What is SPD?
SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, also commonly known as Pelvic Girdle Pain, PGP) is a painful loosening of the symphysis pubis during pregnancy. The symphysis pubis is a joint at the front of the pelvis that can be felt just beneath the pubic area which is normally a strong joint that only moves a little. However, in pregnancy the pelvic ligaments and joints loosen due to a hormone called Relaxin. This hormone is produced by the body to aid childbirth. In some women the symphysis pubis becomes strained so as to be painful whenever the pelvis is moved in a certain way. This strain is what is known as SPD. The pain of SPD is experienced mostly when particular movements are performed such as turning over in bed, going up and down stairs or manoeuvring a supermarket trolley or pushchair. The pain is felt directly over the pubic joint and can be severe.
In the majority of cases the woman has an underlying musculoskeletal problem which predisposes her to SPD. The lumbar spine is generally compromised, leaving the weight of the bump to drop forwards straining the pubic symphysis. The “hollow-back” posture that goes along with this, further compresses the lower back and maintains the problem. In some cases the trouble seems to be in the hips, sacro-iliac joints or the sacro-coccygeal joint.
Can SPD Reoccur in Future Pregnancies?
If a woman suffers SPD in one pregnancy and does nothing to help her back in between pregnancies they she will tend to get it with each subsequent pregnancy and generally with increasing severity. Also SPD occurs most often to women who have had previous back problems or who have had injuries affecting their pelvis in some way.
SPD – How our Osteopaths at City Way Health Clinic can help..
The Osteopathic approach to SPD involves gently testing each lumbar and pelvic joint to diagnose where the imbalances lie. Treatment consists of working gently on these joints to restore them to good working order. The whole body will also be examined for any further contributory causes. Simple cases respond quickly to treatment, clearing up completely. In the most complex cases, regular treatment throughout the remainder of the pregnancy and, if necessary, for a few weeks after childbirth, significantly reduces pain.
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