Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction: Physical Therapy Strategies for Managing Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy

Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction: Physical Therapy Strategies for Managing Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy

Posted on February 12th, 2024

Pregnancy initiates a cascade of transformations in a woman's physiology, particularly impacting the pelvic region.

 Among the array of adjustments, pubic symphysis dysfunction stands out as a prevalent concern. 

In this blog post, we'll explore the nature of pubic symphysis dysfunction, its characteristic symptoms, and the efficacy of physical therapy interventions in mitigating pelvic pain during pregnancy.

Read on!

Understanding Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction

Pubic symphysis dysfunction occurs when there is excessive movement or misalignment of the pubic symphysis joint, which connects the two pubic bones at the front of the pelvis. 

This condition is common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes that relax the ligaments in the pelvis, allowing for increased mobility to accommodate the growing fetus. As a result, the pubic symphysis joint may become unstable, leading to inflammation, pain, and discomfort in the pelvic region. 

Factors such as previous pelvic trauma, multiple pregnancies, or a history of pelvic girdle pain may increase the risk of developing pubic symphysis dysfunction. 

Understanding the underlying mechanisms of this condition is crucial for early detection and effective management. Let's explore the symptoms associated with pubic symphysis dysfunction in the next section.

Symptoms of Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction

During pregnancy, the pelvis undergoes significant changes to accommodate the growing fetus, which can sometimes lead to pubic symphysis dysfunction. Understanding the symptoms associated with this condition is essential for early detection and effective management. Here's what to watch out for:

1. Pelvic Pain

Pubic symphysis dysfunction often manifests as pain in the pelvic region, particularly around the pubic bone. This pain may be sharp, stabbing, or dull and achy, and it can range from mild discomfort to severe pain.

2. Groin Discomfort

Many women with pubic symphysis dysfunction experience discomfort or pain in the groin area. This may feel like aching, pressure, or throbbing sensations that worsen with certain movements or activities.

3. Hip Pain

Pain or discomfort in the hips is another common symptom of pubic symphysis dysfunction. This pain may radiate from the pubic area to the hips, buttocks, or thighs, making it uncomfortable to walk, stand, or change positions.

4. Difficulty Walking

Due to the pain and discomfort associated with pubic symphysis dysfunction, some women may experience difficulty walking or performing weight-bearing activities. This can significantly impact mobility and daily functioning.

5. Clicking or Popping Sensations

In some cases, women with pubic symphysis dysfunction may experience clicking or popping sensations in the pelvic region. These sensations may occur when moving the legs or changing positions and can be accompanied by pain or discomfort.

6. Increased Pain When Moving from Sitting to Standing Positions

Moving from a seated to a standing position can exacerbate the pain associated with pubic symphysis dysfunction. Women may experience increased discomfort or sharp pain when transitioning between these positions.

7. Pain During Sexual Intercourse

Pubic symphysis dysfunction can also cause pain during sexual intercourse. The pressure and movement involved in sexual activity may aggravate the symptoms, making it uncomfortable or even painful for women.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms associated with pubic symphysis dysfunction, it's essential to seek professional help from a qualified pelvic physical therapist. Physical therapy strategies can help alleviate pain and discomfort, improve mobility, and enhance your overall well-being during pregnancy. Let's explore some physical therapy strategies that can provide relief.

Physical Therapy Strategies for Managing Pelvic Pain

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing pubic symphysis dysfunction and alleviating pelvic pain during pregnancy. Here are some effective strategies:

1. Myofascial Release

Myofascial release therapy focuses on releasing tension and tightness in the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the pelvis. This gentle and non-invasive technique can help:

  • Reduce muscle tension and spasms in the pelvic region
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion in the hip and pelvic joints
  • Alleviate pressure on the pubic symphysis joint
  • Promote relaxation and reduce stress levels

2. Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization techniques involve gentle manipulation of the pelvic joints to improve alignment and function. This approach can:

  • Restore proper joint mechanics and reduce inflammation
  • Increase joint mobility and flexibility in the pelvis
  • Alleviate pain and discomfort associated with pubic symphysis dysfunction
  • Improve overall pelvic stability and function

3. Core Stabilization Exercises

Core stabilization exercises target the muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, and lower back to improve stability and support for the pelvis. These exercises can:

  • Strengthen the muscles surrounding the pelvis, including the pelvic floor muscles
  • Improve posture and alignment, reducing strain on the pubic symphysis joint
  • Enhance overall pelvic stability and function
  • Alleviate pelvic pain and discomfort during pregnancy

Related: Preparing for Childbirth and Delivery. How Physical Therapy Can Help.


Managing pelvic pain during pregnancy is essential for ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for expectant mothers. Pubic symphysis dysfunction can significantly impact daily activities and overall well-being, but with the right physical therapy strategies, relief is possible. 

At Lotus Physical Therapy for Women, PLLC, we specialize in providing compassionate and effective care for women experiencing pelvic pain during pregnancy. Our tailored interventions, including myofascial release, joint mobilization, and core stabilization exercises, aim to alleviate discomfort and improve quality of life. 

Don't let pelvic pain overshadow your pregnancy journey. Contact us at (845) 517-5100 or via email at [email protected] to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards a more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancy experience.

How Can I Help You?

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, inquiries, or if you're ready to embark on a journey towards improved well-being. Your path to holistic health and vitality starts here. I am here to provide you with personalized guidance, answer your queries, and assist you in taking the next steps on your transformative journey.