Symphysis pubis syndrome


Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis, either anterior or lateral, as well as associated pain, possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis. Most commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it is thought to affect up to one in four pregnant women to varying degrees, with 7% of sufferers continuing to experience serious symptoms postpartum.

SPD is associated with pelvic girdle pain and the names are often used interchangeably.

Pubic Symphysis Syndrome can be totally debilitating and we have seen many ladies struggle in to the clinic on crutches. It has a severe impact on life as basically walking is excruciatingy painful as in any movement, making sleeping very difficult too.

A study of Owens K. et al. shows that this injury arises in the first three months of pregnancy for 9% of women, in the second for 44%, in the third for 15% and postnatal for 2%. Symphysis pubis dysfunction has been described as a collection of signs and symptoms of discomfort and pain in the pelvic area, including pelvic pain radiating to the upper thighs and perineum (private parts).

The symphysis pubis is the joint at the front of your pelvis – the one that opens to allow baby’s head out. It is the front joint of the pelvis with the more commonly injured sacroiliac joints at the back. Sometimes, the joint starts to open earlier than it should leading to imbalances. The imbalance may well be coming from tight muscles e.g. the hip adductor muscles which you would to grip on to a horse. It may also be coming from a pelvis that is out of alignment.