Symphysis Pain – Causes And Treatment

"Symphysis pain can often occur during pregnancy and can be quite painful. In this article you will learn everything about this topic!

What Is Symphysis Pain?

The symphysis is the name given to the pubic bone. It is the front connection of the two halves of the pelvis and consists entirely of cartilage. You can feel it under the mons pubis.

Symphysis pain manifests itself as a twinge in the pubic bone. Many women are affected by these complaints during their pregnancy. The pain occurs mainly during walking and climbing stairs. But the stabbing pain can also become noticeable when putting on shoes or lying down.

These complaints occur more frequently in pregnant women who are already expecting their second or third child and are in the middle of pregnancy. The pain may not only shift to the hip, but spread to the legs. Often, symphysis pain can affect you so much that you find any movement difficult. Additionally, this discomfort can be accompanied by back pain.

How Does Symphysis Pain Occur?

The pregnancy hormones that gradually build up during pregnancy can cause cartilage, tendons and ligaments in the pelvis to become softer. The symphysis gap can also increase 4 millimeters to widen the pelvis and make it easier for you to give birth later.

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Everyday movements can cause painful displacement of the pelvic floor bones. The pain is therefore caused by traction on the particularly sensitive periosteum. This is called symphysis loosening.

What Can Be Done Against Symphysis Pain During Pregnancy?

If symphysis pain restricts you so much in everyday life that you cannot move without pain, relief and protection of the joints are the top priority.

In particular, jerky movements should be avoided, as well as jumping or climbing stairs. During sleep it is recommended to put a pillow between your legs. If you want to turn over, you should keep your knees bent. You can avoid pain when getting dressed by trying not to put all your weight on one leg.

Different treatments can help against symphysis pain. It depends on the intensity of the pain and how much it restricts you in your daily life. Many midwives offer treatment options to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Basically, any type of training that helps build muscle and stability in the pelvis is recommended.

If you suffer from symphysis pain, wearing a pregnancy support corset or pelvic belt can be helpful. The pressure applied to the symphysis can help relieve the pain.

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When Should I See A Doctor?

Only you can decide when and if you should see a doctor. If the pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe the aids already mentioned. The prescription of a physiotherapeutic treatment is also possible.

However, your health insurance is not obliged to cover the costs of this treatment. In case of doubt, you should inquire in time about the assumption of costs. Symphysis pain can also be relieved with the help of acupuncture or yoga.

Caution: Even if painkillers guarantee a reduction in pain, you should never take them without medical advice and not permanently. This is true even if they are available over-the-counter – that is, without a prescription.

What Does Symphysis Pain Have To Do With Childbirth?

The symphysis dilates during birth to make it easier for you. With symphysis pain, the birth position – on your back with your legs apart – is often very uncomfortable and can lead to severe pain.

Tip: To avoid aggravating the pain during birth, a side position with a pillow between your legs can work wonders. The quadruped position is also a good position during birth to avoid putting too much strain on the symphysis.

By the way, there are more birth positions than you think! In a conversation with your midwife, you can find out about different options and listen to your gut feeling about which one is best for you. Most midwives and doctors claim that symphysis pain does not disappear immediately after birth, but can increase in intensity. After a few weeks, however, your symphysis pain should be gone again.

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In the case of a difficult birth, it is possible that the symphysis may tear. Admittedly, this is not a pretty thought. But this should not be a cause for concern. With a tight strap around your pelvis and prescribed bed rest, the cartilage will grow back together in a few weeks.

5 Tips To Relieve Symphysis Pain During Pregnancy

Symphysis pain can be really uncomfortable and limit you quite a bit. However, in order to alleviate the pain a bit, we have put together 5 tips for you that can make your daily life easier.

1. Avoid Certain Movements

Particularly severe pain can make you not want to move at all. However, movement during pregnancy is really important for the health of you and your baby.

However, as you already know, the pain can also occur when lying down. Therefore, it is advisable not to avoid movement in general, but only to avoid certain movements that increase the pain. This advice will help you:

  • Avoid climbing stairs and choose the elevator.
  • Get dressed sitting down, not standing up
  • Avoid shifting weight to only one leg.
  • Put a nursing pillow between your legs when lying down.

2. Lap Belt

If you suffer from severe pain, you should contact your doctor. He or she will probably prescribe a pelvic belt. This belt sits tightly under your pelvis and ensures that the bowel legs are pressed together. This provides more support and also relieves the pressure on your pelvis.

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3. Physiotherapy

If even a pelvic belt does not help with the severe pain, you can ask your doctor for appropriate physiotherapy. The aim is to increase the stability of your pelvis.

4. Take Breaks

Always make sure to take enough breaks. For example, if you go for a walk, it is good for your pelvis to sit down on the next bench for 5 minutes and relax.

5. Nutrition

You are probably wondering now how you can support your pelvis with your diet. Calcium-rich foods help strengthen bones and joints and provide a stable pelvic floor. However, you should not do without an occasional pelvic floor workout.

Is Symphysis Pain Harmless Or A Cause For Concern?

Don’t panic. Symphysis pain is quite unpleasant and can restrict your everyday movements, but it does not affect your baby’s health.

If you notice that the pain is getting worse, you should contact your doctor. He or she will go over the various treatment options with you and recommend an appropriate therapy.


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