Your intentions are great: you want to exercise regularly throughout your pregnancy. You know that doing so can benefit you by helping with the many physical issues that can crop up during pregnancy. Maybe you've even read recent studies showing that mom's exercise helps baby's heart health. There's only one problem. Your attempts to jog, walk or even stand are met with sharp pain low in your pelvic region. What's going on?
You may have SPD, or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. That happens when the ligaments that keep your pelvic bone in place become too relaxed during pregnancy. They stretch out, provide poor support, and make the pelvic joint unstable. The bad news is that you're probably not going to completely get rid of this problem while you're pregnant. But you can definitely take steps to prevent it from getting so bad you can't walk at all, and keep from doing serious and more permanent damage to your pelvic joint. Here are some things to try:
1. A stabilizing belt.
This helps keep the muscles and ligaments from shifting around too much. Your doctor or chiropractor can recommend one that will work well, or you can get any type of abdominal stabilizing wrap or pregnancy support belt and wear it a bit low.
2. Chiropractic manipulation.
The joints of the pelvis can become so out of position that it can impact your ability to perform day-to-day movements and may even hinder your birth. Returning the joints to their proper positions with subluxation or another manipulation technique can reduce pain and prevent long-term pelvic problems.
3. Light exercise.
Kegel exercises are mild strengthening exercises that impact the pelvic floor. You can do them yourself by contracting, holding and then relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. Most practitioners liken this feeling to the effort needed to stop the flow of urine after you've already started to go.
Pelvic tilts start on your hands and knees. You contract your core muscles by feeling like your pulling in your belly button, then arch your back and tilt your pelvis gently forward.
Talk to your doctor or chiropractor before starting exercises you haven't done before. And avoid heavy lifting or exercises that spread your legs more than the width of your hips.
Most women report that SPD goes away within a few hours or days of birth. For some, though, the damage can stick around. See a chiropractor like Wave Of Life Chiropractic if you do not have any relief from your pain after your baby is born.