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How to Stop SPD & Pelvic Girdle Pain During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, many women may experience a symptom known as SPD or pelvic girdle pain which can become very painful. Within this blog I cover everything you need to know about SPD & Pelvic girdle pain and how to stop it.

Michelle Baynham

20 Jul 2022

SPD or Pelvic Girdle Pain: What is it?

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) happens during pregnancy when the pelvic joints start to move rigid or stuff. Also known as pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP), symptoms include back pain, a grinding or clicking sensation in your pubic area, pain down the inside of your thighs and pain that’s made worse by parting your legs, walking or going up or down stairs.

Pain can be felt in both the front and back of your pelvic region and happen as a result of hormonal changes. Around 16-25% of pregnant women experience SPD or pelvic girdle pain, which is likely to go away in the postpartum period.

Below I have outlined exercises and techniques on how you can help relieve and SPD & Pelvic girdle pain.

Techniques & Exercises to Relieve SPD/Pelvic Girdle Pain

A range of exercises should be performed to help ease pain and build up supporting muscles, including pelvic floor exercises (also known as kegels), or, in more serious cases, manual therapy by physiotherapists, osteopaths or chiropractors may be necessary, who can gently manipulate the joints back into position, so they move normally.

Perform the following exercises to help relieve SPD or pelvic girdle pain:

Introduce 360 breathing
Hip thrust with ball / Test pullback motion

Narrow banded squats

Hand & knee mid-back rotations

Half-knee position reverse fly with band

Lying angel wings

The Mother Fit Pregnancy Program includes resistance training, pilates, and yoga, which work towards strengthening all the muscles that help stabilise your pelvis and all exercises are mindful of SPD. I would also suggest:

  • Decrease standing single-leg exercises at the first sign of discomfort or twinge
  • Maintain thoracic rotation and breathing strategies
  • Maintain abdominal and hip strength
  • Test adductors, pullback motion, hamstrings and glutes
  • Keep exercising in pregnancy for mobility and strength

The Best Pelvic Floor Exercises for SPD

Doing your pelvic floor contractions will also help with SPD. A proper contraction involves three steps, which should be mastered before you progress:

  • Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles
  • Lift the pelvic floor muscles
  • Fully relax the pelvic floor muscles

Please remember that your body is individual. Modifications that work for one person might not work the same for you. In the worst case scenario, you should back off any exercise with the lower body completely and also think about wearing a support belt.

References :
Dr Sarah Duvall, CES