• Kendra

Metabolic Mini | #4, SPD and SI Joint Pain

Week four - excited I made it happen on vacation! I've been getting in some decent walk/jog/runs but with 15 people in the house and 6 kids - managed to get this done uninterrupted.

This week while I battle the heat, we work through some legs to burn more calories and focus on our buns. Lunges, squats, hip thrusts and mt. climbers are this week's highlights. We need a light (3-8lbs) and heavy (12 - 25lbs) set of dumbbells.

If you are preggo take note of a few options I throw out to limit range of motion!

Read on to learn about Symphysis pubis dysfunction and SI Joint Pain.


When it comes to my 23rd week of pregnancy, I’m dealing with a new set of aches and pains. I noticed a slight soreness in the front of my pelvis at the end of last week. Immediately, I assumed this was the onset of Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). While I didn’t have this with my first pregnancy, I did experience SacroIliac Joint dysfunction with Georgie (see below). If it’s not one thing, its another! SPD is a group of symptoms that cause discomfort in the pelvic region and can occur during pregnancy. Pain and discomfort can occur both at the front and back of your pelvis when your pelvic joints become stiff or move unevenly. SPD is also sometimes referred to as pelvic girdle pain. While this isn’t necessarily harmful to your baby, chances are, it is extremely painful for you, often interfering with mobility.

Pubic symphysis - anterior pelvis | Sacroiliac Joint - posterior pelvis

Symptoms can show in 2nd trimester and intensify into the 3rd and include:

  • pain in the front center of pubic bone

  • pain in lower back on one or both sides

  • pain in perineum

  • pain can also travel to thighs, and you may also hear or feel a grinding or clicking sound in your pelvis

The pain is often more obvious when you’re:

  • walking

  • using stairs

  • putting your weight on one leg

  • turning over in your bed

  • It might also be challenging to widen legs

For me - I knew what did it. I hit the ground running, literally, on day one of vacation. I did three rounds of hard sprints and after the slight pain end of last week, that was enough to do the trick. I felt as if someone hit my pelvis with a bat. I was sore, it hurt to walk, steps were a no-go and I grimaced at anything requiring weight on a single leg. Luckily, I recognized this and immediately changed course, used my compression stockings and limited my exercise to a slow, slow, walk the next day. I handled stairs differently - hubby helped me up, and took advantage of water and got my exercise in at the ocean and pool! SPD is known to make daily tasks such as getting out of bed, getting dressed, or getting in and out of a car difficult.

SPD affects 1 in 5 pregnant women to some extent. While we have touched on this part a few blogs ago (Round Ligament Pain), the hormone relaxin is released to loosen the ligaments and muscles in your pelvic region and trunk for carrying baby, labor and delivery. While the increased range of motion in hips, stomach, pelvic floor and pelvis is good for the above purposes, joints can become unbalanced and more mobile than usual affecting normal daily mobility and function. In addition to relaxin as a potential cause of SPD, baby’s weight and position are also attributed to pelvic pain. SPD pain can worsen as pregnancy progresses.

Although the symptoms of SPD can linger until after you’ve given birth, there are a lot of things that can be done to minimize your pain.

Here are some activities to limit if you’re experiencing SPD:

  • putting your weight on only one leg

  • twisting and bending while lifting

  • carrying a child on your hip

  • crossing your legs

  • sitting on the floor

  • sitting in a twisted position

  • standing or sitting for long periods of time

  • lifting heavy loads, such as wet laundry, shopping bags, or a toddler

  • vacuuming

  • pushing heavy objects, such as a shopping cart

  • carrying anything in only one hand

  • In the gym - lunges, conventional, Romanian and single leg deadlifts, step ups.

Things you should do:

  • talk to your doctor/provider

  • look into a V-sling (<$50)- linked here

  • side note - explained this contraption to my husband and he totally couldn't wrap his head around it.

  • minimize your pain by avoiding the above

  • improve your muscle function/hire a PPCES (pre and post natal corrective exercise specialist)

  • improve your pelvic joint stability and position

  • In the gym swap above for sumo deadlifts and selectorized machines


Now, regarding the other fun pelvic issue, SI Joint dysfunction (posterior pelvis), let's take a look at what we're dealing with!

Discomfort and pain commonly include:

  • lower back pain that feels dull or aching (mild - severe)

  • pain isolated only on one side, but in some cases may be felt on both sides

  • Pain can spread to the hips, buttocks, and/or groin

  • Sciatic-like pain in the buttocks and/or backs of the thighs that feels hot, sharp, and stabbing, may include numbness and tingling

  • Stiffness and reduced range-of-motion in the lower back, hips, pelvis, and groin

  • Worsened pain when putting added pressure on the sacroiliac joint

  • Instability in the pelvis and/or lower back

Pregnancy or recent childbirth can commonly cause sacroiliac joint pain in women due to weight gain, hormonal changes causing ligaments in the SI joint to relax (hyper-mobility), and pelvic changes associated with childbirth. For some women, ligaments may remain loose after childbirth and cause sacroiliac joint pain and instability to continue.

For me and my first pregnancy, this pain appeared at 12 weeks. It was unbearable. I narrowed the source (after becoming a PPCES and rounds of chiropractic and pelvic floor rehab) to a deactivated transverse abdominis (TVA) and weak pelvic floor. This was super annoying to me as I could deadlift 250 lbs pre pregnancy and had a 6 pack. The point is, you can have a strong looking core with a weak pelvic floor. This is not a good combo as it is a false sense of security! The good news is my Core Connections course was an easy fix as well as the knowledge of what to do and what not to do. At times, just like the SPD I'm currently experiencing, I felt my pelvis was hit with a bat! On bad days, my pelvis would feel like it was buckling or giving out when standing, walking, or moving from standing to sitting.

We can limit discomfort by:

  • avoiding walking up stairs or bending at the waist

  • walking only at slow pace

  • avoid lying or putting weight on one side

  • wearing a SI Loc belt (>$50) -linked here

  • my Core Connections course (<$30)

I purchased this belt while carrying Georgie and used it post partum as well. Right now, if I have the slightest dull low back pain, I’ll throw it on to get ahead of the game and make sure I schedule in one of my Core Connection workouts!


I mention my leggings in the video. I had found these between pregnancies and had recommended them to some of my mom friends and clients. I was excited to try them myself as they looked super thick (unlike my lu la roe that would simply rip when pulled on) and durable; they are and I love these. I got four pair and so far, they are growing with me and holding up awesome. I have yet to try their tops but honestly I spent way more money this round on maternity clothes. Starting a new job at 6 months preggo was a genius idea...

Senita Maternity Leggings - Camo (>$50): https://www.senitaathletics.com/collections/senita-mom/products/maternity-skin-capris-camo


Speaking of the new job, COVID wrecked my client pool at the gym. While I completely understand and continue to support my previous and new clients, I had to make a decision to widen my income potential and completed my real estate licensing and joined The Shoaf Team with Keller Williams Consultants Realty! Woot Woot. I will continue to manage both roles and do what I can as I learn the real estate business.

330-581-4947 if you are looking to buy or sell!

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