It is fairly common to hear about women experiencing back pain during pregnancy, but there is another common condition many women deal with during pregnancy: Pubic Bone Pain – also known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) or Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP).
This condition typically occurs later in pregnancy and can lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
We’ve put together a guide to understanding pubic bone pain in pregnancy, including what it is, risk factors for pelvic pain during pregnancy, and common treatments for pubic bone pain during pregnancy.
What Is Pubic Bone Pain in Pregnancy?
Pubic bone pain in pregnancy is a fairly common condition that involves pelvic joints that move unevenly or become stiff. It typically involves a group of symptoms that can cause pain and discomfort both at the front and back of the pelvis.
What Causes Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy?
In the later stages of pregnancy, the hormone relaxin causes the pelvis, particularly at the pubic bone, to loosen and become highly mobile. When there is too much laxity in a joint, there can be instability and pain.
This is of course a GREAT thing as it makes birth easier for you AND the baby and allows for your pelvis to widen during delivery.
However, this increased laxity can become quite painful during or even after pregnancy. And when you have a newborn baby to look after, it can make the process that much harder.
What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?
Symptoms of pubic bone pain in pregnancy vary among women and may include:
- Pain/swelling over the pubic bone (just above the pubic hair region)
- Waddling when walking
- Clicking or popping noises coming from the pelvis when walking
- Pain during activities such as getting out of bed, putting on pants, or putting on shoes
- Difficulty getting in and out of a vehicle or the bathtub
- Pain when sitting for long stretches or performing repetitive tasks
- Pain in the area between the anus and vagina (perineum)
- Pain during sex
- Discomfort when going up and down stairs
What Puts a Woman at Risk of Pubic Pain in Pregnancy?
The cause of pelvic pain during pregnancy is not completely known, but it is believed to be a result of various risk factors, such as:
- Experiencing SPD in a previous pregnancy
- Pelvic joints that move unevenly
- A history of lower back pain
- A history of pelvic girdle pain
- Prior injury to the pelvis (for instance, from an accident or fall)
- A physically demanding job
- Having multiples
- Carrying a large baby
- First pregnancy
- Emotional distress
- Being overweight
Treatment for Pubic Bone Pain in Pregnancy
Don’t worry, Mumma. If you are struggling with pubic bone pain during pregnancy, we’ve got you covered. The right techniques and tips can help minimise pain and manage the discomfort you may be experiencing.
Try this Simple Solution for Pubic Bone Pain in Pregnancy.
The best part is, you can do it in the comfort of your own home.
How to do a simple exercise to help minimise pubic bone pain during pregnancy:
- Sit on a chair/bed
- Separate your knees
- Place the length of your forearm between your knees
- Firmly squeeze your knees together for 20 – 30 seconds (you make hear a little pop or click sound)
- Repeat 2 – 3 times a day
This exercise is not JUST for the ladies. It is incredibly beneficial for those who have had groin injuries playing soccer/football or during other repetitive sports.
Other Treatments for Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy
Other tips for managing pelvic pain during pregnancy, according to The Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) network, include:
- Stay as active as you comfortably can (some GREAT activities to consider include walking or prenatal yoga)
- Avoid activities that worsen your pelvic pain
- Rest often and as much as needed
- Ask for help when needed
- Wear flat shoes with adequate support
- Sit down when getting dressed (for instance, avoid standing on one leg when putting on pants)
- Keep your knees together when getting in and out of a vehicle (if needed, use a plastic bag on the seat to help you swivel)
- Sleep in a comfortable position (many pregnant women enjoy sleeping with a pillow in between their legs)
- Experiment with different ways of turning over in bed (for instance, turning over with both of your knees together while squeezing your glute muscles
- Take stairs one at a time (you can also carefully try to go upstairs backwards or on your bum to see if it helps)
- If you use crutches, use a small backpack to carry thin
- Try different sex positions to find what is most comfortable for you
- Avoid carrying a baby on one hip
- Try not to bend and twist to lift objects (better yet, get someone else to do the lifting – especially for heavy objects!)
- Avoid crossing your legs or sitting on the floor
- Avoid sitting or standing for too long at a time
- Do not push heavy objects
- Use an ice pack over the pelvic joints to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain
If you are struggling with pubic bone pain during pregnancy, we hope you found this information helpful.
Talking to your doctor or a health professional can help you learn how to further minimise pain and make an appropriate plan of care.
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