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Joint pain and stiffness 6mo postpartum

(14 Posts)
Zaurak Tue 19-Apr-16 10:34:36

It's been six months since i had Ds. I had very bad spd during the pregnancy to the point I could barely walk. After the birth things improved quite a bit - not totally resolved but I could walk a couple of miles with the pram and do day to day stuff ok.
Now, at six months, I'm feeling worse again. I seem to have generalised joint pain and stiffness - not just load bearing joints but wrists, fingers etc as well. I ache all over and I'm very stiff. Movements such as going downstairs are very jerky and unpleasant.
My left wrist is particularly bad and certain ways of gripping/lifting trigger pain and weakness.
I'll go and see the doc (when I eventually get time) but wondered if anyone else had experience of this?

clarella Tue 19-Apr-16 20:04:17

Yes I had a terrible time after my ds was born. My right wrist was very like you describe.

It wasn't straight forward though, several different things were going on and I think I'm me, they all conspired together, so it might take a bit of unpicking and eliminating.

I have hypothyroidism and by 6 months was unwell and wasn't in the right dose. Later I was on too much and had similarly bad joints actually. So that could be checked.

My ferritin was 50, only borderline, however it's been that low again recently and since I've started getting it up my joints have improved again.

Vitamin d was checked and was a tad low. It's common to be low at this time of year and causes lots of joint issues.

I was later diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome. If you had spd, there's a possibility you have some hypermobile joints. I became much looser post baby. Over worked joints start stiffening up. However, in me, the additional issues of ferritin and not being on the right thyroxine level for a while etc means I can get weak quickly (as low thyroxine weakens muscles, too much does too). Now all that is sorted out I'm much better.

More recently I discovered I had asthma (!!) following a bad chest infection but I noticed I became weak then too after a long period of not breathing 100% well (it's mild). I think lack of sleep also contributed to weak muscles too - hard if you have a little one. I coslept to get more sleep.

But in me its been a combo of all of it and getting it all sorted out. I've been having some bad nights again recently and coping fine.

So - see the GP, get things ruled out. See a really good physio (I found a sports physio good) to see if they can help including some strapping up and support belts etc for short term use. Try to pace yourself as much as possible.

Magnesium and calcium can help with the stiffness too. thanks

clarella Tue 19-Apr-16 20:11:29

Are you bf? And have periods returned?

I've had very mixed opinions about bf affecting joints. I'm still bf at 3 (I'm stubborn) and now I'm ok. Possibly bf might have sort of contributed as it surpressed periods for 2 years; I had terrible flares as for the next year every cycle. However, now I'm strong again I'm ok. Yet actually things got worse as they returned! But I was very weak and unwell when they did.

Oestrogen can have a strengthening affect on joint tissue apparently however I know many long term bfers who have not been affected like me at all.

In my opinion I was weak already and the monthly cycle caused flares. Progesterone can loosen joints and relaxin is released at menstruation . It was tacking the causes of the weakness that sorted me out.

Zaurak Tue 19-Apr-16 22:09:16

Still bf, no periods (hurrah!)
Definitely not anaemia. I actually have ferritin levels 2xUln last time they were checked.
Possibly vit d deficient - I live around 60 degrees north so sunshine is rare - I've got supplements I just need to take the darn things!

I will definitely ask for a thyroid check. I had TSH measured the year I got pregnant but not free t4/3

I do need to get some decent physio. I suspect it is indeed multiple small issues colliding rather than one easily fixable thing. And I am profoundly tired - I haven't had more than one hours sleep in a row for months.
It's just been a noticeable worsening the last month or so. I feel very odd - flat, is how I'd put it. Flat and disconnected. And so stiff and sore. Even brushing my hair makes my arms ache

PastaLaFeasta Wed 20-Apr-16 02:44:34

I had lots of pain post birth with my second which never went away, it was actually a slipped disc. The pain was mostly pelvic so I was surprised. An MRI could be an option, I wished I'd done this in those early months. I also was told I was hypermobile or whatever it's called, it makes you more prone to injury and weakness. Could the wrist be carpal tunnel as pregnancy can flare that up.

