Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)How is SPD treated?
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
Many women experience discomforts during pregnancy that they had never experienced before. During pregnancy, your body produces hormones and body parts shift to meet the demands of your growing baby. Your body produces a hormone known as relaxin during pregnancy. Relaxin softens the ligaments in your pelvis to enable your baby to pass through your pelvis. Normally, the two halves of your pelvis do not move very easily because the symphysis pubis is strengthened by ligaments. If one side of your pelvis moves more than the other side, you can experience pain and inflammation. This can happen when you walk or move your legs and the pain can become severe.
The most common symptoms of symphysis pubis dydfunction are pain in the pubic area and groin. If you suffer from SPD, you might also complain of back pain, hip pain, or grinding in your pubic area. Sometimes the pain does radiate down the inside of the thighs or between the legs. Women that experience the symptoms of SPD have a hard time walking, going up stairs and other activities that involve separating their legs. It may be hard to get up in the night to use the restroom and getting sleep may be harder.
SPD generally affects women in the end of the first timester or after delivery. However, you can experience symptoms at any point during the pregnancy. If you have the symptoms of SPD in one pregnany, it is likely that you will experience the same symptoms with recurring pregnancies. During later pregnancies, the symptoms tend to start earlier and progress faster.
If you think that you are suffering from SPD, you should contact your obstetrician or midwife for an evaluation. Your doctor will do a series of tests that look at leg movements, stability and localized pain in your pelvic area. Treatment generally involves wearing a pelvic support belt and doing exercises that improve the stability of your pelvis and back. Water exercises or acupuncture can be helpful and often offer relief. Make sure you ask your doctor any questions you have pertaining to the birth of your baby with SPD.
If you suffer from symphysis pubis dysfunction, you should keep in mind several things that will help with your pain. You should try to move around frequently throughout the day, but in small amounts. When you are sitting, make sure that you sit upright and keep your back well supported. If at all possible, it is best to avoid heavy lifting or pushing. Sit down to put your pants, shoes or socks on. Do not try to step into dresses, skirts or pants. When you are climbing stairs, climb them one step at a time. Stretching your legs to far apart at once can make the pain significantly worse. If you must separate your legs, take it slowly and keep your back arched.
Many women do continue to feel the pain after delivery. Generally, the symptoms do improve after delivery and eventually fade away. If your pain is still bothersome, continue to do the pain relief exercises and seek the advice of your caregiver. Women also may have the same symptoms around the time of their monthly menstrual cycle. This is because a woman's body secretes hormones similar to relaxin during menstruation.
Comments: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
Comments 1 to 24 of about 154.
1 2 3 4 5 6 Nexttkalp06
948 days ago.
I am currently in my 26th week of pregnancy with baby number 2, and I have been having pain in the vaginal area, pain in my groin, hips, and lower back. The pain started around my 18th week I think. I have tried the support belt, chiropractor, therapy, and pain meds and I feel like I have ran out of options and pretty much have to deal with the pain. I am still going to therapy hoping for a miracle, but the day after I always seem to be at my worste point, not really sure that that is normal or not. I was also told that I have a really low pubic bone and I delivered my first baby vaginally and I sometimes wonder if this is why this time around is so painful. I just keep telling myself that I only have the max of 14 weeks to go and that I can do it, but I also have my days where I would rather stay in bed because I am in so much pain and in tears for the greater part of this pregnancy. And before I am done one more thing I want to add, it is so upsetting that I feel as if I am always complaining because I don't want people to think that I am not thankful for this pregnancy, because I am, this beautiful life that I am carrying is worth every bit of pain especially since my husband and I lost our last baby and then tired so hard for this little miracle! firstname.lastname@example.org
962 days ago.
I developed SPD with my last pregnancy while I was around 6 months. It was the worst wrenching pain, I had ever been threw besides my broken color bone & giving birth with a failed epidural....
I had to wear a special belt. It did help some. The pain was so severe, I could hardly walk, turn over in bed, get dressed or even just barely move. I thought I was the only person with this as my doctor didn't even give it a name. I felt like no one believed me.
