SPD is a debilitating condition, worsened by the hormonal and mechanical changes of pregnancy. In a past blog I have written about pelvic pain and dysfunction and how Osteopathy works so well to help.
In this post I have put together an advice sheet on what to do alongside and after your treatment, and to support ongoing treatment with us, in terms of reducing pain and getting the body back to normal more quickly and effectively. This will also help longer term.
1. Use frozen peas!!!!
Yes it really does work! Most of the pain experienced, especially at the pubic bone and sacroiliac joints (at the back of the pelvis), is inflammatory in nature. This means it responds really well to cold. Pop a handful of frozen peas in a freezy bag, tie in a knot, then use as your ice pack. 10 minutes at a time on all sore spots.
2. Pillow between the knees
Boring, but it does work. If you are sleeping on your side, make sure your hip bones are stacked on top of each other to prevent further misalignment.
3. No crossing legs
Try to avoid crossing one leg over the other, try to keep your pelvis in a neutral position. Thereby, sit with equal weight through both sit bones. Try to avoid twisting whilst you are in this position too.
4. Maybe ditch the stilettos??!!
High heels can push your weight even further forwards. If you are pregnant then you will be weight bearing more in this position anyway due to your bump. Try to wear good comfy shoes whenever a lot of walking is required. By supporting your arches you will be able to help reduce any poor loading through the pelvis.
5. Get strong!
Stronger glutes and core muscles (and of course pelvic floor muscles) are imperative in keeping out of pain more long term. This can be done whilst pregnant and after. Pilates works wonders. Ask us for some basic exercises to help you individually. Although best to avoid single leg exercises for now.
6. Don’t overstretch
So there are loads of little muscles and ligaments around your pelvis, both front and back, which are likely quite strained with SPD/PGP. If you open your legs too wide to get out of the car, do a box splits position or similar type stretch in a yoga class, or always sit with your knees together, and hips turned inwards (and feet/lower legs out), then definitely worth avoiding if possible. These types of positions take the muscles on too much of a stretch, so if they are inflamed they will be really sore. Swimming is amazing, but you may prefer back crawl or front crawl now as breaststroke can cause overstretching at the pubic symphysis area.
7. Avoid hip carrying other children
Try to carry your elder children centrally, like a monkey carry if possible. If you hitch your hip to carry a child, toddler or baby in this way, then you can cause a further disruption to the pelvic alignment, and put more strain on the ligaments, causing muscles to spasm, and further exacerbate a pelvic issue. Central carrying is a great habit to get into from a very early age.
I hope all of this information is helpful. Osteopathy is fab for realigning the pelvis, and calming down pain and inflammation and muscle spasm brought on by pelvic pain and SPD. SPD is predominantly a mechanical issue, whereby the load through the pelvis has been disrupted. Lots of women can be pain free after treatment, but do need to take care of themselves for the rest of their pregnancy to prevent the pain from returning. This advice sheet will help you to remember the important bits.
Please contact us if you have any questions: