Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
Any advice on SPD?(76 Posts)
I'm 36w+4d and had my midwife appointment today. After explaining the pain I am in she said it sounds like SPD. She says of it gets worse she will refer me to a physio but that really there's is no cure. I now only have around 4 weeks (hopefully!) left so I'm looking at ways to live with it and not make it worse! Any tips?
I had physio for mine and it pretty much did cure it, it's now about 90% better than it was. Shortening your strides, sitting down frequently, taking lifts instead of stairs and sleeping with a pillow between your knees all help. Good luck, it is awful but apparently disappears after you've popped your bab out!
I am only 23 week and suffering like hell...lots of rests, hot baths with muscle soak work well and a maternity support belt are all things i was recommended. The belt didn't help me due to where the pain is but frankly there really isn't a lot you can do. Paracetamol and codeine accouting to my gp but unfortunately i am allergic to codeine and my hyperemesis can't tolerate paracetamol but worth a try.
Thanks, unfortunately resting isn't that easy as I have a 2.6 year old already!
Hopefully the baby will be out before it has time to get much worse, I didn't have anything like this pain last time. It's waking me up in the night, and I don't need another reason to be woken up!
Where would I get a maternity support belt from?
my physio recommends the emma jane ones available from amazon/ other maternity retailers. Although she says that they do need to be unclipped when you sit down. I have found that avoiding stairs as much as possible, and then going up them one at a time (if in public) or backwards on my bum (if at home) really helps (probably the thing that helps the most if i'm honest). At bedtime if you are sleeping on your side, then prop up everything with pillows -between knees, under bump, under butt. I'm only 23 weeks with my first so you may be doing some of this already as part of normal pregnancy stuff- I'm such a novice
DH got me one of those ridiculously large body pillows that goes round down and through legs- he did this as the pillows were squishing him out of bed- and to be honest it's the best thing ever.
Try and avoid irritating your ligaments by keeping your legs together and not crossing them.
Ice also helps. We have a packet of frozen peas that are now designated as the crotch SPD pain relievers.
hope this helps, and that you get some relief.
I saw an Osteopath with DD2 and DD3. With DD2, it was late on in my pg when I saw her. I didn't expect it to work, but it was brilliant, and I got a couple of weeks pain free before I needed to go back. With DD2, I went at about 20 weeks, as soon as I felt any twinges, and I hardly had any pain, and could go 2 months between treatments. She also has a catalogue where she can order maternity belts.
With DD1, I tried physio. It didn't work for me (though I know it does for some), but I did get a support belt fitted and given to me for free though I can't say it helped massively!
Def. second sleeping with a pillow / firm cushion between your knees. Sit down on the edge of the bed to put on trousers / knickers. Swivel round on your bum to get in/out of the car (sit on a plastic bag to make it more slidey if ncessary). Order your supermarket shop online, if you don't already, and do not push heavy shopping trolleys - that was agonizing for me!!!
Hope it goes away soon.
Just a tip for giving birth with spd, try to keep active and don't use stirrups unless absolutely necessary. My delivery was horrific in part due to spd but I was induced so had no choice but to be inactive as you're not allowed to get up or anything. My spd is worse now, 11 weeks post birth and that's due to the delivery (ended up with forceps). Just something to think about.. I don't want you going through what I am, on crutches and trying to cope with an 11 week old! Good luck xxx
simba loving the carrier bag idea!! Will be fishing out my best lakeland bag tomorrow. And for the labour tips. A friend of mine is still having issues a year after her dd was born so am dreading it getting worse. Am already struggling to walk.
Mine came on after going swimming...exercise is dangerous!!!
Silky pajama bottoms were very helpful for easier rolling over in bed. Agree with all previous advice.
SPD is incredibly painful and will be worse after labour. My GP waved me away when I asked for a belt and just told me its all part of pregnancy...so not sympathetic or helpful at all!
In the end I got a sarong and tied it round ny hips and thighs. I made it soooo tight and it meant I couldn't open my legs much and really restricted my movement. I did the same after labour as well. It really helped but hopefully your GP is better than mine!
Mine didn't go after my 4th baby but turned out my pelvis wasn't aligned after giving birth. This time I went to a physio to get my pelvis checked after birth and have had no problems. Some hospitals will get a physio to check you after birth, before you go home.
Get a support belt asap - and get that physio referral asap too. it's not like you have long left but even a couple of sessions with a physio can help lots, and they can give you some really detailed advice for your personal situation when you give birth.
It's naughty of the midwife to make you wait while you are in pain - and it's likely to get worse in the last few weeks as your bump gets bigger and puts more pressure downwards and you have more hormones floating around to soften everything up even more.
First time around I had to fight to get physio, was just expected to put up and shut up about the pain. Eventually got it, helped loads. Including the belt.
