of the symphysis pubis joint and/or the sacro iliac joint.
Some pain in the area is felt by 50-70% of pregnant women. 14-22% of women have serous PGP, with 5-8% having severe pain or disability.*
There are no clear causes or risk factors for SPD / PGP, however the pain experienced is associated with a misalignment of the pelvis (at any of the joints) and may be (less so) related to hormone levels.
If you have suffered from SPD / PGP in previous pregnancies; have been subject to pelvic injury or any misalignment to the spine or pelvis (including due to poor alignment, ergonomic working positions or heavy workloads); if your joints were particularly mobile pre-pregnancy or if you were very overweight – you may be more susceptible.
MUTU System Programs are safe and beneficial during a healthy, low risk pregnancy. The 12 Week Program contains low impact, intensive workouts. MUTU Focus is especially safe for pregnant women. It contains no intensive workouts, and focuses only on alignment, muscle stretching and release, core and pelvic floor muscle connection and engagement .
MUTU System programs are recommended and endorsed by specialist Physiotherapists and Industry experts.
FURTHER USEFUL LINKS
The Pelvic Partnership | Great resource for pelvic pain in pregnancy
Aligned and Well | Alignment resources and education products from renowned Biomechanist Katy Bowman
Please also see the MUTU System Medical Disclaimer here
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING WITH PELVIC, ABDOMINAL OR ANY OTHER PAIN DURING OR FOLLOWING PREGNANCY, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR AS A MATTER OF URGENCY. ALSO READ OUR GUIDELINES ON REFERRAL TO A SPECIALIST WOMEN’S HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPIST.