The below entry is taken from the opening pages of Tori's Pubic Symphysis Pain article collection - available to download and read in full on the platform!
My Journey With PSD
Hi, Peach! Tori here - I’ve written the below articles (broken down into subjects) to sit beside my video on PSD, in case you’re more of a reader than a watcher. If you’d like to hear a slightly more casual account of my story - head to the video hosted on our online platform. I also share a short video on the physio ball releases I swear by.
This account is extensive, and broken down into several sections, because I wanted to ensure I addressed all the questions that have been sent my way. There’s a lot I’ve covered, so feel free to read one part at a time, rather than consuming it all at once. I hope it’s helpful!
So - Pubic Symphysis Pain - what a bloody bugger. If you’re reading this, I’m going to guess that either you’re experiencing it yourself, or you have a client or loved one who is. PSD is one of the less fun pregnancy symptoms, and while I don’t want to sugar coat how it can feel, I also want to provide an alternative rhetoric in this space - to ensure there’s some positive messages going out there - to cut through some of the doom and gloom. I truly believe that with fast diagnosis, daily proactive habits and the avoidance of triggers, this condition is completely manageable. I hope my insights are useful to you.
Of course, please note that every body and pregnancy is different, so what was helpful to me, or triggering for my pelvis, may not line up perfectly with your own experience. I am writing this article from the heart, and not as a physio or healthcare provider. Please seek professional advice when making a PSD treatment plan for yourself.
Let’s start with the less fun stuff - and get a clear idea of what we’re dealing with - when talking about PSD.
What is it?
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), or pelvic girdle pain (PGP), occurs when the ligaments that usually align and support your pelvic bone become too relaxed and stretchy during pregnancy - thanks to our good old friend, the hormone Relaxin. This, in turn, can make the symphysis pubis - or, more plainly, our pelvic joint - unstable, causing some kinda gross sensations; including feelings of pain, tearing, and grinding.
Relaxin, of course, is very handy when it comes to birth, helping your body ease bub out; but sometimes, in some women, it can kick in little too soon, and do it’s job a little too well - resulting in pelvic pain.
What symptoms point to PSD?
The main complaints from women experiencing this condition are: trouble or discomfort when walking, an aching groin after long periods of sitting for too long - especially on a hard chair, and wrenching pain (as though your pelvis is tearing apart) either when walking, or taking a side/larger step. For most, this pain is felt in the pubic area, but some women also experience it radiating out into their inner thighs, and privates.
Usually, the pain is brought on - or worsened - when walking, or putting your weight onto one leg, hence making your pelvis even more unstable. Things like stepping out of a car, getting out of bed, balancing on one leg to get dressed, climbing stairs and even lying on your side can cause the pelvis to shift, resulting in a pretty nasty sensation.
How common is pelvic pain in pregnant women?
The internet tells me that Pelvic Pain is diagnosed in about 1 in 300 pregnancies, although many experts in this field agree that up to ¼ of pregnant women may experience some kind of PSD, and simply not have it diagnosed or seen to.
So there we have it, not the funnest of conditions, and certainly a bit of a scary diagnosis when it’s first handed to you... Now I’m going to share my top tips when it comes to managing, and even reducing this pain, and remind you that YOU have many ways in which you can control this journey.
Sure, some things we can’t do anything about, like the hormone relaxin and our wobbly old pelvis to begin with, but we CAN adjust our daily habits, and choose a positive mindset, when seeing through our pregnancies with this speed bump in tow.
Read this content in full on the platform!