Second time around - different area. Told the MW early on about pain starting, thinking it would be a long battle to get help. Got immediate referral, saw physio every 2 or 3 weeks from then on and every week the last month before I was due, got belts and exercises early on. Result - much less severe pain and problems.
DOn't know why MW don't hand out belts as they can help so much. I know they reckon that they don't help everyone but given that they will really really help a seriously large significant number of those that do use them, surely it is worth wasting the odd one or two that don't help much and saving a lot of pain and problems for everyone else that they do help. It's not like a physio will know beforehand if it will work for you or not. And the sooner you wear it the more help it can provide and prevent things from getting bad as quickly. There are a lot more medicines and treatments that have much lower success rates that get prescribed without a thought!
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
I had mildish SPD and then really bad heartburn. So I had to sleep on a slope, which made the SPD really bad. Cycle of hell.
I used to sleep propped up with loads of cushions that helped. And I moved slowly. Getting up from sitting down at work was agony. I did see a physio and that helped.
Gosh I'm just moaning, not offering advice.
On the bright side it did mostly stop after the baby came (she was due 2 years ago today).
Before you go into labour measure your pain free gap ( how far you can spread your legs before it hurts) get the measurement put on your birth plan and highlighted during labour get support not to go past your pain free zone. Its also better if you don't deliver when flat on your back.
Oh and if anyone offers you a cortisone type injection in your pelvis refuse it, it hurts like buggery and only helps for about an hour.
In my area you could self-refer to physio, often being seen much faster than going through the midwife referral route. Also slightly negative but don't pin all your hopes on it magically disappearing after giving birth, which is what some people will tell you. That might well be true for some people but every case is different. Just get back to physio as soon as you are able post-birth and keep doing the exercises if and when you have a spare minute, even if you can't start until a few months after birth, they really help.
I would recommend contacting the PGP support group and asking them for the list of osteopaths that are recommended for PGP in your area. I had bad PGP around 20 weeks or so and I couldn't even stand for more than 5 min. I went to see an osteopath, paid £30 and somehow he had fixed it. I'd recommend it and think its definitely worth a shot.
Get a properly fitted belt.
Use a tens machine.
Don't push shopping trolleys or go bowling.
Don't lift anything if you can avoid it (I taught my then two year old to get in and out of the bath herself and do up her own car seat harness).
Make sure your birth plan makes it very clear that you have SPD.
Get physio before and after the birth.
If the pain is awful, you may be induced early (I was, as I was likely to end up being induced anyway).
If you are induced, fight for an epidural as the SPD can make the labour more painful.
I saw a chiropracter and can't recommend it enough.
One of the interesting things she pointed out is that it's because your pelvis is moving incorrectly, and this puts pressure on the joints and spine and causes inflammation. As a result, she got me to ice my lower back - right where my spine ends - on a regular basis and it helps a lot. Another chiropracter told me that ice never does any harm.
So try ice. And if you can afford it, try a chiro.
I had appalling SPD (got it at 16 weeks) and the things that helped were:
1) don't do too much. It's seriously hard when you have children/job/etc but - for example - don't make unneccessary trips to the corner shop or up and down the stairs.
2) Physio. Echo Bling about chiro but you must use one who knows about SPD or they can do more harm than good.
3) Support belt. Your physio will fit this for you.
4) Pilates. Anything that strengthens your stomach muscles is brilliant.
SPD is awful. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. By the time I had DD2 every time I turned over in bed I cried. But I was mobile to the end I was told I'd probably have to give up work at 30 weeks so it was an achievement.
Oh yes, and ice on your frontal pelvic joint - the pubic gap itself - is very soothing and reduces inflammation. I used to sit there with frozen peas on my fanny. Amazing DH is still with me really
Can I ask then, I have this pain like someone has kicked me while wearing a really pointy shoe-up into my groin. My bits feel bruised and it's quite a sharp pain. Is that all SPD too? This is the worst pain. It's what hurts when I go from standing to sitting or vice-versa and when I turn over in bed etc.
Thanks, and thanks for all the advice so far it's really helpful.
That's classic SPD.
I felt like someone was skewering me with a white hot poker when I walked.
Has anyone yet said about making sure you sleep with a pillow between the knees so your pelvis isn't wonky?
This support belt made a huge difference to my SPD. It was infinitely better than the NHS free one I got from my physio and definitely worth paying for. I didn't have to take it off when I sat down, and it can be retightened easily while wearing. It was the only thing that got me through a holiday abroad when I was 35 weeks pregnant.
PanPiper you don't know how relieved I am that it sounds like definite SPD. I had a bartholins cyst removed a few months ago and I had convinced myself it was something to do with the scar! I know SPD is no walk in the park but better than the alternative
I'm currently sleeping propped up with 3 pillows because I can't get comfortable lying down, baby too wriggly and hideous heartburn and with a full body length pillow under my bump and tucked between my legs.
