SPD/PGP – Advice and Information for Friends and Family
I have written this article to try and give some information to the family and friends of those who have been diagnosed with, or who are suffering from SPD. It is particularly written for the partner of the SPD sufferer, however much of the advice is applicable to anyone who knows someone with SPD.
I have found through my own experiences that there is information and support available for those who are directly affected by the condition and friends and family will often call up to ask how they are and what they can do. However often the loved ones of the person with SPD are struggling to come to terms with it themselves, to understand what it means and to find out how they can help. This guide is designed to offer help, information and support for those people who know someone with SPD and want to be able to help.
What is SPD/PGP?
SPD is now often referred to as PGP which stands for Pelvic Girdle Pain. This term was changed to fit with European Guidelines but many sufferers feel the term is too generic and doesn’t adequately describe the condition or its implications. For this reason I will continue to refer to this condition as SPD throughout this article.
SPD stands for Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. SPD is a very painful condition, causing pain in the groin area, hips, coccyx, thighs, lower back and surrounding areas. It is caused during pregnancy by the production of the hormone Relaxin within the body which softens the ligaments in the pelvis in order to make the baby’s passage through your pelvis as easy as possible, it is not know why some women produce too much of this hormone but it causes the ligaments to soften too much, which allows for increased movement in the pelvis. This can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort, resulting in some cases in limited mobility.
There is no way of knowing who will develop SPD during pregnancy and it can happen to anyone, however some factors do mean certain people have a greater risk of developing SPD. These are;