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Best treatment for SPD/PGP/lower back pain?

(65 Posts)
CrispyFB Mon 04-Nov-13 17:35:59

This is DC4. Every single time I get really bad SPD/PGP and lower back pain (which is actually worse than the SPD). It makes it extremely difficult and very painful to walk very far, and I usually end up in a wheelchair for trips to malls, round Sainsburys etc by the third trimester. I'm otherwise very fit and healthy (I walk 40-50 miles a week when not pregnant and even ran a marathon between DC2 and DC3) so it's a bit shit, frankly. I find it very hard mentally to adjust and end up gaining a ton of weight as a result which probably doesn't help either.

This being DC4, I know the routine about not crossing legs, keeping them together, pillow between the knees in bed etc etc. I know the drill on that score.

DC1 I never made my physio referral as the crap midwives told me to put up and shut up, and it wasn't until 34 weeks that I saw my GP.. the appointment came through after her arrival at 36+6.

DC2 I had the physio appointment at a better time but it was like a chocolate teapot. On the plus side I now know that the belts do nothing for me and that I can't use crutches (especially as I have a pushchair to push!) The exercises did nothing in particular, not that I was that persistent I have to confess.

DC3 I tried osteopathy. It is difficult to say if it helped, but at best it may have stopped it being even worse. It just seemed like she popped my sacroiliac joint back in place each time and of course five minutes later it popped out again after I'd gone.

This time.. what shall I try? I'm nearly 20 weeks and my mobility has helpfully dropped off a cliff in the last week.. it is agony even doing the 1/4 mile school run. I never had a school run last time so I could just sit on my backside all day, well okay, not leave the house. The children didn't allow me an entirely 100% backside experience.

So..

Osteopathy with somebody else?

Chiropractor?

McTimoney Chiro?

A decent physio?

Put up with it?

Something else?

I'd go to the BSO in Borough, but it's just too far. I'm in Hertfordshire. So if anyone has any local recommendations (Beds/Bucks/Herts/VERY near Euston as a last resort) I'd appreciate them too!

I'm not expecting any miracle cures (although those would be nice!) but anything that genuinely helps as we're paying out of pocket and we're supposed to be saving for a new house right now.. so it needs to be properly worth it. The osteopathy last time wasn't worth the money if I'd had to pay.. through a fluke my health insurance covered it, but it's a different provider this time and I know they won't now.

LadyMedea Mon 04-Nov-13 18:25:56

Private hands on physio. Our local Spire private hospital has a specialist PGP physio clinic - and it's in Reading so a possibility for you.

I'm a chiro/osteo skeptic.... Just not enough evidence for me. But hands on physio, which you rarely get on the NHS, is the only thing that has ever helped by sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

CrispyFB Mon 04-Nov-13 18:48:16

Thank you! I have to admit to being a little sceptical over chiro/osteo treatment myself (especially as it didn't do much for me) but others have sworn blind it works. So I won't discount it entirely, it could well be one needs to see the "right" one!

I've never had any luck with physios either for things (not just SPD - other issues such as neck pain, knee injuries etc) but again I could just be not seeing the "right" one.

Reading is just over an hour's drive away which is a long way to go, but worth it for a genuine difference.

McBaby Mon 04-Nov-13 18:56:28

I had acupuncture in last pregnancy which I found really helped. There were days I was driven the 15 doors down the road as I couldn't walk but I could walk home again.

I was sceptical of it but the pain stopped instantly when he put the needles in! There were also some very small tacks he could leave in for longer term relief.

He was great and is based in Barnet so not to far from you.

I've been seeing an osteopath for spd/pgp and from hobbling about and struggling with stairs etc I am mobile, not in constant pain and they also helped with my breathlessness as well. I still have to be careful and turning over in bed is still a struggle but I'm so much better than I was. You definitely need to find someone else. I'm so glad I'm seeing someone this time as my pregnancy with ds it didn't occur to me and it was excruciating. And a fucking tubi grip for my belly from the nhs physio did bugger all.

Chilli81 Mon 04-Nov-13 20:26:25

I found the Osteopath at the bso did a great job in easing my lower back pain and the pain in my piriformis (sp?) muscles - basically the bum/hip muscles. didn't do a huge amount for the the pain in my pubic bone but it was enough to make it manageable. I also went to the nhs physio who was quite hands on and helped with the same muscles. I know it's easier said than done (I have a crazy toddler) but the best way is doing as little as possible. worry about losing the wait later. Good luck.

comfyonesie2 Mon 04-Nov-13 21:40:51

Crispy have you tried the Serola support belt? I am expecting DC3 so this is the 3rd time I've had spd/pgp and I never got on with the belts the hospital physios recommended. This pregnancy I bought the Serola belt off eBay after a recommendation on here and it really makes a difference. I am also seeing an osteopath which I am certain is working, but you do need to see someone who is experienced in treating pregnant women. Last session I had he even managed to (gently) move the baby up from the position it had wedged itself into, and the relief was incredible! I was on crutches 3 weeks ago which the hospital physio gave me, but now with the belt and osteopathy I can walk a bit further and manage at work etc. Its not perfect, but pain levels are now manageable and I'm not dreading the rest of the pregnancy.
I really hope you can find something that will help you as it's horrible. I don't think it necessarily needs to be an osteopath and maybe you could try a specialist physio as someone above suggested. Just speak to them first and make sure they have lots of experience treating spd/pgp. Good luck with it.

