What is Symphysis Pubic Diastasis (SPD)? How can you manage the pain?
A few weeks ago I had a client reach out to me for private yoga sessions because she is suffering from a mild case of SPD. Fortunately, treatment and a safe yoga sequence designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles can help. SPD is a condition in pregnancy (usually occurring later) when the pregnancy hormone relaxin causes the pelvic joint (pubic symphysis), particularly the pubic bone, to loosen and become unstable. Meaning the normally joined bones begin to dislocate or separate , leaving no fracture. This is because the ligaments that normally keep the pelvic bones in alignment are softened by relaxin. It is normal for those ligaments to become stretchier to ease the birthing process. However, sometimes those ligaments become to lax due to relaxin causing Pubic Symphysis Pain.
Why do only some pregnant people develop this condition? -Weakness in the muscles of the low back and pelvis. -An excessive sensitivity to pregnancy hormones, which results in an increased production of them.
Painful?YES! Is there anything YOU can do to help manage this condition and the pain?YES! Are you alone?OF COURSE NOT! In fact, about 1 in 300 pregnancies have this condition. Experts believe that that number may be a little higher than 2% of pregnancies because many go undiagnosed. How do you know if you have SPD? If you feel any pain specifically in your pubic area, perineum or upper thighs while walking or any daily activity that involves weight bearing on one leg, seek help from a medical professional.
What can YOU do if you are experiencing SPD? -Wear a Pelvic Support Belt (this will help bring the bones back into place during pregnancy). You can find one here: https://www.amazon.com/Symphysis-Maternity-Belt-Standard-Size/dp/B00KQSM982?th=1 -Ask your practitioner about pain relievers if the pain is severe. -Avoid triggering activities, such as: Balancing on one leg- When getting dressed in the morning sit down to avoid having to balance on one leg, Walking or running at a brisk pace- Take shorter strides and slow down, Walking up the steps- Take the elevator whenever that is an option, Lifting or pushing heavy objects- Let someone else do the work for you:) -Seek help from a professional and certified RPYT- A safe yoga sequence will be designed just for you so you can still practice yoga, stay safe and alleviate the pain.
What are some yoga poses to help ease Pubic Symphysis Pain caused by SPD? -Tadasana (Mountain Pose), with a block placed in between the inner thighs. Make sure you squeeze the block to engage your pelvic floor. -Dandasana (Sitting with your legs stretched out & together), Pull the shoulders back and the shoulder blades down, push into the ground with the palms and fingers facing forward (palms are right next to either side of your hips). Repeat 5 times. Option to take this a step further by moving into purvottanasana (upward plank pose). -Kegel's, to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. This exercise is used to start and stop the flow of urine. However, do not just concentrate on that one area. Think front to back and your whole pelvic floor you are lifting and squeezing. Practice Super Kegel's and Quick Kegel's. Goal: 100 Kegel's per day. -Pelvic Tilts, these can be done standing or on your hands and knees. -Gomukhasana (Cow's Face), queen the legs together so that the knees want slide past each other, the right moving towards the left side of the body and the left one moving towards the right side of the body. Hold and squeeze 5 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times. Then switch the position of your legs so your other leg is on top. Repeat the squeezing and releasing 5 times again. In conclusion: If something does not feel right advocate for yourself! Seek help from a medical professional. Learn what you can do to alleviate the pain. Avoid any triggering movements. Practice a safe yoga sequence from a RPYT.