I looked up this severe pain in What to expect when expecting book & found what I had myself. This is definitely what I suffered threw. The doctor told me that it will come back & be worse with each child I have there after.
Well, I'm pregnant again. It has been 2 years & I'm as of now, 16 weeks. I have yet to feel any sign of the scary feeling of excruciating agony. (knock on wood!) I feel for all you guys and know your not alone. kaznkidz
1043 days ago.
I have recently found out i am pregnant ( 5 weeks 2 days) and have a 13.5mth old. My pregnancy with her and spd was horrific, i had the belt by 16 weeks, using crutches by 20 and in a wheel chair as often as possible come 30 weeks :(
I was told to wait at least 2 years BEFORE getting pregnant if ever as it was so severe :(
Well nature has chosen differently as i am still b/f and also on the mini pill so it was definitely not planned!
I am so terrified of how i am going to be as i can already feel my hips and pelvis are not right, i wouldnt say too painful but definitely like i would say i would have felt by around 13 weeks last pregnany :(
Did anyone else start having their pelvic joints crack more often and start to burn when sitting too long by 5 weeks? kiwichick17
1210 days ago.
Hi ladies. I have been suffering from SPD since sometime before my 15th week. I also had it with my first but this time around it has affected my pubic symphasis, hips, back and even my knees and wrists. My ligaments are just so loose and arent coping well under the strain. I have recieved physio since week 15 as well as having hydro therapy. I have been on crutches since week 20 (now 28 weeks) and have a maternity belt which is helping hold everything together and supports my back some. I am also on voltarin (strong antiflamme) to help reduce some of the tension in my back muscles. I even have a disabled parking permit. Obviously I am not doing much around the house as most things are pretty difficult for me and only travel when necessary. Its all very frustrating and can be hard to manage. I just keep reminding myself it will all come to an end and the results will be a beauiful new baby. Going to look at getting induced early this time round too. Try to seek as much help as possible ladies and line yourself up with a medical professional who is sympathitic and well experiance in dealing with this condition. My midwife is eveing trying to see if she can get me some home help. Chins up ladies!
1273 days ago.
Hi. Just thought id fill you all in with my spd story. With my daughter it started at 15 weeks and by 25 weeks I struggled to get in and out of bed and generally anything that meant I put weight more on one side them the other. This time it started at 13 weeks and now at 16.5 weeks its much worse than last time. I struggle to sit and stand, even laying in bed in sooo painful. My pelvic girdle belt from last time does not do a damn thing and I cant believe how much worse it is! Im in constant pain and have even been signed off work for the rest of my pregnancy. The exercises make it worse. We have even cancelled our holiday. Luckily my husband is really good and has left his job to look after the house and our daughter as I am really struggling. No more babies after this one! camaro
1340 days ago.
I am quite sure I have SPD. Going to go and have a chat to a widwife at the hospital later in the week. My chiro said I have something wrong with my pelvis but wasn't 100% sure what. By the sounds of it, it is SPD. I am getting to the point where I can't move in bed without my pelvis clicking and being in horrible pain. I also can't put my pants on without sitting and even that is an effort. 33 weeks at the moment and I hope it doesn't get too much worse :( mag
1368 days ago.
My writing this will seem rather odd to most as I am male. My finding this forum resulted from a search of SPD. I sustained this injury from an unfortunate horesback riding event. I had dismissed the pain as simply muscle ache due to the trama but after 14 days and only a little of the discomfort had abated, I sought medical help. My GP dx'd SPD and approached it through pain management saying that it will heal in time. Another week passed with little (if any) change. In reading more on this I see that there is a promissing treatment known as Prolotherapy that is designed to help speed up the reaparing of the damaged tendons, ligaments and other tissue. I am today looking for a Doc in my area & on my insurance that can perform this. I'd like to be able to again get out of bed or up from a chair and walk w/o that stabbing pain. I offer this message both as empathy to all you ladies suffering from SPD (its not only for women) and also as a possible way to treat the condition more agressively. tttm
1387 days ago.
