“My Hips Are Killing Me!” — Maybe It’s Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

Submitted by Courtney on Sat, 05/01/2010 - 11:45

Aches and pains during pregnancy are quite common, but extreme and debilitating pain is not. A good friend of mine missed several days off of work during her last trimester, as she was bed ridden with hip pain. Her doctor soon diagnosed her with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (also known as SPD).

Why do pregnant women suffer from SPD?

Pregnancy and childbirth can re-align a woman’s pelvis in a way that it is out of alignment with the rest of her body. This misalignment can cause discomfort or even incredible amounts of pain in the pelvic region.

Though most women do recover from this pain after childbirth (as the weight and pressure of the baby is no longer present), up to 7% of women may still suffer from any degree of severity of SPD after the birth of their child.

What are some of the symptoms of SPD?

Some of the symptoms of SPD include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic region
  • “Clicking” in the lower back and/or hip joints as one walks or changes positions
  • Groin, lower abdominal and/or leg pain
  • A “waddling” gait
  • Pain when standing
  • Depression (due to pain and/or discomfort)

How can I relieve my SPD pain?

There are certain techniques you can use to reduce or eliminate the pain you experience from SPD. First, you should:

  • Avoid any sort of twisting movements of the body
  • Avoid lifting or carrying anything
  • Avoid stepping over anything or any straddling movements

To help eliminate the pain while moving, try:

  • Bracing the pelvic floor muscles before you perform any activity or motion that you know may result in pain
  • Rest and relax your pelvis as much as you possibly can, and place a pillow between your knees
  • Sit down as much often as you possibly can
  • Bend at the knees rather than bending at the waist

If you are dealing with excruciating pain and none of the above tips help you, there are medicinal options available to you. Be sure to speak to your physician and discuss any side effects the medications may have on both you and your baby before making the decision to take them.

photo by Gosia Lachucik


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