The Pubic Symphysis is a cartilaginous joint in the middle of your pubic bones, it unites the superior rami of the right and left pubic bones. Normally, the joint has a small amount of movement, but this increases during pregnancy and childbirth.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction happens when there is an excessive amount of movement of the pubic symphysis and pain due to either a misalignment of the pelvis and/or hormonal changes in your body loosening the joints around the pelvic area. Very rarely, you can have a diastasis of the symphysis pubis, which is a separation that can cause intense pain in the hips, pelvis, groin, and buttocks, and can affect vaginal delivery.
Expand for symptoms and treatments
-Diaphragmatic breathing is a natural and relaxed form of breathing, and is done by expanding and contracting the diaphragm. This allows you to maximize the amount of oxygen that goes into your bloodstream
-During diaphragmatic breathing, lung expansion happens lower in the body and is referred to as “deep breathing”
Diaphragmatic Breathing with Abdominal Activation
-Inhale slowly through the nose and allow air to fill your lungs, expanding the diaphragm
-Your belly should expand
-Do not let your shoulders or chest rise
-Exhale slowly through your mouth and let all of the air out
-Contract your abdominals and bring your belly inward
What is a Belly Band
A Belly Band acts as a supportive garment (such as a Sports Bra) that women can wear during and after pregnancy. Belly Bands offer slight compression; which helps stabilize the belly during activities, and could take some pressure off the abdominal and back muscles. Belly bands are designed to support the lower back and abdomen, as well as the pelvis (in some cases, depending on the type of band you get). A Belly Band can help cue women to engage their core muscles, but it does not replace the importance of strengthening your muscles through exercise.
Belly Bands can offer comfort during daily and physical activities, as well as reduce soreness in later stages of pregnancy as the belly gets bigger and the abdominal wall expands.
Expand to Read More
One of the most common complaints I hear about from pregnant women is that they have back pain; especially during the later stages of pregnancy. Since there are many reasons as to why women can develop back pain during pregnancy, it is important to find the root of the problem before attempting to treat it. Seeing a Physical Therapist to help assess and diagnose your back pain will help you find relief faster.
Causes of Back Pain during Pregnancy
Back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, and the first step in treating pack pain is identifying why you have back pain and where it is coming from. Visiting a Physical Therapist for a thorough evaluation is usually a good idea when you cannot identify the cause of your back pain, or if it is affecting your daily life.
-Increasing weight gain during pregnancy
- The increase in weight during your pregnancy means that your body has to support more weight than it is used to. This puts more pressure on your spine and the muscles, ligaments, joints, blood vessels, and nerves that surround it.
-Postural Changes/ Center of Gravity Changes during Pregnancy
-As your pregnancy progresses and your belly becomes bigger, your center of gravity shifts (forward) to adjust for the change in weight and position of your belly. As your center of gravity shifts, you will begin to adjust your posture during sitting, standing, and moving. The change in posture may put strain on muscles, joints, and ligaments, causing back pain.
-Hormonal Changes during Pregnancy
- During pregnancy, your body produces Relaxin; a hormone that allows the ligaments in your pelvic area to relax so that the joints become looser in preparation for delivery. Relaxin can also affect the ligaments in your spine, causing them to loosen and lead to instability and pain due to muscle strain.
-Stress during Pregnancy
-Some believe that stress can accumulate in weaker areas of the body in the form of tension. Muscle tension in your back during stressful periods in your pregnancy can lead to back pain, back strain, or back spasms.
Expand to see treatment options
Lets talk Glutes; Booty Muscles! The gluteus muscles (Gluteus maximus, Gluteus medius, Gluteus minimus, Tensor Fasciae Latae) are the largest muscles in the human body. These muscles are also extremely powerful because they are responsible for helping hold your body upright while standing or moving. These wonderful muscles are used for walking, going up stairs, squatting down to pick something up (bending at your back can injure your spine, so SQUAT when you want to reach the floor), and a whole lot more.
The next few exercises are ways you can strengthen your glutes and the muscles around them (booty, thighs, back) using little to no equipment.
Expand for Exercise Pictures and Instructions
Elina Skripochnik PT, DPT, CSCS
Elina is a Physical Therapist with experience in women's health and pediatrics. She aims to educate women on the importance of becoming and staying active during pregnancy, as well as to provide safe and easy exercises that can be done throughout pregnancy and beyond.