Pregnancy Pain Therapy Cork

Helping Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction sufferers manage their pregnancy.

SPD Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

Pregnancy Massage and Pain Therapy

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

If you’ve heard of SPD or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, then you understand the discomfort that goes with it. It’s a condition found in many Pregnant women. (60% in their first pregnancy, 81% in their second pregnancy, MacLennan 1997) and by every account that has been published most describe it as excruciating pain… “like a stabbing pain in the groin area”. So if you’ve heard of this then you’ll probably know all about it! It’s difficult to find an explanation or full description of it so here goes

The Science Bit

The Symphisis pubis is a piece of cartilage connecting the left side of the pelvis or pubic bone together with the right side. Relaxin is a hormone produced naturally in the body so you can have a normal delivery of your baby but unfortunately in some women this Relaxin is released too early in pregnancy. Sometimes as early as the beginning of the 2nd trimester, but most commonly around 20 weeks. This release of relaxin causes ligaments to become lax. Its basically our body doing it’s job too well too early… way before the baby is due to come out!

What you need to know about SPD

It can seem that you feel your pelvis is going to crack or that your legs are going to dislodge from your hip joints, but this won’t ever actually happen… but it may be quite painful to walk, stand too long, take the stairs, or in particular rolling over in bed. This is because the shift in the pelvic joints make everything feel off balance! There will be pain in the hips, groin, rear and sometimes just above the pubic area. Not pleasant at all

What can be done about SPD

The trick to ‘fixing’ SPD is to manage the pain coming from the muscles attached to the pelvis as they house the nerve endings that cause the most pain due the lax symphisis pubis cartilage. Pain can be reduced with the right treatment such as physical therapy or massage. As with most pregnancy pain it will go as soon as baby is delivered, but the earlier it is addressed the more chance of relieving and managing the pain. This is where Physical Therapy can help.

The Bad News

If you’ve had it on your first pregnancy there is an 81% chance you’ll have it on your following pregnancies… (McLennan 1997 – British Journal of Midwifery, May 2005)

The Good News

SPD is treatable!! Lorraine Blackshields Phys L.C.S.P (IIPT) at Procuro Physical Therapy Clinic Cork has been working with SPD patients for over 5 years. Using a mixture of natural treatments like massage, acupuncture and the correct exercise, pain can be reduced in the first treatment by up to 80%! If caught early enough, treatment frequency can be reduced from 2 sessions in the first week to maybe only needing once session every 4 to 6 weeks. (Guideline only) Some patients have reported instant relief and most importantly getting well needed sleep!

The Treatment Plan

Once diagnosed it’s important to begin Physical Therapy straight away… it doesn’t get better on it’s own… well until baby arrives!

Deep Tissue Massage to the upper thigh, groin and hips. This relieves the tension and sharp pain in these over worked muscles, bringing flexibility and energy back into the area.

Dry Needling/Acupunture is also used to help with circulation, getting the healthy blood to the muscles to once again, release tension, reduce pain in the nerves of the muscles being affected and to help release ‘Opiates’ (A natural pain relieving hormone in the body).

If acupunture isn’t your thing, then Ultra-sound can be used on inflamed hip joints to help ease sharp pain and discomfort.

Correct stretches/exercise: Lorraine is also a qualified yoga instructor so can advise on exercises or ‘homework’ you can do at home to help widen the gap between frequency of treatment sessions.

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