Hi I have suffered from SPD for 5 years. Have any other long term sufferers found a way to get over it? What treatment worked for you? Did you find a great consultant? What tests did you have done? I'm at my wits end with it all, any help gratefully received! em2 stewarts wife
1459 days ago.
Teehee, I sure hope this makes for a fast labor!!! I started physical therapy last week and it really has helped. Granted it still took me my usual 25 minutes to take the 14 steps from my bed to my bathroom this morning. Pretty much now it only really hurts first thing in the morning for which I am thankful because I was feeling that all day everyday... now its just at night and in the morning but I spend all day doing silly little poses and bounces on my yoga ball LMAO its all worth it though! teehee2
1460 days ago.
Hi I am 27 weeks on baby number 2.
Developed SPD around 32 weeks on last pregnancy, was given girdle etc...couldnt walk much by the last 4 weeks without severe pain! I have now been dealing with SPD in this current pregnancy since 10 weeks pregnant...girdle doesnt help much...or pillows...physio helps a little but my mobility is slowing down week by week. I was told in my first pregnancy by the OB that developing SPD can often mean a shorter labour, I was doubtfull. Hats off to the OB, he was right, I had a short (dare I say easy!) labour that lasted 4 hours from start to finish!
I have been trying to keep this in mind everytime I feel sorry for myself during this pregnancy. I Call this my long slow labour... fingers crossed for a speedy delivery! NewWestMum
1472 days ago.
If you are suffering from this, find a chiropractor who specializes in pregnant women. It has worked MIRACLES for me! My pain started at 19 weeks and it was so bad that I was not able to leave my house for two weeks. My OB was all booked up so I finally went to a GP and he told me there was nothing I could do, except take Tylenol for the pain and then started talking to me about how cows are when they're pregnant. I hobbled out of there in tears. If your care giver says there's nothing you can do, don't accept it! halo79
1477 days ago.
Hi, i'm 37wks now and have had spd since 12wks. Thank god for this chat page, i was starting to think i was the only person with this condition and that i must be a wuss. Since finding out about spd and trying to explain to other people (esp. other mothers) whats wrong with me i have been very fustrated. I'm in so much pain and have resorted to living in my lazyboy. I have had alot of trouble sleeping for the last 3mths because of the pain involved with rolling over. Thankfully i am booked in for a c-section in 2wks time and will be avoiding a vag. birth. The reason they are letting me have a c-section is because the baby is breech and i am so relieved that i wont be doing labour. The very though of labour is terrifing! how can i do labour when i cant sit, lay or stand for more then 1/2hr without being in alot of pain?
Also dont let those doctors tell you its because you are 'out of shape', i'm 30 fit ,health and very active and have had this since 12wks.
Physio hasn't helped much and the only way i have been able to get through the last couple of months has been to totally limit what i do, which has been really hard as i have a small farm with horses and animals to care for. The only person that i feel understands how terrible this condition is is my fab. husband as he sees on a daily basis how hard normal things like getting dressed is.
I just want you other ladies to know that there are other people who understand the everyday pain your in. Hopefully it stops after birth, fingers crossed! techa
1490 days ago.
I am 38 weeks pregnant and have been in so much pain. At my 38 week check up he did an exam and told me my pubic arch was low and couldnt give me any information on this. All he could tell me was that we will see what happens when you are in labor. I decided to look it up on the net and found a site about SPD. I read the symptoms and said my doc is an idiot. He doesnt listen when I tell him to be careful while measuring my fundal height because it hurts really bad when he pushes on my pubic bone. I think Im gonna find a way to print the information I found and give it to him. He really needs to know about this. I dont sleep very well at night because it hurts so bad to lay on my side or turn over in bed. I am so frustrated with this pain. I believe this is why I have been suffering for all these weeks of pregnancy. I hope he doesnt just throw the papers away and ignore it. There are risks of worsening the problem during childbirth if it isnt done correctly. I want this problem to go away after the birth not get worse. Im assuming that it happened during the birth of my first because there is a greater chance of it happening when you are induced and have an epidural. kt1sttimer
1494 days ago.
