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Thread: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) Chatter #1

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    Default Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) Chatter #1

    Welcome to SPD Chatter!

    SPD (Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction) is a medical condition during pregnancy where elevated hormone levels cause the ligaments that hold the front of the pelvis together (the pubis) to relax. The result is a pelvis that is more mobile, and this can cause sometimes quite severe pain.

    This thread is for current and past sufferers of SPD to discuss their experiences with the condition, as well as any treatments that may have helped in the past.

    Feel free to join in the discussion!

    Also - check out BellyBelly's article and discussion on Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

    Last edited by BellyBelly; March 17th, 2013 at 12:17 PM.

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    My DW suffered SPD during all of her pregnancies, and it was quite painful for her (although against the hyperemesis I think it paled into insignificance!). She found a consulation with a physio helped - they gave her a special elastic belt to wear around her hips that kind of compressed them in and supported the pelvis a bit more.

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    I used a support belt and regular visits to a physio to help me deal with my SPD. If I was walking with my children I made sure they were in the pram and I was pushing it, as this helped stabilise me and hold me up. On the rare occasions I was out without the kids, and round the house, I used crutches which provided so much support and eased the pain of moving dramatically.

    I also avoided walking uphill and upstairs when I could, and slept with a pillow between my knees to stop myself accidentally pulling them apart when asleep. I never did it myself, but I have heard tying the pillow in place with an old pair of tights can be very helpful.

    Postnatally I visit a chiro and also regularly ice if I start to ace and that helps heaps with my sore hips. They were heaps better as soon as I gave birth, but do ache from time to time especially if I have been overdoing it at the gym.

  4. #4

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    Subscribing... currently at holiday house and no ice! Will try to find an ice pack tomorrow (although it's a tiny country town so I don't like my chances!)

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    I had it very bad when preg with DS1 I wore a support belt from 26 weeks and was seeing physio weekly, and iceing it regularly as possible, but couldn't do it really on work days.
    I really noticed difference if I didnt wear belt, I couldn't walk around at work.

    To be honestly physio sessions felt good at the time but give it 4 hrs and it was same again.

    When preg with DS2 I started very early on getting up correctly and sleeping with pillow between legs. It actually was more painful early on in preg and eased in last 4 - 6 weeks. I did have many nights of crying in pain as I couldn't move without feeling like my pelvis was going to split. OUCH

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    Subscribing as well (and celebrating that we have this thread - thanks Schmickers! ).

    One of the things that confused me was when the physio said to me that I had pelvic instability - was it the same thing as SPD? According to http://www.pelvicinstability.org.au (mods -pls remove this if I'm not supposed to link it), they say the following:
    Pelvic Instability has historically been known by many different names. In Europe it is most commonly known as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). It is also known by the medical profession as: Pregnancy-related pelvic joint pain; Posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy; Peri partum pelvic pain; Pelvic girdle relaxation; Pelvic girdle syndrome; Pelvic insufficiency; Pelvic dysfunction; Pelvic arthropathy; Pelvic osteoarthropathy; Pubic symphysis instability; Symphysiolysis; Sacroiliac joint syndrome or Sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
    AFM - I had it mildly last PG and so far have it worse this PG. As the others have said, support belt, ice (and/or heat - I've been told both!?), don't walk up stairs/hills/uneven surfaces. Avoid heavy lifting, twisting, bending, turning, doing things standing on one leg, vacuuming, shopping trolleys (they are the PITS!). I've been getting osteo treatment weekly and am about to try physio also. I also have stretches and exercises to do, including pelvic floor (very important!). I've also got pelvic floor nerve damage on one side (it's at half strength) - and surprise, surprise, that side is my bad side pain-wise too. Oh and I love my body pillow (actually more than my DH at present - he's very jealous ). Apart from that, desperately hoping i can manage this for another 3 months... atm my best treatment is my mum visiting from interstate!

