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Chiropractic Solutions: Pregnancy Pelvic Pain

By Sara Butler

Your body goes through a lot of changes in a relatively short period of time when you're pregnant. The changes may largely go unnoticed until one morning you move to put your pants on and ... ouch! Pain radiates from your hips or your groin. This is a common problem in pregnancy called symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and your chiropractor can help.

What is SPD?

When you’re pregnant, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which helps prepare your muscles to expand by making them – well, relax. When you have SPD, the relaxin causes the muscles to become soft and stretchy, including the muscles that help to keep your pelvis stable. The muscles in your pelvis have to relax and expand to accommodate the growing uterus and eventually allow the baby to pass through the birth canal. Relaxin starts to come into play in your pregnancy around 12 weeks in, and as the load you're carrying increases it may result in SPD.

Symptoms of SPD

Symptoms of SPD vary from patient to patient, so you may experience all of the symptoms or just a few. The pain can stay in one spot at the front of the pelvis or move around, and you may also notice:

  • Pain that feels like burning, stabbing or bruising
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain over the front of your pelvis
  • Pelvis is tender to the touch
  • Reduced range of motion in your hip
  • Groin, hip or lower abdominal pain
  • Pain that radiates to the inner thigh
  • Increased public pain when walking, lifting legs or moving legs apart
  • Shuffling or waddling gait
  • A clicking or grinding sound coming from your pelvis
  • Loss of bladder control temporarily when changing positions

Many women complain of difficulty rolling over while in bed, walking up or down stairs, bending over to put clothes on, getting in or out of the car, or lifting their legs.


Your chiropractor will evaluate your particular case and offer you a treatment plan based on your needs. The majority of women who receive chiropractic care for this condition notice improvement, but it will benefit you the most to get treatment as early in your pregnancy as possible.

At home, your chiropractor may suggest you:

  • Get rest
  • Use a body pillow for support in bed
  • Do not sit with crossed legs
  • Avoid heavy lifting, prolonged standing, twisting or vacuuming
  • Do not straddle or squat
  • Try to move legs together when getting up and down

This isn’t a pain you have to just live with while you’re pregnant – your chiropractor can help! So come into The Joint Chiropractic for an evaluation today!

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