Zaurak Wed 20-Apr-16 21:05:57

Oh dear ... I hope it's not a disc!
I think I have an existing SI joint issue that's been made a lot worse by spd. But the pain is now all over... It's not just my hips and lower back.
I did a bit of gardening today and I can barely move now. The bones in my arms hurt. I'm jerky and stiff when I walk. It's very strange - I'm normally an active person but since being pregnant I am broken sad
I feel profoundly physically exhausted.

Zaurak Wed 20-Apr-16 21:08:12

Yes it could be carpal tunnel i suppose... Or de quervains. I fell last year on the ice and hurt that wrist quite badly- I wonder if it's related?
I just need to feel better. I've got a very high maintenance six month old, I can't be doing with feeling so bloody crap!

clarella Wed 20-Apr-16 21:35:12

I developed very weak shoulders and cleaning teeth was noticeably difficult.

I was weak but holding a baby constantly seemed to put extra pressure on. The physio suggested side planks and I found downward dog helpful, and lying in a rolled up towel Witt a pillow for head - towel comes down to roughly bra strap, really really helps.

I guess it's working out what is the issue. Sleep possibly could add to it all. Are you taking vitamins? Calcium and magnesium with vit d can help support bf.

Are you hypothyroid? If so You could check its the right dose.

Total wild card but too much ferritin can cause issues! (A relative has heamachromatosis!)

clarella Wed 20-Apr-16 21:36:48

Definitely get that vit d checked. I think preg and baby takes some up.

Give baby drops too. thanks

Miggly Wed 20-Apr-16 21:39:32

I had joint pain and stiffness kick in after the birth of DC1. Def worse while still BFing, and for some reason especially painful when I had to get up at night.

After various bf issues with DC3, I started trying eliminating various things from my diet to see if I could stop her screaming and unsettledness after feeds. Was baffled when I realised she was ok when I came off bread etc- seemed to be fine when I hadn't eaten gluten. I was even more surprised when a few days later the joint pain that had been there since DD1-sometimes better, sometimes horrid, but always there, for 6 years, disappeared.

I have the odd bit of bread / pasta now a year on, but always at a cost. If you have any other auto immune issues (is asthma one?) (I have Raynaud's) then it's possible for gluten to be a trigger, according to a gp friend.

It's probably something completely different for you but thought I'd share in case!

Duckdeamon Thu 21-Apr-16 07:22:55

Poor you, ouch! I had joint pain for a good while after DC1, less so after DC2, was worried it'd continue but it did gradually improve a lot. now years later (youngest DC is 5) as long as I exercise I get virtually no joint pain.

Do get checked out. I found my GP dismissive, was unlucky there.

Duckdeamon Thu 21-Apr-16 07:27:33

I remember what that was like. Are you eating OK and sharing nights etc with your partner? If you're feeling bad he should be doing things to facilitate you getting rest etc.

At one point, feeling awful (DC1 was about 7 months and a dreadful sleeper and I'd been doing all the nights), I looked at DH who had been for a ten mile run and was cheery and in great shape, going out socialising, working as normal etc then in the mirror and into my mind, and suddenly realised it was very unfair and showed he needed to do more and me less!

Oh, I had a postnatal pilates DVD that was lovely. Swimming was good for me too.

Zaurak Thu 21-Apr-16 13:20:40

Dh is great and does his fair share (thank goodness or I would have expired by now!)

Some interesting things to think about anyway. Baby gets vit d drops as routine (we live in Sweden so it's a must here.) I'll start taking the vit d supplements myself.

I find my GP a bit of the 'you've had a baby of course you're tired' school but I will try. I would love to go swimming but alas no pools near me and no one to watch the baby while I swim (no friends/family anywhere near and dh works long hours.

clarella Thu 21-Apr-16 20:40:55

I will add I was tested for other things to rule out linked to joint pain and weakness - coeliac was one, diabetes and even addisons, thankfully all clear. So it's worth seeing the GP, trying things your self and keep going back till things improve.

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