Chiropractic For Pregnancy

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Many women who suffer with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction during pregnancy and after birth are told by birth professionals that their pain is normal, there is nothing that can help, and they will just have to live with their pain. While Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) may be common, many women respond quickly and dramatically to chiropractic care from a doctor that experienced in treating pregnant women. As with any other physical complaint during pregnancy, it is not ideal for pregnant women to be in chronic pain, unable to move and participate in normal activities, much less physical activities, without pain. SPD may be an indicator of pelvic and muscular imbalances that cause problems throughout pregnancy and labor. Gentle, specific Chiropractic can often be a god-send to women with SPD. [1]

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction is described as an extremely painful condition that affects the anterior pubic area where the pelvis comes together in the front. The pain can start anytime during the course of the pregnancy. While some women feel constant pain in all positions, the most extreme pain can be experienced when women try to roll over in bed, lift one leg as when going up stairs or getting dressed, when standing up from a seated position, and when walking. Some women experience a grinding or clicking sensation from the area of the pubic joint. The pain can affect the front and insides of the upper legs, and often also affects the Round Ligaments, causing pain on either side of the lower abdomen. Women with SPD will often, not always, also have low back pain and/or sciatica. The pain can be worse at night while lying in bed, making getting needed rest difficult. [2]

The causes of SPD are usually a combination of factors, including normal hormonal and postural changes, past traumas, and misalignments in the pelvis that can complicated by having multiple pregnancies with little healing time between. Many women who have SPD in one pregnancy will go on to have SPD earlier and more severely in subsequent pregnancies.

Other names of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction include:

  • pubic shear (osteopathic term)
  • symphyseal separation
  • pubic symphysis separation
  • separated symphysis
  • pelvic girdle relaxation of pregnancy
  • pelvic joint syndrome.

Diastasis Symphysis Pubis (DSP) is the name for the problem in its most severe form (where the pubic symphysis actually separates severely or tears). For ease of use, in this FAQ the 'milder' form will be referred to as SPD. [3]

While most women find that SPD goes away sometime after birth, some women continue to experience the symptoms, accompanied by low back pain.[4] Some women will first have SPD after birth.

Dr. Anne Lundquist has been treating pregnant women in Orange, CA for over 20 years, and regularly sees women with Symphysis Pubis complaints. Successful management of SPD includes Chiropractic evaluation of the muscles and ligaments of the low back and pelvis and the alignment of the spine and pelvis including using the Webster Technique evaluation, followed by a chiropractic treatment including adjustments of affected structures, specific stretches and daily activity advice. [5]She highly recommends that women see a Chiropractor that is experienced and trained to address this complaint if they are having SPD, or if they have had SPD or other low back and pelvic complaints in the past and are planning a pregnancy.

Dr. Anne Lundquist is committed to helping women have better pregnancies, labors and deliveries through chiropractic care. She earned her certification in the Webster Technique and her FICPA from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Learn more at her website: or by calling her at 714-633-1648.







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