I am 36 weeks with my second child. I never experianced this with my first. At around 20 something weeks I started having some pain getting in & out of bed & walking. I finally went into the ER because the pain was so severe ( my OB didn't know why i washurting before ) but anyway, this other Dr came in and diagnosed me with SPD. Although I had already looked it up thinking that this was it. I was SO glad to know I wasn't going crazy. The pain now is SO severe though. I can barely walk, roll in bed, get in/out of bed, or get dressed. I just can't wait for my csection Aug. 13th. SIGH! It's a pretty painful thing to go through. Good luck to all you ladies who have to deal with this AWFUL pain. Ms. Nikki
1514 days ago.
OMG...I can't believe I found this! I've been suffering for 3 years from SPD and none of my doctors could diagnose it! They just figured I was faking because I told them it hurts to walk and I have difficulty putting on clothes. It began my first pregnancy in 2007 and my lower back/hip pain never went away. I've had sciatic nerve steriod injections, TENS treatments and 3 years of extra blind treatments. I'm glad this information is out here. I'm sure there are many many other women suffering like I have been. Good luck to the ladies that have SPD! hanababiix
1528 days ago.
I'm 36 weeks pregnant and have had SPD since around 18 weeks. I was diagnosed at 20 weeks and have been off sick from work since.. I'm now on maternity leave. But SPD is a completely valid reason for being off work, I mean the pain is almost unbearable. I've never experienced anything like it before, and I'm sad to say it doesn't get better! Prayinwarrior
1535 days ago.
I am 26wks and began feeling the symptoms of SPD in my 25th wk. It was pretty horrible, I couldn't walk are move around, I felt completely handicapped and the pain was simply unbearable at times. Then I remebered that I felt this same pain in my first pregnancy, however not this severe. I chopped it up to that i was living on a third floor apartment with no elevator, so I thought the stairs were effecting me so i ended up moving. This time I mentioned it to my Doc, but she didn't have definite answers for me and she sure didn't mention SPD to me. She simply said that she could admit me and run some test to see whats going on, but its probably the baby laying on wrong. Well I didn't agree to be admitted that day but she did give me some pain meds to help me rest a little better a night. I was puzzled and confused, so i searched the internet and found SPD. All the symptoms that was mentioned was me down to the letter. I immediately felt a sigh of relief knowing that I'm not crazy, cus I was begining to think that I was. I even felt bad complaining of the pain to my doctor, I didn't want to sound like a cry baby, but I'm in pain. I even asked her had she ever had any other patients that complained of these symptoms. She said yeah but not many at all, that it is very rare. I'm going to talk to her about SPD and see what she says. SSri
1544 days ago.
I am in my 27th week. I am suffering from SPD when I was in my 12th week. All I know this pain is getting worse day by day, sometimes I need help even in getting up. Everything is painful, be it sitting, walking, lying on the bed. I use to work, but finally pain reach to level where I gave up and stopped working. But somehow my doctor is not convinced its SPD. I will discuss with her again in my next visit. carolj2010
1546 days ago.
Hi, I am 34 weeks pregnant and my doctor has advised me to see a physical therapist. She said she thinks I may have SDP. I am in so much pain and at times I can barely walk. I have called out of work all last week because the pain and discomfort was so bad. When I mentioned signing me out of work she looked at me like I was crazy. She said we would have to wait for the PT to confirm this diagnosis. What can I do I can't even imagine trying to make through a day at work with the pain I am having. Does anyone have any suggestions? holly jean
1566 days ago.
I am 32 weeks, and developed SPD at around 26 weeks. I have gotten Better in the last week and this is what I did. I saw an osteopath and a physio. The osteo did some gentle manipulations and did some massages which helped me hobble less. Check if they understand working with pregnant women. I didn't find the physio that helpful. I was told by the physio to rest it alot and not to move around on it. This i found made it worse and most probably weakened the muscle more. Instead i realised that the opposite was true, gentle walking daily (just 10 minutes a day for me) on the treadmill or somewhere very flat helped me hobble less and i have been walking straight without hobbling (and minimal or no pain) for the last week.
