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Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) includes any pain or change in function associated with the symphysis pubis joint which can occur during pregnancy or after labour. The symphysis pubis joint forms where the two hip bones (innominate) meet at the front of the pelvis. During pregnancy, there is increased stress on the joint making it vulnerable to injury whereas normally there is very little movement.

Although SPD is common, it is important to manage the condition as soon as possible to limit any other complications. Physiotherapy is very effective in reducing symptoms of SPD and at, there are specialist women’s health physiotherapists who will work with you and provide a physiotherapy programme tailored to your needs.

Perfoming cat stretches under supervision of a specialist therapistAbove: Perfoming cat stretches under supervision of a specialist therapist

Why might I experience SPD?

Although SPD is relatively common, there are certain factors that may increase the risk. The physiotherapists at can offer you a full treatment programme and also identify any risk factors to reduce the likelihood of SPD occurring again in the future. Risk factors of SPD may include:
  • Large baby
  • Weak surrounding muscles supporting the area
  • Delivery of more than one baby
  • Increased weight gain
  • Previous problems with your sacroiliac joint or symphysis pubis joint

What are the symptoms of SPD?

There are a variety of symptoms that may be associated with SPD. Your physiotherapist at will carry out a full assessment and design a treatment programme to reduce these symptoms and optimise your recovery. Symptoms of SPD may include:
  • An increased separation (diastasis) of the symphysis pubis joint
  • Tenderness over the symphysis pubis joint
  • Pain in the groin, thigh and sacroiliac joint (back of the pelvis)
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty getting in and out of the car/shower etc.
  • Weak gluteal and abdominal muscles
  • Shortened hip adductor muscles
  • Anxiety

What is the physiotherapy treatment for SPD?

There are various physiotherapy treatments for SPD. Your physiotherapist at will provide you with a comprehensive assessment and work with you to decide the best physiotherapy programme to suit you. Physiotherapy may include:


Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) related to any pain or dysfunction of the symphysis pubis joint at the front of the pelvis. Although it is common during and after pregnancy, it is important that you try and manage the problem as soon as possible to speed up your recovery. The physiotherapists at will provide you with an individualised treatment programme to maximise your potential and reduce the risk of any complications in the future. Please call on 0330 088 7800 to arrange an appointment today. Alternatively, you can also book appointments with us online!

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