Pelvic pain in pregnancy (SPD)

How is SPD diagnosed?

Your doctor or midwife should refer you to a women’s health physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist will test the stability, movement and pain in your pelvic joints and muscles.

How is SPD treated?

SPD is managed in the same way as other pelvic girdle pain. Treatment includes:

  • Exercises to strengthen your spinal, tummy, pelvic girdle, hip and pelvic floor muscles. These will improve the stability of your pelvis and back. You may need gentle, hands-on treatment of your hip, back or pelvis to correct stiffness or imbalance. Water gymnastics can sometimes help.
  • Your physiotherapist should advise you on how to make daily activities less painful and on how to make the birth of your baby easier. Your midwife should help you to write a birth plan that takes into account your SPD symptoms.
  • Acupuncture may help reduce the pain and is safe during pregnancy. Make sure your practitioner is trained and experienced in working with pregnant women.
  • Other manual therapies, such as osteopathy may help. See a registered practitioner who is experienced in treating pregnant women.
  • A pelvic support belt may give relief, particularly when you’re exercising or active.

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