Sarah Davies Therapies

Clinical & Therapeutic Massage

Headaches, Pregnancy & Post-partum

Nantgarw | Pontypridd

SPD/PGP Self-help

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) / Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

What is it

Pelvic pain during pregnancy is common, but some women may experience extreme discomfort from as early as the first trimester.

Symptoms

  • Mild, moderate or severe pain in the pubic bone, hips, groin, lower abdomen, buttocks, lower back and inner thighs, on one side or both, that may be accompanied with a clicking sound or sensation.
  • Symptoms are aggravated by the increasing weight of the baby, changes in the body's centre of gravity and posture.
  • The condition is usually diagnosed by its symptoms, through assessments of the pelvic joints and spine and sometimes an ultrasound.

Causes

  • It is common during pregnancy is due to the pregnancy hormone 'relaxin' that soften the ligaments of the body and allows the pelvis to open to make room for the baby during birth.
  • This condition is becoming more popular, possible due to changes in modern lifestyles. Women are spending more time sitting, through desk jobs or driving, so muscles are less toned and unable to support the pelvic girdle.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, women who have exercised excessively may already have a weakened pelvic structure.
  • Also, a slight displacement of the pelvis means there is already unequal stress prior to pregnancy.

Self Help

  • Sit with a straight, well supported back
  • keep the knees together when you stand up and turn over in bed
  • Wear flat, supporting shoes
  • Sit tall when driving - you may need to adjust the mirror each morning as your posture changes
  • Avoid bending, squatting, over stretching and taking the stairs whenever possible
  • Use pillows to support when sitting and sleeping. Keep your legs parallel to prevent your top leg twisting across your body.

Stretches

  • The yoga Cat Paws position on all fours can help release tension and help to strengthen the muscles
  • Tucking your 'tail bone' (coccyx) under will help to stretch out the lower back muscles. This might be easier to do while laying on your back or over a ball.
  • Find the position that is most comfortable for you - some may find that keeping the legs closed help to ease the discomfort, while others prefer the legs apart slightly
  • Leaning over a gym ball may help to stretch the back. Having someone gently squeeze your hips together will help take the pressure off the front of the pelvis.

Rebozo

  • Using a scarf as an anchor you could wrap it around yourself and lean into it, or ask someone to hold it lightly around bump.
  • Gentle rocking movements can help to improvement movement in the pelvis and take the strain off the lower back and hips.

Sports Tape

  • Unlike pregnancy belts that might be tricky to find the right fit. Sports Tape is cut and measured to fit your body. It gently lifts bump, taking the pressure off the hips, and helps to keep the pelvis aligned. 
  • It is easy to apply (although you might need help) comfortable, and you don't have to remove it at night or while bathing.

Labour

  • It is possible to have a vaginal birth, the best position would be on all fours.
  • Avoid stirrups if possible.
  • A water birth would help to support your joints, but extra care must be taken when entering and exiting the pool.

Postpartum

  • You may find after delivery the condition improves. You will still need to be careful to avoid excessive leg abduction movements for 4-6 weeks.
  • Gentle back, abdominal and pelvic floor exercises will help to strengthen the pelvis.
  • A scarf can be used again to gently rock the hips releasing tension and helping with alignment. 
  • Massage from a trained therapist in postnatal care can help support your recovery.


SPD/PGP Self-help


Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) / Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

Edit button text