The earlier a diagnosis can be made, the better. This will allow you to keep pain to a minimum and avoid longer-term discomfort. It is recommended to seek help from your GP or physical therapist for SPD if it occurs.
- You can apply a heating pad or ice pack to the area. Don’t leave this on for longer than 7 minutes at a time. You can safely cycle the pack on/off for every 10 minutes.
- Avoid triggers: sit down to get dressed, avoid heavy lifting and pushing
- Be as active as possible (within your limits!). It’s important to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Many find swimming comfortable as it is a non weight bearing exercise. Sometimes breaststroke can be aggravating so be careful about which strokes you chose to do.
- Some may find it useful to place a band around your legs slightly less than what normally brings on the pain to avoid moving into the painful ranges.
- Wear flat, supportive footwear.
- Avoid crossing your legs.
- Try and get help with household chores and shopping from your partner, family or friends.
- When turning in bed, try keeping your knees together while squeezing your buttocks. You may find it useful to have a small pillow between your legs.
(Pelvic pain in pregnancy, 2021)
A manual therapist such as a physiotherapist or osteopath will take a full case history and conduct a thorough examination in order to exclude any other issues. Once a diagnosis of SPD is made, treatment will be tailored to you. It tends to consist of manual therapy to ensure that the pelvis, hip and spine are moving as efficiently as they can and any compensatory mechanisms are addressed. It is important to stabilise the pelvis as much as possible, so for this you will often be given exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, back and hip muscles.
As with self care, it is important to keep moving, however this needs to be done in your pain-free movement. An osteopath or physiotherapist will often prescribe exercises that can help. In addition to this, you may find Clinical Pilates can be beneficial in assisting with SPD. Some of the Osteopaths and Physiotherapists at bodytonic clinic are also trained in this and can advise you whether they feel Clinical Pilates may be of benefit for you.
Pain medication can be taken to help with the discomfort you are receiving, however it is best to speak to your GP or local pharmacist about this.
- Although not proven to be effective, many find some relief with:
- TENS machines
- Complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology
Walking Aids and Support Bands
In more severe cases, it may be necessary to use crutches or a pelvic support belt to assist with easing your symptoms.