Pelvic Pain (SPD) during Pregnancy - are you suffering?

For those suffering from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) a trial was undertaken in Aylesbury which required women suffering from the condition to undertake osteopathic treatment. Based on previous results patients experiencing this condition have reported immediate and often significant reduction in symptoms which are often beneficially long term.


SPD is most commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth. It is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis, either anterior or lateral, as well as associated intense pain, possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis. SPD is a dysfunction that is associated with pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and the names are often used interchangeably. It is thought to affect up to one in four pregnant women to varying degrees, with 7% of sufferers continuing to experience serious symptoms postpartum. Although the condition was recognised by Hippocrates, incidences of SPD appear to have increased in recent years; it is unclear whether this is because the average maternal age is increasing, or because the condition is being diagnosed more frequently. Orthodox treatment generally involves painkillers and/or crutches or exercises and often no improvement in symptoms (as reported by patients) is experienced. However, sufferers often report the condition diminishes or resolves after giving birth – and this is the advice provided by orthodox medicine.

What we did

We received applications of 20 sufferers of the condition and they undertook treatment and completed a questionairre before and after treatment.

The results were extremely successful with patients experiencing significant reduction in pain and disability over a period of up to 2-3 treatments (in 2 cases 6 treatments were required but these subjects had untreated SPD in previous pregnancies). On average the number of treatments was 2-3 over a period of 3 weeks.

It is hoped this study will be followed by a much larger group in different parts of the country with a view to being available in GP clinics in due course.

© R Downes / 2006 - 2020

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