    Toddler-specific issues: I'm about to move my toddler into a bed (cot is too hard atm), minimise car trips with him, no lifting for cuddles (he snuggles my bump anyway), changing nappies - both floor and change table are difficult (too high OR too low) but am going to try the sofa. Toys - I'm going to start sweeping them up. Snacks at a kiddie table & chairs rather than in the high-chair. Dressing him - try to plan ahead so I'm not bending over to add extra layers before we go out (bending over to do zippers up is painful!)... maybe more hoodies/simple clothes.

    Sending big to everyone else suffering this also, and thanks for the wisdom from those who have suffered it before.

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    #1 pregnancy I had nothing.. and I was 30kg heavier

    #2 pegnancy was bad.. and i was about the same weight as #1 pregnancy I carried a MASSIVE belly with a prem baby.

    #3 pregnancy this has been an absolutly nightmare.. just all the sudden it has come on bad... ice is fantastic, so i do hot shower or bath and then cold ice, I have been to chiro and physio and I have to say has made no difference. I am using crutches at times around home and found that does help but with 2 little ones makes it tricky. I have slept with pillow between legs, I keep knees together, I dont do steps unless I HAVE TO and cant get there any other way, I have still the 2 other children to tend to..

    I can now see why people get family etc to help out.

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    Didi - honestly I don't know how you're doing it plus looking after 2 little ones . I know it must be hard when you don't have family here to help out, I wish I could clone and loan my mum!

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    Pregnancy 1 - hit at 28 weeks, was soon in pain 24 hours per day. Was sent to physio who advised me to wear special belt and ice. Neither of those made a difference because I was already in too much pain for the belt to work and was only icing sporadically. EVERYONE told me it would go away soon after the birth so I didn't make a big deal of it because I was so delighted to be having a baby.

    Labour from hell and did everything 'wrong'. Pushed for almost three hours with knees bent up against my shoulders, ended in forceps. Still in lots of pain afterwards. Was wheeling myself around the house in an office chair. Six months later the physio told me to only walk for five minutes every other day, no more. Huge impact on my life because I am/was a non-driver. Couldn't get down to play on the floor with my daughter for 12 months. Lifting a 2 litre bottle of milk was still painful months later. Relationship with partner became very strained.

    The length of recovery meant that we put off TTC #2 (NOT advisable at our ages). I just couldn't face going through that much pain again and the impact it had on my life.

    Between pregnancy #1 and #2 started doing clinical pilates once a week to strengthen core muscles in preparation for another pregnancy.

    Pregnancy #2 - hit at 6 weeks. Was told by my physio at 7 weeks that I would soon be in a wheelchair. Frantically started icing around the clock and using the belt. Had to give up work at 14 weeks because the 45 min walk to/from train stations over the course of a day would have meant a wheelchair for sure and sitting at your desk with an icepack between your legs ain't a good look. Have been housebound since then (don't drive). Faced awful dilemma of being more active and being in a lot of pain or resting the pelvis and going mentally bonkers at not being able to leave the house - in a small house with a very active toddler. Chose the latter. No family, no babysitters, partner who works shifts and often works nine days straight plus weekends. Have to use wheelchair for anything over about 50 metres. Despite all that, have managed the pain much better this time by doing everything 'right' - icing between 1-3 times per day, wearing the belt ALL day - sometimes in bed too, going to clinical pilates, keeping knees together at all times. I'm now in less pain at 34 weeks pregnant than I was 12 months postnatally last time. Have also moved house - largely because of the pelvic stuff. So, I've survived but I can't overstate the impact this has had on my life in the last three years.