I started gentle walking 2 weeks ago and saw an improvement a week later. As I think i may have a mild version or caught it early, this may have helped make it better sooner (so it may vary between persons before you see a difference). Only do a level gentle enough that doesn't cause you pain or aggravate it. I have also religously done pelvic and core exercises everyday. 3 sets of 10 minimal each and then as many as i can do during the rest of the day. So just with the pelvics, pull up and in like a J shape, and hold for 10secs, then do 3 short burst ones, and then relax, repeat 10 times for 1 set. with the core exercise, pull your belly button in towards your spine and hold for 10 seconds and do 3 short bursts ones and relax, repeat 10 times for 1 set. The pelvic and core exercises and gentle walking daily helped immensely.
In regards to rolling over in bed. remember to do everything very slowly to gauge what movements hurt and wich ones don't for you. (this would be easier if i could show you, so i will try my best to describe it in words). Please bear in mind that everyone may be at a different level with spd so these manouvers may or may not work for you (or modify as you require. I was fortunate enough to move in to the spare double bed, which gave me more room to roll over in less moves than if my partner was in the bed. There are alot of moves involved and you have to do them slowly, but it's worth it.
To get in bed i sat on the side of the bed (helps if you have a box or step to rest your feet on) slowly lift your leg onto the bed, and try to keep your heel in contact with the bed as you gently slide your heel from the floor, up the side of the bed till you reach the top of the bed with your foot. do the same with the other foot (i am at a stage where i am still able to separate my legs very gently apart) if you cannot do this then it may help if you keep your kness together as you bring them onto the bed. When you shuffle to the middle of the bed, make sure your bum is still in contact with the bed, only lift it minimally enough so that it can shuffle across in small moves (it helps to buy satin or silk pj's to help you glide across easier).
When you are in the middle of the bed, you can decide to turn to sleep on the left or right. (or your back if your baby belly allows you to) To the left (my sore bit is my left pelvis) straighten both legs and bend your right knee up while lying on your back (leave the sore leg straight). Turn your right knee towards the left hand side of the bed which in turn, turns your body towards the left side of the bed. you can use your right hand to grab at the edge of the bed to help you over. put a pillow between your legs if that helps.
To now turn to the right. you must first get to the middle of the bed. to do this, I take the pillow out first to not restrict movement. With my right knee still bent i roll my right hand into a fist and use it to support my bum as i roll on top of it to my right (this way it doesn't engage my pelvis) and my hand takes my weight. Slowly move hand out from under your bum as you roll on your back. Straighten your right knee.
Next move is to bend both knees up towards you. FIrst dig your bum into the bed, use your heel to gently and Very slowly 'slide/walk' your feet up towards your bum, keeping your heel in contact with the bed, left heel right heel left heel right heel till you r feet reach close to your bum. As both your knees are up now, rest/lean the sore leg on the right leg (try not to engage it but rather rest it on top of), as your right leg slowly drops down to the right side of the bed til it comes to a rest, place the pillow back in between.
To get out of bed, (while lying on my right hand side), i pull my knees up towrds my chest and let it drop over the side of the bed, i use my arms and elbows to help push my body to sitting position and keep knees together as both hands push on both knees to help me stand up (slowly).
Very fiddly and wordy but hopefully something has helped someone out there. Gentle exercise is the key to getting better (rather than sitting still and letting it atrophy and getting worse and feeling like there's nothing you can do about it) (make sure the exercise is not rigorous or anything that causes you pain). Slowly get the pelvis and core muscles strong again so it can better support you.
I am now walking straight without hobbling and without pain (which i didn't think was possible after reading alot of forums). And with very slow and careful movements in bed i am able to get a good night's sleep most nights. I still have to be wary about certain movements and what i can and can't do. If stairs seem too high, I still take them one step at a time, and i sit down when I'm getting changed to minimise pain. I am going to be diligent with my walking and pelvic and core exercises everyday so i can keep this at bay, and increase my chances of being pain free. Remember gentle motion is the key. Good luck ladies! 3rd and done!
