Pubic symphysis pain can be extremely debilitating during and after pregnancy.
It is a kind of pain located at the pubic bone (the bone above the clitoris), and it can be sharp or dull.
Most women report that it gets triggered with some or all of the following activities:
– Standing up after sitting for a while
– Turning in bed
– Standing on one leg (ex: to put shoes on or pants on – they end up having to sit to perform these tasks)
– Going up/down stairs
– Turning in bed
– Going up/down stairs
Here are my top recommendations to help alleviate pubic symphysis pain.
PS: check out the video below if you want an actual visual of these recommendations!
#1 SYMMETRICAL POSTURE!
Make sure you sit with equal weight on both butt cheeks, and stand with equal weight on both legs.
When sitting, avoid crossing your legs, and keep your knees in a “V” shape. I know this is not the most feminine way to sit, but what can I say…! Your body will feel more balanced that way!
#2 BUTTERFLY STRETCH
Lie on your back with your legs open on both sides, feet together. Let your legs relax on both sides. Keep this position for 2 minutes, then do 3 bridges to activate your gluts. This will re-align the pubic symphysis. There is another re-alignment exercise that you can do in the sitting position. Both are demonstrated in the video below 🙂
#3 SACRO ILIAC BELT
This is a stability belt that you wear around your pelvis to make sure your pubic symphysis remains stable. Some women respond well to it, some others don’t like the sensation, and some others do not report much changes. I have definitely seen more women having good results than not though, but just so you know it is not a magical solution for everyone.
A good way to test if it may work for you: ask someone to squeeze your hips together while you stand on one leg, and see if you have less pubic symphysis pain when your hips are squeezed. If it makes a difference, then you are probably a good candidate for a stability belt. You can also go to a medical equipment store when your pubic symphysis is a bit “angry” and sore, and try the belt on. Normally, when it helps, you should feel significant relief in your symptoms right away when you put it on and you start moving around.
#4 MOVE SMARTLY
Your upper and lower body should always move as a whole, or a “block”. Avoid twisting the upper body over the lower body. This applies when you turn in bed or come out of bed.
This book from Cecile Rost is a must to teach you how to move properly with pubic symphysis pain!
#5 LEGS PARALLEL AT NIGHT: PUT A BIG PILLOW IN BETWEEN YOUR KNEES!
Put a pillow or cushion in between your legs at night – something big enough to keep your legs PARALLEL to each other. Using a thin pillow where your legs are still not parallel WON’T WORK! Use a bigger pillow or put two in one pillow case, or use one of those gigantic body pillows 😂 If it keeps slipping away during the night, you may want to look at a pillow with a leg strap to keep it in place.
#6 FOOT SUPPORT
Make sure you wear good shoes with ankle support. If your feet are not well supported, the whole alignment of your body will be off, especially during pregnancy when the relaxin hormones makes all the ligaments looser. It is like building a house on a crooked foundation..!
I have seen many moms coming into my office wearing flip flop sandals in the summer, and complaining of pubic symphysis pain. The first thing I told them was to swap those flip flops for running shoes ASAP!
Also, if you live in a snowy country such as myself, you will want to make sure that you wear shoes with good traction in the winter (add metal crampons if needed!). Any unexpected side motion or slip can make the pubic symphysis angry, so prevention is the key!
#7 GET ASSESSED BY A MANUAL THERAPIST
Whether it is a Pelvic Health PT, a chiropractor, or an osteopath, seeing someone who has experience and appropriate training in assessing and treating pelvic conditions is absolutely essential if you feel like the advice above are not working effectively.
In the following video,
I show you two re-alignment exercises as well as how to wear the sacro-iliac belt 🙂
I hope this helps 💜