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Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) and Pregnancy

pregnant woman holding her bellyOne complaint that I hear of frequently is pain in the front of the pelvis, especially during pregnancy. The more I have worked with women who have this pain, the more I feel like adjusting should be the very first approach to fixing it.

What is SPD?

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction is a condition where the pubic bone has become irritated. Actually, the “pubic bone” should always be referred to as the “pubic symphysis,” or pubic joint. The pelvis is made up of several bones, and so there are joints where those bones come together. In the back of the pelvis we have the sacroiliac (SI) joints on the right and left, but in the front of the pelvis the bones come together in a specialized joint called a “symphysis.” Instead of a traditional synovial joint like your SI joints, your knuckles, spinal joints, and almost every other joint of the body, the pubic symphysis is called a fibrocartilaginous joint. Synovial joints have a joint capsule and are full of fluid that lubricates the joint. Fibrocartilaginous joints don’t have any capsule or lubricant, and they are very tightly bound together by strong ligaments.

In pregnancy the body releases a hormone called relaxin, which makes ligaments loose to prepare the body for labor. In some women, the pubic symphysis becomes loose and irritated, and the front of the pelvis feels inflamed or unstable. That’s why activities, like lifting objects or children, getting in and out of the car, walking up or down stairs, and rolling over in bed, feel painful. Some women hurt so badly that they are bedridden for months, or have to avoid any sort of lifting, even their own children.

The good news is that since the pubic symphysis is a joint, it can be adjusted. Since it is fibrocartilaginous, most healthcare professionals don’t realize that it can be, and many women suffer unnecessarily for months or even years. In most cases, SPD can feel dramatically improved after just one or two chiropractic adjustments, and easily maintained throughout and following pregnancy. Even better, the adjustment is very fast and can be done with a simple adjusting tool, so the adjustment itself takes just one or two seconds, often with immediate improvement.

Since we see a large number of pregnant patients at Timpview Chiropractic, we deal with SPD daily, often with dramatic results.

If you have questions about SPD or any other pregnancy-related problem, contact us today and let us help you find relief.

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