Pushing a supermarket trolley or a buggy is totally out for me? It's agony. Spreading my legs isn't too bad at the moment as its more the sharp pain up that's causing me pain.
Right I'll look into a belt quick. If I speak to my midwife tomorrow I wonder how long it would take to get one from her?! Or should I just go to mothercare and buy one?
This time in my last pregnancy I was so comfortable sitting on my bouncy ball but although it's ok while I'm on there the pain of getting on and off makes it not worth it...or is it still worth it?!
Keep your knees together as much as possible (when the physio told me this I thought the advice was 30 weeks too late but it does work). Someone earlier on mentioned the pain free gap. Work this out and then buy a length of ribbon or similar and tie it above your knees so that you can't open them further than the pain free gap. Wear this to work out how to do all your daily things like getting out of bed, into the shower, up and down the stairs etc. I found this really helpful as it meant I could work out how much I could do without hurting myself in the process.
I also used a length of bandage to keep my knees from opening past the pain free gap when I was asleep and it also helped to keep the pillow in place. It does look a bit like orthopaedic bondage though .
My SPD came back at 7 weeks post delivery but I found physio and then pilates amazing and I've not really had any trouble with it since.
Hi, I haven't read through the rest of the replies but thought I would offer my own advice so apologies if it's the same. I had SPD during all 3 pregnancies and ended up with crutches with the 3rd. The things that helped me were:
-physio referral for a support belt. However at 36 weeks you may not get a referral and be seen before giving birth anyway. They also gave me tubigrip so if you can manage to buy any wide enough then do that
-osteopath- I found this invaluable. Not cheap but if you can afford it then do it
-acupuncture- as above
-pillow between your legs at night and any other pillows needed to keep you comfortable. Dh left our bed at this point and slept in the spare room especially as it would take me ages to heave myself onto my other side
-swimming but definately no breast stroke. I just use to use a woggle and gently kick up and down the pool or even walk up and down the pool. Or sometimes I'd just sit nd wallow in the baby pool!
-look online-I think it's the pelvic partnership or something like that who will give you all the advice needed about keeping your legs together so keeping them together when getting in/out the car, sit down when putting trousers/pants on rather than lifting legs. Be careful when climbing stairs. On really bad days I couldn't do it anyway as it was so painful so I would literally have to crawl up.
I can't think of anything else right now. I had good days and bad days but you just need to try and relax as much as possible. Easier said that done if you have other dc but if you can enlist any help from family or friends then do. Good luck.
Ps after all 3 births my SPD disappeared straightaway.
I had bad SPD with my second. When it actually happened I was in a wheel chair as couldnt put one foot in front of the other. After that i was on crutches. I was on crutches through the L & D too, this happend at 38 weeks!
I would be careful walking up and down stairs,
getting out a car keep your knees legs together and twist round also do this getting off setees and chairs, try to keep your legs together, i know sounds silly but will help.
when getting changed sit on the end of your bed and get changed that way rather than lifting up your leg.
i know someone who had physio and they are back up and about with a few weeks to go
i also know someone who had acupuncture.
Hope yours isnt too bad and calms down for you.
my walking went back to normal after a week after having her.
Good luck for the remainder of the birth and delivery x
Please insist on specialist physio. Although SPD usually goes after birth, that is not 100pc, and physio will help you now, in birth and recovery after. Please insist - I don't want to scare you as it's super abnormal, but my sister has been disabled by it (after 2-3 pgs admittedly).
Take care and enjoy your LO
The problem with physio or an osteo is that I'm 37+2 now and surely wouldn't get an nhs referral and appointment before due date/giving birth. We can't afford for me to go private.
I know I need to be more careful but it's hard with a 2.6 year old who wants to dance, play, walk to the park etc.
It's definitely worth speaking to a midwife and asking her for an urgent physio referral plus a belt. Even one or two sessions would help. Sounds like the midwife can't be bothered to refer you as time is tight, but if you do go late then there's even more worth in trying to see them. And they should be able to refer even this late - it's not like you have a bad back that is going to be bad for the next year and beyond, so you just have to wait for your slot. Pregnancy is a time limited thing, all sorts of things do get worse in the last few weeks of pregnancy and services need to be able to react to that. In this case, you need not only immediate physio to provide relief and support, but for advice to help you and to ensure that you don't hurt yourself (in the short term and long term) during birth. After all - going to cost the NHS a lot more to look after you if you have complications as a result of spd, than to have a couple of appointments beforehand that prevent them.
It might even be worth ringing up your local hospital's physio department and finding out what the situation is - probably no chance of self referral, but if you ring up and say that you've been in agony with this but your mw won't refer you, and is now saying that there's no point because it's too late to get an appointment through, they might be able to say that they have got urgent appointments that they can issue if needed even if you don't see someone who specialises in SPD. Or that they were seeing someone who was also suffering with spd but who gave birth 4 weeks early and so just a few appointment slots have opened up. Or they might be able to fit you with a belt if you are happy to turn up and wait
and wait and wait and wait for an opening. Or who knows...
Or is there any other way of getting to the help you need - outpatients obs and gynae at your hospital might be able to point you in the right direction, or your gp's surgery might have a good contact or know a way around these things. Or a local teaching hospital that teaches physio - they might not get many pregnant women that are prepared to be worked on by students but they would supervise heavily so you should be ok (and I would imagine they would only use you for senior students rather than absolute beginners!).
But if you don't ask, then they won't ever give you an appointment. For the sake of a couple of phone calls, you might be able to sort something out. It might just be that the midwife is under pressure and can't be hassled to spend the half an hour on the phone that she knows it will take for the physio department to make an urgent appointment as she is already going to be late home and has too much work to do, and she has to draw a line somewhere.
But please try - it's definitely worth a try.
I would honestly just buy the belt online. The one I recommended upthread came really quickly and was a godsend - much better than faffing about with tubigrip (tried that first) or the Boots own SPD belt (tried that too) or the free NHS belt. I suddenly felt as though I could move again! Prior to that I'd been crawling down the landing to go to the loo in the night as I couldn't walk for the pain.
I suffered with SPD badly with my second (very large!)baby. The belt and my chiropracter helped as did not pushing heavy things. THere are also a range of simple yoga excercises that can REALLY help you right up to and through birth. You will need to strengthen up your pelvis again after birth as the Relaxin, the hormone that cause the ligaments to relax in the pelvis and give you the pain will be in your system for up to a year after labour, especially if you breastfeed. You can find a good yoga teacher at the British Wheel of Yoga website or www.birthlight.co.uk love and luck
Don't forget it's not going to go away overnight the moment you give birth. It'll lessen considerably, but the more help you get the better. You know the NHS - the louder you shout, the more help you get. Or just pay - it's worth it.
And, seriously - ice your fanny. As a PP said, it's the inflammation from the bones rubbing together that's causing all the pain.
Just to say that while it was much better after giving birth (ie. I could walk), it wasn't gone. Two years on (i'm really stubborn and was convinced willing it to go away would do the trick) I had physio and it made a huge difference (though I still get twinges when I do a lot). So get referred ASAP after the birth or have some private sessions if necessary. Depending on where you live, the NHS may provide a Pilates course postnatally too.
Having said all that, the worst is over once the baby is out. So it will soon start to improve
another good tip I was given by NCT teacher is if you ask for A treatment/referral etc and it s refused, ask the person to write in your notes that you asked and they said no. It might persuade them to give it a go.
All that said, hope you are one of those who recover super quick
I find sitting on a birth ball helps as it keeps my posture straight, I try not to recline on sofa (this is really hard at 38 weeks!) as this makes me really stiff when I get up again. Either lie on side with pillow in between knees or sit with your knees lower than your hips with your feet/legs/hips/pelvis aligned.
I stopped walking - I can only do 5 minutes at a time, and I stopped carrying my toddler. Especially don't carry heavy things up the stairs.
My physio told me to act like an old lady - I.e if you do housework, do 5-10 mins then rest, don't do it all at once.
y y to the chiropractor if you can afford it. I had awful SPD the first time round, but saw a chiro the second. It was soooo much better as she kept the joints in the right place relieveing the inflammation. I was still relatively mobile by the end, which was great
Do keep your knees together at all times, and use the pillow between them as you sleep. Don't move things with your feet, or do things that require a twisting action (eg pushing a shopping trolley or loading the dishwasher).
Finally, tell EVERYONE when it comes to delivery, and don't allow your legs to be flung open into stirrups. That happened to me and 9 years on I am still suffering If you do need stirrups, ask two people to open your legs slowly and simultaneously to prevent joint damage. There are birth positions that work better for SPD as well.
Had it at 36 weeks first time, 16 second time and kicked in at 5 weeks this time. So i am researched to the hilt...... Am now 22 weeks and in less pain than i was at 6 weeks due to being really really strict following the following 'rules':
Imagine you are wearing a short skirt and no knickers at all times - so get in and out of cars thinking this, turning in bed, walking sitting etc
No buggy, no trolleys
No hoovering (or ironing but i don;t do this anyway)
NO lifting. Including 2 year olds who are crying. Sit down, and call them to you. Get a little life rucksack with a lead for necessary trips - and get one yourself which makes it more attractive to your little one. I can;t carry a bag on one shoulder or in one hand as the imbalance is too hard on my pelvis.
Small steps - always. No fast movements - so don;t cross the road if you think you may have to speed up before the other side.
Call the physio dept. Not all midwives and GPs know enough about it. My local hospital has a group advice/support session every week you can book into.
Rest. Lots. I recommend resting on sofa after lunch with your 2 year old and dozing off if you can in front of CBeebies
If you need to lie down on your back, try to get yourself at 30 degree angle bend in the middle
If you see an osteopath/chiroprator do your research. i saw an osteopath last time who said they could do it and were rubbish - this time i travel to see a proper expert and she puts my pelvis back in line whcih helps now and will help afterwards. Worth every penny - and i don;t have to go that often as she does it properly.
Get a belt if you think it will help YOU. Different belts suit different people.
If you are any near Wiltshire let me know if you want local recommendations for osteopath!
Hi there, lots of great tips already.
My Obstetric Physio said to remember the mantra "short skirt, no knickers" !
i.e. always behave and manoeuvre yourself as if you are wearing a short skirt with no knicks (which you do not want to reveal!), especially when getting in and out of cars. Splinting your legs is very bad for SPD.
Make you movements as symmetrical as poss and sit down to put shoes on.
My first pregnancy and long after with SPD was just awful and it was discovered too late, but for my second my local hospital ran a pregnancy, physio pilates class which helped a lot.
Lastly, for people who have had it very badly, consider seeing a specialist osteopath in case you have some structural problem which is exacerbating it.
I couldn't work out why my SPD never really went away and didn't realise I had had a twisted pelvis from bad posture (for most of my life) until four years after my first was born. The Osteo I saw spotted it straightaway, yet I had spent hundreds and hundreds of pounds on physios and a previous osteopath all of whom only ever managed my symptoms. If I'd seen him much earlier he could have possibly saved me from the interventions necessary for my births. I didn't go because he was miles away down in Kent, wish I had gone earlier now, as he is inexpensive and can make a lot of difference in a few sessions.
His name is Quentin Shaw and he is a world renowned expert in his field of classical osteopathy for SPD and spinal problems. He changed my life (and my posture!). He's in Tunbridge Wells which may not be local, but he has women who travel from Scotland and Ireland to see him because he's so good. He's had women come in in a wheelchair and walk out on crutches after one session / come in on crutches and walk out without them etc., and then continue to improve. (p.s. I not his friend and don't work there or anything!) His colleague Matt is brilliant too.
Hope it goes away quickly for you and everyone else on the thread, it's the most debilitating, shitty, miserable thing and so hard to explain to anyone who doesn't understand.
Tunbridge Wells Osteopaths
Pelvic Partnership for advice
Hee hee, x-post pics re: short skirt no knickers!
If you still have problems after giving birth, shout and shout and shout! DD2 is now 14 months and I am waiting for my physio referral. I thought it would go away on its own and it didn't. Although it is much better most of the time, it flares up with sciatic-type shooting pains down my buttocks and thighs if I walk a lot in unsupportive shoes/carry DD a lot/hoover etc. I finally got pissed off about a month ago and went to the doc to be referred.
And don't let the MWs put your feet up on their hips to give birth. With DD1 they got me to do this (which I now know is banned for their sake as well as yours) and I was in agony for months afterwards.
I had SPD in my third and it rapidly progressed from twinges to not being able to walk (had three kids in three years so my pelvis has not been stable for quite some time!).
lie on as soft a surface as possible (a duvet between you and the mattress...i had to take to sleeping on the sofa)
dont hoover or iron (anything that makes you twist or seperate your legs for stance)
one step at a time (it takes forever and is frustrating but stops that shooting pain)
dont stand for too long
use the pushchair to take some weight when walking
walk at your pace (dont try and keep up)
get a gym ball (it automatically realigns your posture...same as sitting on the loo but more comfy...I took to sitting solely on it form 35 weeks)
my eldest was 18mths when i got quite bad and aside form doing the absolute necessary i did nothing! and it really is the best prevention method i didnt lift them into/ out of cots, i didnt change nappies on the floor. i didnt cook tea and my other half was working 50 hours pw. you need people to take over, as hard as it can be to let them. It can affect your labour, so try to stay off your back (birthing chairs or squatting is best) and dont think it will go away straight away (10 weeks later I am fighting with my gp for some treatment as i dont feel comfortable getting rid of my crutches just yet)
It's quite painful today, I'm trying to sit as upright as possible. Is the bouncy ball a good idea or not? It hurts so much getting off it that I'm not sure if I'm doing more damage than good?!
I tried calling my midwife but she didn't reply so I have sent a message to her asking about a support belt and physio referral. Hopefully she'll get back to me quickly.
I'll remember the mantra "short skirt, no knickers" it's in my head!
I need to start doing less, I know that now. I guess I've just been thinking that there's only a few weeks left and I can push through. Today has taught me that that's just not right and I can't do that!
It's not so much upright as possible, as straight as possible, so there is no bend in the spine or pelvis. Make sure you are symmetrical wherever you sit, and absolutely no crossing of any bits of your legs.
I loved the ball but there are ways of getting off it - having a high-backed chair in front of you so you can pull yourself up for example. DHs are also useful for this
And be ultra-careful when it's wet - slipping is as bad for your pelvis as you can get.
Is it wrong that I was a bit excited to see this made it onto the "discussions of the day" bit?!
not at all.
I was excited I'd posted on a discussions of the day thread which is v sad of me
My midwife didn't reply by the way. Where does that leave me?!
definitely follow up tomorrow.
I'd also contact GP too, especially as GPS are now care coordinators for patients.
also keep a log of all calls, etc you make. Not to use in court - to further your case that they need to speed up if they try and delay....as in "I realise this us our first conversation about this but as you will see <ta-dah moment> I'be been asking for this referral/support.belt etc for x days/weeks"
Oh bless your heart, I so feel your pain.
SPD is something that I had never heard of until I got it with DS at 18 weeks. I was put on crutches straight away and told to rest which wasn't possible as I was still working and had a young DD at the time.
I was told to take paracetamol and have lots of warm baths and all would be fine. Not so. Make sure your MW and GP are badgered all of the time if you're in pain. You can use a TENS and you can take co-codamol as long as your GP/MW knows about both as a TENS can trigger labour which you may want some nights but not yet sweetheart.
I had hydrotherapy twice a week, which helped me massively, I had physio at least once a week, and also told to sleep with plenty of pillows and to lie on one side, not on my back.
If you search the site, you'll find lots and lots of SPD threads because no-one knows what it is until they get it. It's horrific. I'm so sorry that you are suffering.
I would (and did) -
a) - invest in a well fitted maternity belt, thick and covers the bottom and the surround of your bump.
b) - take paracetamol, use a TENS and ask for co-codamol. Try to use breathing techniques for for the pain.
c) - DO NOT LIFT OR PUSH ANYTHING YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Even opening a heavy door will hurt.
d) - if you drive, get a swivel seat LIKE THIS you can get them cheaper, Aldi have them in now, DH got me a new one last night for £10.00
e) - Make sure EVERYONE knows you have SPD. You need to give birth on your side if at all and I was told to have NO epidural if you can bear it because them moving your legs about or any pulling, can pull the pelvis apart more, or so I was told but it's up to you. I managed to birth on my side with no pain relief just G&A for a while and then gave up because I just wanted it over with.
f) - Try to see a physio who specialises in this sort of treatment, an internal exam may help too so that the can tell you how and where the SPD is affecting you. GP or MW can advise on that. Be careful who you see, don't let them pull you about AT ALL! Make sure that they lower the bed for you to get on and help you get your legs up, ask for pillows for support whilst in there. If they offer you crutches, take them! I was on them from 20 weeks and induced at 39 weeks.
g) - everything that all other wonderfully supportive posters have said to you so far up thread ^ ^ ^! SPD is a nasty disability and it will not just go away once baby arrives, but then again, it may. As others have said, do not let it go. I ended up having x-rays and MRIs which showed that I have various other health issues but without the initial and still lingering SPD, I wouldn't have found out.
DS is 4 in 2 days and I still have pain, especially when it's cold and damp.
Take good care of yourself and good luck with it all xxxxx
(PS - sorry for any typos, DS is not a sleeper! )
I know you said you can't afford an osteopath/chiropractor but really it's the quickest and easiest way to fix it. There is a relatively simple manoeuvre they can do that shifts the symphisis pubis back to where it should be (and oh God, the relief!) so you might get relief from just one session - and while it's not the cheapest thing in the world, is it not worth it? Can you get it in lieu of your next birthday present or something? Once they have done the manoeuvre on you once, you might be able to do similar yourself (and save money).
Things that helped me were keeping my knees together as much as possible, especially when in bed, only turning over with my knees together, that kind of thing. I saw an osteopath monthly, I think it got down to 3 weekly by the end but I had a 2h train journey to deal with so no more than that, but I have other back and pelvis issues as well (and have had for many years).
I didn't use a belt in the end, although it would have probably helped - it was a bit risky with the other problems I have.
I had horrific heartburn from week 14 and ended up sleeping propped up by a beanbag, rather than extra pillows, because I could create exactly the right shape for all my aches and back problems with it.
Do definitely make sure that they know you have SPD when you're in labour so they're more careful with you; and you may well need to continue with treatment (physio or whatever) afterwards or you could be stuck with a problem for a very long time (simply not worth it). My osteopath fixed up my hyperflexed sacrum and lower back in 2 sessions after giving birth, and I have no SPD issues now.
Personally physio didn't work for me. They just looked and me and gave me a big tubi grip. The support didn't help a bit because my pelvis was rotated on one side so pushing it together was not what was needed, I needed it rotated. Honestly chiro or osteo is brilliant.
I am convinced I have developed SPD as it feels like someone has kicked me in the crotch (!) but the midwife said it was more likely to be a nerve problem as not feeling it in my hips and the front pubic bone doesn't hurt, just one side and it is more underneath IYSWIM. Does anyone have experience of this and have an SPD diagnosis?
It started literally overnight and hurts when I go from standing to sitting, turn over, get out the car. When standing and walking it aches but doesn't hurt as such.
Sorry for hi-jacking thread OP,
Don't sit at your desk at work for six hours without getting up for a wander round. That was me yesterday, and now my mild twinges have clubbed together into serious pain and audible clicking. Awesome!
letme SPD is very specificly about the pubic bone (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction), but there is PGP (Pelvic girdle pain) which is more generalised pain in the pubic area caused by all the joints loosening. I had pain like you described with SPD, but also crunching SP joint and severe pain there. In my second PG I had PGP as well as SPD and it caused pain in lots of places, including underneath and up inside my bits!
Get physio. Even if you have to shout till you are blue in the face to get the referral, do, because it will help you after you have given birth. I wasted most of my mat-leave semi-disabled because arsehole patronising GPs kept telling me it would go away when it was not.
As everyone knows, SPD in pregnancy is caused by relaxin causing instablility. HOWEVER as everyone doesn't know, or chooses to ignore, the floating around can cause things to become semi-permanently out of kilter which needs be be physically (hands-on) corrected by some kind of practitioner like a physiotherapist, (you should get an NHS referral) or an osteopath or chiropractor (if you can pay).
It is important to note that things can still be out of kilter when your hormone levels are back to normal, because there was too much mobility when you were pregnant. There is a bit of a red herring about bfing affecting hormone levels so you still get symptoms "which will go away on their own". It is a red herring, you need hands-on treatment.
If you can get a referral asap it will help you in the last weeks of your pregnancy, and if it comes through after you have had the baby, it will help you get better much sooner and get you back to normal quickly. so SHOUT.
the physiotherapist will be able to diagnose exactly what lumps of bone are out of line with what, and physically put them back. It is amazing. You will get given exercises too, to strengthen key muscles and hold it all in place, but the moment that the big lump of pelvis gets punched back into line is incredible and makes all the difference.
Go to an osteopath.
Go to an osteopath.
Go to an osteopath.
Go to an osteopath.
Did I mention, Go to an osteopath? I had TERRIBLE SPD from 5 months on and was in agony - could barely walk anywhere. Constant pain walking, standing, sitting, lying down, etc. The midwives referred me to a physio at the hospital who succeeded in making it worse. Then a friend recommended the Osteopathic Centre for Children (Wandsworth, London). I didn't really want to go because I don't believe in New Age / alternative medicine but I was desperate so went along. Sat for an hour on a bed while they poked me very gently and I thought "what a waste of time". Stood up at the end of it and it was like a Biblical miracle! I was almost totally cured. I actually ran for the bus! It was insane.
After the birth I had massive nerve damage and suffered temporary paralysis in my legs - I couldn't move properly. Again, got an osteo round and she fixed it up in an hour.
Please, please, please try it. It's amazing.
I always pop up to post this on SPD threads, but it might be worth switching to a foam mattress. My SPD improved massively almost over night when I did.
MW are generally crap with SPD unless they have had it themselves. Make a massive fuss at the GP and get referred for physio, pain management, rheumatology and anything else you can think of. Don't be fobbed off or you may be stuck with this permanently. Ask your GP's opinion on the following (which was all advice I got at the hospital pain clinic from specialists).
Wear a TENS machine all day - there are different settings for chronic pain relief to what you use for labour. The machines can be bought for about £30 if you avoid pg suppliers and go to physio ones. This will not, repeat not, send you into labour, despite what ill informed mw and allied health professionals say. If they did, then everyone would be using them to induce births!
Take codeine phosphate 4x day with paracetemol 4 x day for breakthrough pain. Ignore people who say you can't take pain relief drugs in pg. You can, as long as this is properly supervised. If your GP will not prescribe codeine phosphate, get a consultant to. If it is really bad you are also allowed Oromorph 3x day but this may conk you out completely. If you take a lot of opiates you may also need a laxative.
Take at least two warm baths a day to relax your joints and improve blood flow.
Do not just park yourself on the sofa if it hurts, potter very gently instead.
Wear slippy nightclothes in bed to make turning over easier.
Do not push trolleys or do anything particularly physical like lifting.
Some people like belts (although they did fuck all for me).
Keep your knees together at all times (hindsight is the greatest gift LOL!)
Tell everyone you have a serious pg complication and need help and support.
Do not use stirrups for delivery, they can use loop things at the side of the bed if necessary.
Consider a birthing pool for delivery, as the water supports the pelvis.
There's more on the wikipedia entry on SPD which I wrote and which I had checked at the time by a doctor. It may have been edited since then, although it's usually scientifically sound every time I look (they keep the snake oil people off the entry), but as with anything, it's always worth doing a print off and asking your own GP what they think.
Cheapest decent mattress for SPD.
Thanks MrsBaffled. Maybe it is that then. I might try speaking to a different midwife and see what he says. Or I might not and just try to ride it out, following suggestions for managing PGP. Only have 4 weeks to go so hopefully won't get too much worse.
Hello, a lot of people have already replied, so I'm echoing what they have said.
I had really bad SPD, which got a lot worse after a fall at work. What I would say is that there are different degrees of SPD, and my midwife was most unsympathetic, I think she had dealt with a mild case in the past and had no idea how much pain I was in. You may need to really push for additional help, I was eventually given crutches, but no pain killers before or after the birth, no support band, and was told physio wouldn't do anything. In fact she told me to stop making a fuss, and think about the poor women who had caesarians! I had been in constant pain for 4 months, and couldn't stand up for several weeks after the birth! There is help available (as I found out much later) and you may need to push for it.
Make sure everyone who is involved with your birth knows about the SPD, have it printed on your t shirt if necessary. It being in your notes is not enough. I was put in stirrups, and my legs pulled further apart when taken out of them.
I would recommend satin pajamas, they only way I could move in bed.
The carrier bag on car seat.
Pilates, not sure about during, but I did this from a few months after and it helped a lot.
Go up stairs one at a time. (I couldn't go on my bum as I couldn't get up again at the top or bottom of the stairs) It doesn't matter how long it takes.
Get in and out of the bath by putting a phone book next to the bath, step onto that, standing sideways to the bath, then lift your leg, bending backwards from the knee only, and try to get that foot into the bath, then do same with other leg.
Sit on a dining type chair rather than the sofa.
I never found a way to get nickers or socks on, get your partner to do that!
Hope it gets better after the birth, and you get as much support as possible.
You can write 'no stirrups - SPD' on your thighs!
I got SPD at 4 months with my ds, it was horrendous, but affected the joints at the back of my pelvis rather than the classic front pain. I agree with a lot of the tips already onb here, but here's what I did:
Maternity physio - self-refer, exercises didn't help, but I got a support belt for free which was a life-saver
Cranial Osteopathy - expensive, but worth it as it helped more than anything else
Walking - they tell you not to walk, but for me keeping mobile was the best thing as long as I was wearing support belt
Stairs - I used a walking stick as physio didn't give me crutches 'til later on
Lifting/Twisting - DON'T! I ordered groceries online as shopping trolley was a killer (I am actually 9 weeks pg now with dc2 and have taught ds to climb in and out of highchair, carseat, buggy so I limit any lifting as it is expected I will get SPD this time around too)
Sleeping - pillow between knees
General moving - try to keep legs together when getting up/down, avoid putting weight on one leg, sit to put on socks etc. Walk-in shower easier to get in/out of than bath
Hope this helps anyone else and I'm keeping my fingers crossed if it does happen this time I know the signs and will be able to seek help immediately.
The OT people came around to my house with loan gadgets and a wheelchair to help me. The wheelie tray trolley was one of the most useful things.
i've been hovering on this thread hoping to hijack some info for myself! I've got a crunching lower back, pain in lower back more one side than another, and some frontal pain on either side. not sure if its spd or pgp. However, not to hijack without contributing, i've booked an osteo appointment for sat morn and its a standard £20 for one session. so for anyone considering trying it out i'd say its well worth trying (no breaking the bank)? if it makes a difference i'll be back to let you know!
I've read a few posts on here saying natural birth can be more painful if you have SPD. I had a c section last time (failed induction) and have been given the option of an elective c section or a VBAC this time. I was leaning towards trying for a VBAC, however as I have told I am likely to get SPD again and have now read this I'm wondering whether I should just have the elective c section. Is anyone in a similar situation?
I would have thought the baby would come out easier with SPD as the pelvis joints are much more stretchy than normal?
They strongly discourage CS as it will mean having two problems to recover from, and most people find the only compensation is that yes, births are a bit easier. Anecdotally I think that might well be right.
Sorry to hijack myself here, but does anyone know if pins and needles in one hip, right where the leg meets the pelvis, plus stiffness in the same spot, like the area really needs to be stretched, might be SPD? I'm only 11 weeks.
I am actually planning to call the midwife and ask about this, but it looks like she's only available for an hour in the mornings; the line's been engaged the rest of the day when I've been able to call.
It's not crippling, just annoying, and I'm afraid of making it worse. Was jogging/walking this week until this happened. Will try icing my hip tonight.
JustGas, I am not sure but actually the best advice might be to stop running and so on, and to have a warm bath (good for circulation) and rest up. Gentle yoga or pilates may prevent later problems.
MWs don't get SPD, you might be better off seeing a sympathetic GP.
Justgas - is it at the back of the front of the pelvis? If it's at the back, it might be sciatica. But definitely stop jogging and change to a less hard-impact exercise.
Did anyone get crutches from physio I did and they really helped too apart from on stairs where they seemed a bit too risky! Agree with the avoiding stirrups one in labour so painful!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.