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    i dont know if i have it or not but yesterday i started getting pain in that area it still hurts today but not as bad i dont have a physio or chiro out here so im sorta stuck for ideas and i have an appt with middies on friday so hopefully i can find out something

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    JwithJ - GL for Friday's appt, I hope they can shed some light.

    fianas - oooh boy, you've had a right run of it. It's heartening to hear that you can learn to manage it but oooh what a massive impact on your life

    AFM - went to a new physio today... basically thinks the same as my osteo (so that's kinda good) which is that my pelvic instability isn't THAT bad, but I've got a "gammy" hip plus the poor pelvic floor on that side... so it's a few things going on which all result in a hip that won't be walked upon, but not absolute classic SPD IYKWIM. She suggested I try get some crutches for night time... and i've already discovered friends & relies with both sorts of crutches (armpit - is that the description? vs elbow).... so which is better? I forgot to ask, so I'd love to hear any advice!

    I've also been given a gazillion more exercises and stretches to do, told NOT to walk (as much as possible) and get to the pool if I can (GD test is next week.... I need to find SOME way to exercise!!). Having my mum here has made a huge difference, wondering if I can keep her for 3 months... hmm probably not given she lives interstate! I'm still petrified that once she goes I'm gonna be back at square one, but I'm trying to use the time she's here to really strengthen, learn how to manage it and make some household/lifestyle changes... i.e. just put DS into a big bed as I cannot manage a cot at all. So we're doing the best we can and I just appreciate every day I have mum. Thing is, my older sis is visiting the rest of the family tomorrow and she won't see mum cos she's over here helping me, so I feel bad that mum and my older sis aren't going to get to catch up

    Didi - I happened to mention your situation to her... and she said "oh where does she live, I'll go help her!". My heart melted and I sooo wish I could just send her over!

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    Belfie, I wondered about swimming? I know I am supposed to rest as much as possible and avoid walking, but I don't know if I should swim?? Thing is, I'm hungry and so I'm eating often (craving carbs!) but because I'm not exercising I'm gaining weight. More than just normal pg weight, I think. So, it can't be good for my pelvis to be carrying a heavier load but I feel nauseous if I don't eat!

    Catch-22...

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    nickle - if you're seeing a physio or similiar I'd definitely check if they think it's ok for you. But if it helps to know, I was told to avoid breaststroke and to be very VERY careful getting in & out of the pool. For me, my osteo was really encouraging water walking, whereas the physio said waterwalking and swimming. Plus I know both have just said to me if it hurts, don't do it (easier said than done sometimes though huh!). I've also tried a bit of cycling tonight on the stationary bike, managed 7 mins before the muscle cramps set in . I know what you mean about weight gain though and it's sooo hard when you've got nausea too. Hope the nausea settles soon for you

    Can anyone else answer my crutches question - does it make a difference if they're elbow versus armpit? At this stage I would only be using them overnight and mornings when needed.

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    I had elbow crutches, and only used them when at home or out by myself. I have never tried armpit ones but I used mine in conjunction with an across the shoulder bag for carrying my hospital notes, etc, so would have probably found the armpit ones got in the way a bit.

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    thanks traveller - i'm following up with my friend who offered to lend me the elbow ones it sounds like they're better.

    well I tried swimming today... and managed to sprain my toe! Of all the stupid things to do huh! I was pushing off the wall and it caught or slipped on something somehow and YOUCH! So now I have a big fat red swollen bruised toe! The actual swimming and gentle water-walking went well and didn't cause pain. As for the sprained toe (i'm assuming it's not broken - shall check with my physio on thurs), well it doesn't really make too much difference given I'm not walking much anyway! But still, I can't quite believe it

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    Ah i am going to a friends spa tomorrow night to float!! I CANT WAIT!!! Simple things... I dont fit in the bath very well anymore!!!! So embarassing!

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    Ahhh.... Belfie, I hope your toe is getting better! Just what you need - more pain!!

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    I'm just popping in to say YAY for this thread!! SPD is such an under-acknowledged thing that we're kind of expected to grin and bear it like it's "normal" late-pregnancy aches and pains.

    Re the crutches, I know a couple of ladies who just went straight for a walking frame...has the added benefit that you can stop and sit halfway thru your journey if you need to. I don't know if I could've managed crutches...

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