07 3188 5000
Most Popular Posts
Dr Bryan Kenny expert answers powered by Healthshare
Pelvic Pain and SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction): Recognizing Signs and Seeking Treatment


Pregnancy, while a miraculous journey, often brings about physical changes and challenges. One condition that, though not frequently discussed, can cause significant discomfort is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). As an obstetrician, I believe it’s essential for expectant mothers to recognize the signs of SPD and understand the available treatment options.

Understanding SPD

SPD is a condition where the ligaments responsible for stabilizing the pelvic bone become too relaxed and stretchy. This results in the pelvic joints becoming unstable, causing pain. This is likely due to hormonal changes in pregnancy which allow the pelvic joints to become more flexible in preparation for childbirth.

Recognizing the Signs

  • Sharp Pelvic Pain: This is often concentrated in the front of the pelvis, around the pubic area. It can also radiate to the thighs.
  • Back Pain: Especially in the lower back.
  • Pain While Moving: Such as when walking or climbing stairs.
  • Audible Clicking or Grinding: Some women report hearing or feeling this in the pelvic region.

Treatment Options

  • Pelvic Support Belts: These belts can provide some relief by stabilizing the pelvic joint.
  • Physical Therapy: A trained therapist can offer exercises and techniques to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and alleviate pain.
  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers, like paracetamol, can be considered. Always consult your doctor before taking any medication.
  • Modified Activities: Limit activities that exacerbate the pain. For instance, taking smaller steps or avoiding standing on one leg can be beneficial.
  • Warmth: A warm bath or a heating pad can sometimes help in easing the pain.
  • Postnatal Treatment: In most cases, SPD improves after delivery. However, if pain persists, postnatal physiotherapy or, in rare cases, surgery may be required.


While SPD is a challenging condition, understanding and recognizing its signs can lead to timely and effective management. Remember, every woman’s body responds differently to the strains and wonders of pregnancy. It’s crucial to listen to your body and communicate any concerns to your healthcare provider.

Your comfort and well-being during pregnancy are of paramount importance. If you suspect you might have SPD or have any other concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can navigate these challenges and ensure the best care for you and your baby.


You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

Pregnancy Pearls
Pregnancy Pearls

There are many questions and common issues that arise during pregnancy. Here are some short and helpful articles on many common pregnancy issues.

Pregnancy Checklist
Pregnancy Checklist

Congratulations on your pregnancy! If you would like some help thinking through some of the things you need to organise, I've put together a checklist to make sure the important things aren't missed.

Consulting Rooms
Consulting Rooms

Greenslopes Obstetrics & Gynaecology is closely aligned with the Greenslopes Private Hospital which opened Brisbane’s newest maternity facility in February 2013.

To speak directly with a team member please call 07 3188 5000