I am currently pregnant and experiencing intense pain at my pubic bone.

I am currently pregnant and experiencing intense pain at my pubic bone that makes it very difficult to move. Is this something I have to deal with until the baby is born?

What you are experiencing is likely symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). It is the result of laxity in the cartilage holding the pubic bone together, but is typically aggravated by imbalances of the muscles and ligamentous structures from left to right. The intensity of pain can vary between women, but typically inhibits walking normally, rolling, getting in/out of the car, and going up/down steps.

If you think you may be experiencing this condition, it is important to be mindful of your movement. Try to keep the knees apart when you are moving, such as rolling in bed with 2 pillows between your legs, and moving one leg at a time when getting in/out of the car. Avoid positions that are difficult to get out of such as down in a bathtub. When you are standing try to keep weight equal on each leg.

Exercises that can reduce pain due to SPD are more about restoring symmetry in the muscle activation around the pelvis vs. stretching. It is recommended you work with a provider that specializes in management of this condition such as a pelvic health physical therapist. All the ligaments and muscles around the uterus and pelvis need to be assessed for possible tight spots that could be causing an imbalance at the pubic bone.

As the pregnancy progresses it is also important to consider implications for labor and delivery, and how your condition can be appropriately managed to allow for your best birth experience.

~Leslie Kremer, Physical Therapist, Birth Healing Specialist

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