Symphysis pubis dysfunction, more commonly known as SPD, is a condition that is usually the first to be suggested as the diagnosis if you suffer pregnancy pain. My patients often tell me that when talking to their friends about the aches and pains during pregnancy, quite often the first response is “oh yes pain in the pubic area, I had that, my doctor told me it was SPD, there is not much that can be done about it.” You might even try to google your symptoms and will most likely end up with a self diagnosis of SPD.
In fact, if you suffer from pubic pain you could very well have SPD – but it can only be diagnosed by a medical professional such as your physiotherapist or doctor. This is because there are many conditions with similar signs and symptoms to SPD. The good news is if you do suffer from SPD there is a lot your physiotherapist can do to help.
SPD is caused by the hormone relaxin, which is released during pregnancy. It does exactly what it says on the packet – it relaxes, it relaxes your ligaments and soft tissue. This hormone, although causing the pain of your SPD, is important as it helps your body make room for the growing baby inside you and prepares your body for birth.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from SPD you might find walking, stairs, turning in bed and getting in and out the car all very difficult activities, and you might find sex painful too. These are all activities that your physiotherapist can address and incorporate into treatment. Treatment can include certain exercises, yes exercise, as well as suggested techniques for carrying out the painful activities more comfortably. In some cases it may be helpful to wear a support belt, and crutches in severe cases.
Rest is important during pregnancy to an extent, but it is equally if not more important to stay physically active as much as possible.
If you suspect you may suffer from SPD and would like to book an appointment, please contact me on 0544485086 or by email to email@example.com. I can arrange to see you in Bishvilech health clinic in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem or a home visit if you live in Gush Etzion.