Blog - Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction: Exercises & Strategies To Prevent SPD – Mother Fit

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction: Exercises & Strategies To Prevent SPD

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) happens during the months of pregnancy when the joints within the pelvis become stiff and move with pain.

Michelle Baynham

28 Oct 2022
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) occurs in pregnancy when the pelvic joints become stiff or move unevenly. It can occur both at the front and back of your pelvis and occurs as a result of hormonal changes.

Around 16-25% of pregnant women experience pelvic girdle pain, which is likely to go away in the postpartum period.
Strategies to prevent SPD :
  1. Decrease standing single-leg exercises at the first sign of discomfort or twinge.
  2. Maintain thoracic rotation and breathing strategies.
  3. Maintain abdominal and hip strength.
  4. Test adductors, pullback motion, hamstrings and glutes.
  5. Keep exercising in pregnancy for mobility and strength.

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

Exercises for Symphasis Pubis Disorder (SPD) :
  1. Introduce 360 breathing 
  2. Hip thrust with ball / Test pullback motion
  3. Narrow banded squats 
  4. Hand & knee mid-back rotations 
  5. Hands & knees cat-cow 
  6. Half knee position reverse fly with band
  7. Lying angle wings 
(See images 1 & 2 for each exercise)

Doing your pelvic floor contractions will also help with SPD. A proper contraction involves 3 steps, which should be mastered before you progress: 
  1.  Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles 
  2. Lift the pelvic floor muscles 
  3. 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.

Worst case back off lower body completely. Also, think about wearing a support belt.

Sources : 
Reference : Dr Sarah Duvall, CES