Aches and pains are normal part of most pregnancies, but only mothers who have been through SPD or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction can only understand the kind of pain and discomfort involved. Many pregnant women complain about pelvic pain, which normally range from minor ache to serious debilitating sensation around the back down to the belly. Pelvic pain mostly happens in the final trimester where the baby drops into the pelvic region in preparation for labor although it can also happen at any point in the pregnancy even after delivery. During pregnancy, the body releases the hormone Relaxin which relaxes the joints, muscles, and ligaments in the body so there will be more room for the baby to pass through the birth canal. So when there is too much movement of the pelvic joints (specifically the symphysis pubis) possibly from misalignment, a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction develops.
If you’re suffering from SPD, remind yourself that you are not alone. Approximately, one out five pregnant women will experience some degree of SPD and only 7% are considered severe condition where the joint actually dislocates or separates (Diastasis Symphysis Pubis, DSP). SPD symptoms can build up gradually which makes it difficult for mothers to pinpoint exactly the level of discomfort and pain felt from the condition. Perhaps, one relevant question is ‘What should moms do?”
It pays to invest some time and thought on consulting an experienced medical professional for a comprehensive assessment first and foremost in order to get to the bottom of the pain and focus on specific areas that are causing pain and discomfort. Although pain and discomfort on the pelvic area are normal during pregnancy, it is not advisable for pregnant women to endure the bizarre sensations and discomfort felt. One of the most sought after treatment options for a smooth and low risk delivery among pregnant women with SPD is Chiropractic. Consulting a chiropractor means having a treatment that usually involves manual therapy (joints are realigned), stabilization exercises, stretching techniques, and stabilization equipment (e.g. sacroiliac joint supportive belt).
Although not every type of treatment works for every SPD patient, early intervention is important to improve or significantly reduce the discomfort. The key is look for additional help in the early days of the pain in order to find what works best in the situation. Changes in how you do certain activities at home can also minimise exacerbation of symptoms at home. For instance, getting in and out of the car now involves having legs together; getting up in bed means making sure both feet are on the floor and legs are glued together before getting up; or sitting down for tasks usually done standing. Before doing any activity at home and outside which can worsen your condition, remember the golden in pregnancy, “If it hurts, don’t do it!”
While many women with SPD in pregnancy can have normal birth, it is also important to plan ahead and talk about birth positions and range of pain-free movements during labour that will not only be most comfortable for you, but also for the baby. Birth planning ahead and talking to your midwife or doctor will give you plenty of support during and after pregnancy. Although you’re very likely to recover from SPD after your baby is born, it is best to continue with chiropractic treatment after the birth so as to reduce the risk of becoming a chronic SPD sufferer.