1577 days ago.
All of you who either have SPD or have expirenced it in other pregnancys...I'm almost 14 weeks. I work at a grocery store so I'm always lifting and waling or standing. No time for rest. Yesterday was very busy for me and by the end of my shift I couldn't walk and was barely able to waddle to my car. The pain was horrible. It is now the next morning and I still can't roll out of bed without excruciating pain. Am I going to be told I can't work anylonger? I need the job and the $. If I hurt this badly now at 13 weeks how am I going to make it to 40 weeks? joyfulgreetings
1584 days ago.
Hi All, I'm so glad I ran across this forum. Although I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy, it's good to know I'm not alone. I am 27 weeks and have been dealing with extreme pain since 14 weeks. Don't let your doc say it's cuz you're out of shape, or normal pregnancy pains! Insist on seeing a physical therapist. When I went in at 20 weeks, I could barely walk and was crying almost everyday. My pain isn't even close to gone, but much more manageable! I'm in an SI belt, and it helps. Another thing I've found that helps a GREAT deal? Wearing really good running shoes all the time. Now, I live in Texas and it's HOT, so this isn't easy...I LONG to slap on some flip flops. But when I do, I'm in agony the next day. My PT says it's because I need as much stabilization as possible. I've got 13 weeks to go and am very scared I'm gonna be in a walker by the time delivery rolls around, and sometimes, I cry all day long. But I'm trying to stay positive. Good luck to all of you out there. Mommy (((hugs)))! mfbrown
1584 days ago.
With my first pregnancy all I got was random charlie horses that were causing a lot of pain in my legs. This is now my second pregnancy and the signs of my pelvic region really starting to hurt started when I was 12 weeks. The OB told me that every pregnancy is different and the relaxins are all that was normal. It's been gradually getting worse and worse to the point that tylonel isn't remotely helping. My hips are popping and feel loose, my pelvic region is really sore. I try to stretch it out but it doesn't seem to help. The only comfort I find is when I take the weight off of my butt... like if I'm on my knees and sit on them that feels fine. I never heard of this condition now but was made aware by a friend. I am now 17 weeks and haven't been to my OB apt yet, the apt is tomorrow and I plan to ask about it there... I'm a little nervous that since it's so bad at 17 weeks what it would be like to go the rest of the pregnancy now! fire7man
1591 days ago.
I am pregnant with my 3rd and I am starting to feel the pain of SPD. My 1st pregnancy I was told that it would end once the baby was born which is true but painful to live with for 20 weeks. My 2nd pregnancy I went to a physical therapist around 20 weeks. The therapist pushed the bone back into place twice a week. This really helped with the pain. I am glad to see so much on the web regarding SPD. Six years ago there was nothing and I thought maybe I was crazy. rosiebutdozy
1606 days ago.
I have been reading some of the comments here and am shocked how many medical professionals dismiss this condition so lightly and fail to treat it at all. I had SPD and SIJP in all 3 pregnancies and was on crutches the last time, pain from 12 weeks. I didn't mention it to the doctor until I couldn't walk at all at 25 weeks and she sent me straight to the physio on an emergency appt, I was seen 3 hours later, on the NHS! Physio was brilliant and gave me excercises, crutches and a fembrace support belt. Most effective of all she told me to rest strictly for two weeks and thankfully it was ok to take the time off work. Much improved after the rest. Girls, it's really important to rest and avoid all that stuff like rolling over in bed, standing on one leg, and pushing shopping trollies, digging the garden and cutting the grass. I was fully recovered 1 year after the birth but had to give up kick boxing and running for the year. Running is ok now. Pregnant with number 4 now and hoping for a better time of it, but any nonsense from the joints and I won't mess about with it, it's too important. Didn't affect the delivery at all with any of them, thank God.