Pain in pregnancy is often considered as “par for the course”, however advances in treatment and support options for women who are experiencing pain in the pelvis, lower back, and pubic areas are gaining traction among pregnant mothers and their therapists.
According to Howell (2012), there are many terms describing pelvic pain in pregnancy, including peripartum pelvic pain, Pregnancy-related Pelvic Pain (PRPP), Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP), anterior or posterior pelvic pain, and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). It is often confused with diastasis pubis (a separated symphysis pubis of more than 10 mm, or symphysiolysis), pelvic rupture (rupture of the symphysis pubis and sacroiliac joints simultaneously, which is extremely rare), and even osteitis pubis (partial or complete rupture of the symphysis pubis and requires aggressive treatment). The disability related to symphysis pubis pain in pregnancy can vary from mild to severe, but is significant and any therapy that can help to reduce the discomfort is a welcome possibility.
Pelvic pain occurs in pregnant women at a rate of between 48-71% (Howell, 2012), and treatments include soft tissue therapy, pregnancy support belts, side-lying mobilisations, and home care advice such as using a pillow between the knees, using ice, regular breaks from sitting or standing for long periods.
In a study conducted by Depledge et al (2005), the use of pelvic support belts decreased the worst pain experienced by all pregnant women experiencing pubic symphysis dysfunction, and it markedly decreased mid level pain when used in conjunction with activity. Using products that incorporate compression around the lower back and pelvis such as Supacore CORETECH Maternity help to create the same support as a pelvic support belt, whilst being significantly more comfortable! This seamless pelvic support combined with an over-the-belly section for comfort is the answer to decreasing your pubic symphysis dysfunction pain.
Depledge, J, McNair, P, Keal-Smith, C & Williams, M 2005, "Management of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction During Pregnancy Using Exercise and Pelvic Support Belts", Physical Therapy, vol. 85, no. 12, pp. 290-300.
Howell, E. R., 2012. Pregnancy-related symphysis pubis dysfunction management and postpartum rehabilitation: two case reports. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 56(2), p. 102+.