Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction

Pregnancy Care

Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction during Pregnancy

Pubic Symphysis dysfunction (PSD) manifests as pain located at the pubic joint, specifically in the centre, just above the groin. While some individuals may experience more pain on one side than the other, the majority typically exhibit central pain.

The pubic joint is a narrow structure comprised of cartilage. Its purpose is to provide flexibility, enabling movement of the pelvic bones. However, when this movement becomes excessive or when there is undue pressure from structures above, it can result in excruciating pain. In severe cases, it may even lead to complete tearing, necessitating complete bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Pubic symphysis symptoms encompass:

  • Sensations of tearing, pulling, or aching at the pubic joint.
  • Inability to bear weight or walk without experiencing pain.
  • Difficulty standing on one leg, such as when attempting to put on pants.
  • Pain when climbing stairs.
  • Discomfort while rolling over in bed.
  • Occasional clicking sensation within the joint.

Initially, these symptoms may be manageable, leading one to believe that they will dissipate with rest. However, if the underlying causes of this pain are not addressed, it is common for the symptoms to worsen as your pregnancy progresses.

What causes Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction?

PSD arises from various factors related to pregnancy, primarily due to the increased laxity in ligaments. Pre-existing muscle imbalances can exacerbate and manifest as pronounced symptoms during this period. The condition is commonly attributed to misalignment of the pelvis caused by asymmetrical weakness in the muscles supporting it. This imbalance subjects the pubic joint to excessive torsional forces, resulting in heightened pain, typically more pronounced on one side of the groin.

Another prevalent cause is insufficient abdominal strength, leading to an excessive forward tilt of the pelvis during pregnancy. This, in turn, exerts undue pressure on the front of the pelvis, often giving rise to central pain in the pubic joint/groin or equal pain on both sides. In some cases, PSD can be triggered by a sudden traumatic event, like a fall or trip, resulting in acute injury to the pubic symphysis.

What can you do if you have Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction?

If you are experiencing PSD, there are several steps you can take to find relief and prevent it from worsening. Treatment for PSD often involves gentle muscle releases, stretches, and pelvic mobilizations without any forceful cracking or manipulation.

To address the root cause of PSD, a small amount of rehabilitation is necessary to correct the muscle imbalances that initially contributed to the issue. A qualified chiropractor or physiotherapist trained in managing pregnancy-related conditions can guide you on the most suitable exercises and movements for your pelvis.

In addition to seeking treatment and rehabilitation, it’s crucial to be mindful of activities that could aggravate the condition. To manage PSD effectively, you should avoid:

  1. Standing on one leg when putting on pants, shoes, socks, or underwear. Instead, sit down to do these tasks.
  2. Engaging in lunges or exercises that involve one leg standing or excessive torsion at the affected joint.
  3. Getting in and out of the car with one leg first. Instead, sit down first and then bring both legs in together.
  4. Sliding or moving objects on the floor with one foot, especially relevant for mothers with young children and their toys.
  5. Carrying a toddler on one hip, as this can strain the pelvis.
  6. Excessively twisting the pelvis during activities like vacuuming.
  7. Turning over in bed without support. Consider squeezing a pillow between your knees as you turn or sit up first before changing positions.

By following these guidelines and seeking appropriate treatment, you can manage PSD more effectively and improve your overall comfort during pregnancy.

Posture and PSD

Posture plays a significant role in preventing or reducing PSD. When you stand with your knees locked back and your hands resting on the back of your hips, it causes your pelvis to tilt forward. Consequently, the weight of your belly rests mostly on the small, cartilaginous pubis joint rather than the more supportive bones of your sacrum and pelvis.

To avoid this, always maintain loose knees and tuck your tailbone under. When standing for extended periods, it’s beneficial to engage your abdominal muscles, creating a gentle “hug” around your baby to bring them closer to your spine. This approach helps keep your shoulders back and down, allowing ample space for your rib cage to expand and enabling your diaphragm to descend properly during breathing. By adopting these adjustments in your posture, you can alleviate strain on the pubic joint and promote greater comfort during pregnancy.

Experience a pain-free and joyful pregnancy journey at Health Collab. Our dedicated chiropractors specialise in managing conditions like PSD, providing gentle muscle releases, stretches, and pelvic mobilisations to alleviate pain. Don’t let PSD hinder your pregnancy; seek early treatment and rehabilitation with us to optimise your well-being. Booking an appointment is simple—visit our website and schedule a session online. Trust Health Collab to prioritise your comfort and health, ensuring you enjoy a smoother and happier pregnancy.

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