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How do pre-pregnancy back problems affect pregnancy?

(10 Posts)
SteeleyeStan Wed 20-Nov-13 16:59:46

Hmm, that might be a silly wording, since I assume it varies from person to person and depends on the problem, but I'm not sure how else to put that. I'm just curious to hear of any experiences or info.

I'm not actually pregnant atm, but trying to be, so I'm curious (and a little bit worried). I've suffered from sciatica for over ten years, with periods of bedrest in hospital, threats of operation (not had any) and some permanent nerve damage to my right leg. The only treatment I get now is strong painkillers (I try not to take these unless it's really bad), and I'm now waiting for a new physio appointment, because of new problems with my hip and pelvis.

I'm sure if I'm lucky enough to get pregnant I probably will have some problems with pain and reduced mobility. I'm just sort of wondering how bad it's likely to get... Also, if it gets very bad, can they actually do anything to help at all during pregnancy, since I guess proper painkillers are a no-no?

delphi13 Wed 20-Nov-13 17:27:25

I think it does vary. The body produces a hormone called relaxin which basically softens up your ligaments and bones. This makes you less stable but for some (according to my consultant) it can make pains better.

For me it has had the opposite problem and made my pelvis and shoulder problems a lot worse with the added bonus of not being able to get proper treatment to make it better.

I think you will never know how it will be for you until you try it but prepare for the worst as I know a lot of people get sciatica for the first time during pregnancy later on because of the extra pressure put on the area.

SteeleyeStan Wed 20-Nov-13 18:55:08

Thanks delphi. Good to know it can even ease the pain in some cases; I would've assumed it always gets worse. But you're right, I'm probably better off preparing that way around - though not really sure how to prepare. I think I'll ask my physio when I see her.

SadPander Wed 20-Nov-13 19:09:55

Mine is actually better. I was very surprised by this, but at 35 + 2 my back pain is considerably less than before pregnancy. (Still some aching and more in hips now from sleeping on my sides but nothing like I was dreading). Interesting Delphi that your consultant suggested relaxin could ease this, I always thought it would go the other way, but perhaps that explains things. Also no siatica since I became pregnant - the 1st time in a few years that I have gone more than a couple of months without this.

I'm going to see a chiropractor next week, as its been recommended that having had previous back and hip pain it would be a good idea to check my pelvis properly aligned before labour.

SteeleyeStan Thu 21-Nov-13 06:49:45

SanPander that sounds very encouraging! I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well, too. smile

Sammi1986 Thu 21-Nov-13 08:20:32

I have arthritis among other issues and was really worried about how it would impact on me.

We waited until I was at my best and started trying. We got pregnant first time despite being warned it would take a very long time!

Anyhow most of my medication was stopped, and now it's getting colder I really miss the NSAIDS, no tramadol but allowed codeine.

I'm really chuffed with how well it's going, nearly half way now, sciatica is worse but back pain is bearable.
Just worried about when I get really big!

Xenadog Thu 21-Nov-13 08:25:32

I've got a back injury which is over 20 years old and it flares up every so often. It has currently flared up again (from about 30 weeks pregnant) and I have had physio to help which, I'm honest, has not done anything.

The pain is not really any worse than before I became pregnant but there are fewer options regarding painkillers available. I am relying on back rubs from DP, cold gels and hot showers/baths.

I think with back pain and pregnancy you just have to suck it and see really.

ClearlyMoo Fri 22-Nov-13 11:29:25

I'm tentatively posting here as its relatively early days for me (now 15 weeks). History of lower back pain/ sciatica and sacroiliac joint instability. My back suffered a bad relapse before our wedding in May (much to my dismay as we waited til we were married and I was pretty sore with my back on honeymoon!) Very early on in pregnancy (ie before I knew 3-4 weeks) I had a bad relapse of back problems, with physio giving me a serola belt for SIJ stability. I have been physio to do daily before my 1hr+ commute. So far I'm doing ok, with only a "normal" amount of discomfort sitting/ driving for long periods. Of course as poster above mentioned ligaments stretching. In keeping up with physio and doing Pilates weekly, so hoping I can survive a bit longer! It's definitely not all bad!!

Romily Fri 22-Nov-13 11:37:44

I developed sciatica after having my first child 10 years ago and when I fell pregnant again I went to see the physio at 12 weeks to preempt any problems. They gave me advice and exercises that I have followed to the letter and so far at 29 weeks my back is coping.

When I get up from sitting or if I stand too long then I am a bit tender but I have just tried to not do any one thing for too long.

SteeleyeStan Fri 22-Nov-13 19:56:30

Thanks for all the replies; it's very encouraging that it's not all doom and gloom.
Hoping healthy pain-free pregnancies for you all! smile

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