Q & A: I have Pubis Symphysis Disorder

Question: I am eight months pregnant and have started to have pain and difficulty walking due to what I’ve been told is pubis symphysis disorder. Will a chiropractor help me?

The quality of life for women with Symphysis Pubis Disorder (SPD) can be greatly diminished and can make pregnancy difficult and stressful. Although it is not life-threatening, it can be life-limiting!

The symptoms of SPD vary amongst women, but almost all women who do suffer from it have substantial pain at the front of the pelvis which often can feel like it is coming from inside. This area will be tender to touch, and any movement that requires lifting one leg at a time or parting the legs tends to be particularly painful.

If you are suffering from SPD, you are not alone. Over 30% of pregnant women suffer symphysis pubis pain and upwards of 70% report substantial pelvic pain during their pregnancies. Although this pubic pain decreases after delivery, many women find that, if left untreated, it can stick around for weeks to months – diminished, but still present.

If your pelvis is restricted in its movement, it can make it difficult for your baby to flip head down prior to delivery, resulting in a breach presentation. The Webster adjustment is specific for improving pelvic motion and helping to flip a breach baby. Research has demonstrated a success rate of between 70 and 82%.

In my office, I have treated hundreds of pregnant women, most with some degree of pelvic and/or symphysis pubis discomfort. Gentle adjustments to the pelvis that are modified for comfort during pregnancy, rehabilitative exercises and soft tissue work all play into a treatment plan for SPD. I also make recommendations on altering your movement and positions and, at times, may suggest a pelvic or maternity belt to help relieve some of the weight and pressure of your growing belly on your spine and pelvis. Chiropractic care is a natural, drug free and comfortable approach that is widely used during pregnancy. For more information, please refer to my website, drshaila.com, or to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association site, icpa4kids.org.


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