It has been postulated, casually and clinically, that there will be a sudden rise in childbirths nine months after the initial COVID-19 lockdown date in each country. If this is true, congratulations are in order. However, one study has shown that 37.1 percent of pregnant women experience some degree of discomfort from symphysis pubis dysfunction, an ailment that also affects men and non-pregnant women.
Symphysis pubis discomfort is the name given to a condition marked by pain in the symphysis pubis joint, which is where the two pelvis bones meet in the front of the pelvis. This joint is held together by a dense pattern of ligaments, which can become stretched and strained. When this occurs, the discomfort can be anywhere from mild to severe.
Symptoms of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
- Pain in the pelvic region, which can be mild to severe. Clicking noise in the pelvis while in motion occasionally appears
- Difficulty walking or maintaining proper posture when walking
- Incontinence can develop.
- Difficulty urinating can also occur.
- Diagnosing Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
Doctors begin diagnosing symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD by reviewing the patient’s medical history and through a one-on-one discussion. Frequently, ultrasounds are given to assess the problem. In addition, X-ray images can be used to diagnose SPD, but this is not recommended for pregnant women.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction and Pregnancy
Pregnancy can cause SPD and occurs in higher rates among pregnant women who were obese before they became pregnant. It is also prevalent in men or women who experienced lower back pain in the past.
The health of the fetus is not affected by PSD, although it could be a factor in the decision of how to deliver the child. Women with PSD should discuss this with their obstetrician and/or their primary physician.
One option for pregnant women with PSD is to wear a supportive belt that takes some of the pressure off the woman’s pelvic bones. This can reduce discomfort if worn for the prescribed duration. Another study reported that 20 percent of those with PSD experience bouts of severe pain.
What Can You Do? Treatment Options
There are several steps you should review with your physician. These include several options you can try at home to reduce distress from PSD.
- Chiropractic sessions help in some cases
- Massage therapy can help in some cases
Stretching. Doctors often recommended an exercise that involves lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. The patient then tightens the stomach muscles and the gluteal muscles in 20-second intervals. The process is repeated 10-20 times.
- Putting a pillow between legs while asleep
- Avoid long periods of sitting
- Supportive shoes help in some cases
- Kegel exercises
- Keep knees together when standing from a sitting position to reduce discomfort
- Pain medication can help in some cases
If you are experiencing Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction symptoms, call the FXRX clinic in Tempe, Arizona, for an appointment. Dial 480-449-FXRX.