Can I exercise with SPD?

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) is a fairly common pregnancy condition. It is caused by the way pelvic joints move during pregnancy.

If you are referred to an obstetric physiotherapist for SPD they are likely to advise you on exercises that strengthen your pelvis, stomach and back. You may also get a pelvic support belt to give more support in this area. If you’re having pain, you should talk to your doctor or midwife about this as soon as possible.

Aside from physiotherapy exercises, you should still continue to stay active in any way that does not cause pain. Your level of activity is likely to depend on the severity of the condition. It can be very frustrating if you were previously active to find that you have to stop. If you are able to, try different exercises until you find one that works. Some women report that cycling causes no pain while walking is very painful, while others say that swimming or aquanatal exercises are fine.

If you are swimming, avoid the breast stroke as this is likely to cause more pain.

The key thing to remember is to stop any activity that causes pain.

Read more about symphysis pubis dysfunction

More about exercise in pregnancy


  1. Macdonald S et al (2012) Mayes Midwifery, fourteenth edition. Balliere Tindall
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Last reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.

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