Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction 

“I couldn’t believe the difference!” Mother-of-2 Laura Robson, 32, from Cottingham, who had symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) during both her pregnancies, describes how osteopathy transformed her 2nd time experience. 
 
During her first pregnancy, Laura suffered a mild form of SPD. The symptoms came on not long before her due date and while she was able to give birth naturally, she had a really difficult birth and had to stay in hospital for several days. 
 
“I never had any treatment during my pregnancy. I was told there was nothing anybody could do to help – and I never really recovered. It took at least a year before I felt I was back to normal, but even then I had to walk really slowly, with small steps. I certainly couldn’t stride out. I also had back problems.” 
 
Two years later Laura became pregnant a second time. This time the symptoms arrived much earlier – just 10 weeks into pregnancy – and she had to stop working at 15 weeks. It was also stressful for her husband who had to watch her in pain, unable to do anything about it. Some days Laura couldn’t even get upstairs without his help. 
 
“I could barely walk and was just about managing on crutches. I thought I would need a wheelchair. That’s when I found out about Robert Wadsworth, who I’d heard had had success with pregnant mothers suffering with SPD. It was out of sheer desperation that I rang to see what he could do to help – and I’m so glad I did! 
 
When Robert assessed me during my initial appointment, I was just about able to hobble around the house on crutches. He could immediately see that I was out of alignment. One side of my pelvis had shifted and that’s why I was in so much pain. Essentially, one leg was shorter than the other. With gentle hands on treatment he realigned me! That’s what is so impressive. It was so safe and gentle – and two days later I could manage without crutches! That’s how immediate the effects were. What a relief – not just for me, but also my husband! 
 
Of course, because the problem stems from the hormonal impact on your ligaments, my pelvis kept slipping out. I continued to see Robert for treatment but it was so worthwhile to have relief from the constant, agonising pain. 
 
Robert also recommended a support belt, about 2.5 inches wide, which I wore quite low down on my hip. I found that wearing the belt allowed me to walk for about 10 minutes at a time.” 
 
Laura admits that she is her own worst enemy when it comes to resting. She says she’s just not good at it, especially when she had a 2 year old toddler at home too! Eventually though, Robert’s advice that she needed to rest sank in and she found that her pelvis stayed in position for a month at a time. 
 
“It got to the point that I could recognise when it was in and when it was out. I also got used to what movements I should and shouldn’t do. For instance, twisting always made it pop out again. I also had a really good birth with only 10 minutes of gas and air. I think the fact that I could be active during labour, was able to move around and use a birthing ball, made all the difference. If my hip hadn’t been aligned I wouldn’t have been able to do any of that. Robert’s help and advice throughout my pregnancy gave me control over the birth and made me feel a lot more confident. 
 
This time I only stayed in hospital overnight. My daughter is 2 months old and I can already walk around. I have even been on days out when I’ve been on my feet all day! There’s no way I could be doing that without the treatment I received at Wadsworth Osteopaths. 
 
I now see Robert from time to time for maintenance treatment. He’s still giving me loads of advice and answers any questions I have. He is so knowledgeable and extremely kind and patient. I know that the fact that he could realign my pelvis made all the difference. 
 
For me, without seeing Robert, I would have been in a wheelchair during my pregnancy, trying to look after a toddler. Every session was worth every penny! I knew I’d have some relief after each appointment and in the last month of my pregnancy I was in virtually no pain. I would advise anyone who has symptoms of SPD to definitely go and try it out. It was so worthwhile and the difference it made to my birthing experience was an added bonus. 
 
I wish my midwives had suggested osteopathy – but to be honest I don’t even think they were aware of how much it can help. It didn’t cross their minds. I had previously gone to see the NHS physiotherapist, but while they gave some useful advice they weren’t allowed to do anything hands on. 
 
I just want to say a big thank you to Robert. I am in awe of what he can do and what a difference osteopathy made to me.” 
 
Osteopathy & SPD
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