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What exactly is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)?
During pregnancy or birth, about one in 35 women will experience intense pelvic pain and may find it difficult to walk, climb stairs, and other movements that involve the pelvic bones. This pain is a result of separation of the pubic symphysis which is a joint in the very front part of the pelvic bone structure. There is cartilage that fills the gap in the bones. During pregnancy, hormones such as relaxin soften this cartilage allowing the pelvic bones to be more flexible for delivery. Some women, however, have too much play in the pelvis causing a large gap between the bones. This makes the symphysis pubis area extremely sensitive to touch.
When does separation of the symphysis pubis occur?
Some women will notice pain beginning as early as the first trimester of pregnancy while others experience this separation during the birth or even a few days postpartum. Women who have experienced SPD with previous pregnancies will not necessarily have the problem with subsequent pregnancies however, some will.
How do you know if you have SPD?
If you have SPD, you may notice pain in the front of the pelvis that hurts when touched. You may also feel pain in the lower abdomen, hips, inner thigh and groin areas. Marked increased pain with activities such as walking, climbing stairs, lifting your legs or any other large movements involving the pelvis are key symptoms. You may even experience a clicking type noise with movement as well. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your caregiver for further testing.
Chiropractic Treatment of SPD
Dr. Kolleen will take a thorough medical history and do a full chiropractic and orthopedic examination to diagnose the condition.
Chiropractic treatment may involve:
The majority of women who receive chiropractic treatment for SPD, before and after the baby is born, experience a positive response, particularly if the cause lies in pelvic misalignment. From the Chiropractic point of view, it is always better for a woman with mild SPD to get treatment early on to prevent the problem from becoming more severe later or impeding the birth of your baby.
It is important to ask for help and accept help at every opportunity. The key points to remember are:
Listen to your body - do not do too much of any one thing, i.e. Do not walk too far, do not sit for too long, do not exercise for too long - if it hurts, don't do it!
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"I can't describe what Focus has done for me. I was in so much pain, especially the way my baby was positioned. After our visit, I went to the OB and he did an ultra sound. My baby literally turned right after I saw you and is now head down. We are both much happier and more comfortable. Not only that, but my fluids were low but after being adjusted they increased. Now his kicks don't hurt as much and he is even moving and kicking more now that the adjustment made room for him. After experiencing an adjustment, my muscles are more relaxed. You guys are amazing and I feel so grateful that you helped me and I look forward to my next visit. I have been to many chiropractors and no one has helped me like Focus Chiropractic. They really know what they are doing and I felt so comfortable there."