Chuddy3 Mon 04-Nov-13 21:50:39

I am pregnant with DC 3&4, yes twins and with each pregnancy the pain starts earlier and more severely. I am 18 weeks and last week the pain in my sacroiliac joint was so painful could hardly move. I have never been to a chiropractor but my mother recommended a mctimoney chiropractor and after first appointment the pain was 70 percent better. Had my second session and 85-90 percent better. I don't expect it to completely go and I have booked to see her again when I'm 25 weeks and will continue for the duration of the pregnancy. I was not convinced that she would be able to help that much as the pain was do severe, but she did. I would definitely recommend

hugshugs Mon 04-Nov-13 21:54:31

Hi. I swear by chiropractice if you find someone good. I have seen a couple of not great chiropractors who loved cracking bones, and I didn't get much relief. However, I now see the most amazing chiropractor. I can't walk and love without her. She works mainly on the muscles, loosening muscles that are problematic, and she gives me practical advice on how to help myself (e.g. how to stand without hurting myself / affecting muscles; best ways to get up etc.) I am nowhere near to you, so can't give advice on who to go to, but if you can find someone with a good reputation, it's definitely worth it. I was in a real muddle a couple of weeks ago, and two sessions a few days apart solved the issue.

I hope you find help soon! x

CrispyFB Mon 04-Nov-13 22:19:29

Thank you very much everyone! Replies taken on board and being considered smile

McBaby - I think my DH would kill me if I tried acupuncture. He is far more of a sceptic than I am and I am a sceptic! Having said that, I do know that there is research that acupuncture can work for inflammation-related pains, so maybe..

comfyonesie2 - I hadn't come across that belt before! Given it's less than the price of a chiro/osteo/physio appointment it sounds like it might be worth a go. The reviews look good too. Thank you, I'll give it a try!

There's a McTimoney chiro about 25 minutes from here, and he says he treats pregnant women. However with just a website and no personal recommendations I'm a little hesitant.

Pelvic ligament issues suck so much. It's awful so many of us have to deal with it.

4athomeand1cooking Tue 05-Nov-13 06:46:25

Expecting number 5 here and like most my pain started earlier and earlier - this time at 14 weeks.

Using physio did not help me at all but then I discovered Pilates exercises especially for the pain on You tube. It uses a birthing ball and has been fantastic.

I also stripped my pillows in bed and lay as flat as I can with my knees slightly bent and this seems to take the weights off of my hips and back.

DinkyMole Tue 05-Nov-13 07:15:15

Osteopathy - Hector Wells in Banbury.

CrispyFB Tue 05-Nov-13 11:38:15

I was actually considering doing an antenatal pilates class, but it's finding the time!! Perhaps I should just YouTube it ;-)

Thanks DinkyMole! He sounds good, but unfortunately even with good traffic, Banbury is still 90 minutes away which is a long way to go probably weekly sad

Supergoogler Tue 05-Nov-13 12:01:19

Where a outs in Hertfordshire are you? I can highly highly highly recommend my Amatsu practitioner based in rickmansworth (j18 M25).

I have always had a dodgy back and at about 20 weeks pregnant I got a trapped nerve and basically couldn't walk!! I saw a dr recommended physio who was useless. Went to this guy, corrected the problem. I then had treatments every 4 weeks and had no more pain/problems, baby was right way, easiest labour ever!

Pilates will help after you have sorted your problem but will not make correct the spd.

Will be happy to give you more info if you need it!

Chocolateteabag Tue 05-Nov-13 12:50:10

I have found that proper resting for a week really helped me - hips were getting increasingly bad up to 28 weeks. Then went on holiday with PIL's and Sil/family - were I was ordered to sit on bum/sun lounger (Majorca) and do nothing. Mil and Sil did all cooking and cleaning, FIL BIL and DH played with Ds a lot. I felt like a lazy whale, BUT I found my hips got so much better.
Still not 100% but using a Serola support and consciously trying to not go up and down stairs or walk far.
Definitely hard when you have other DC's and are normally vv active I know! But could you be trying to "push through it" when you really need to slow down in order to keep going?

TheBreastmilksOnMe Tue 05-Nov-13 13:07:06

Chiro, chiro, chiro! Physio' s do nothing for me but my lovely chiropractor and her acupuncture have worked wonders. And I'll second what another poster said about rest, rest, rest. Difficult when you have other children and when you're trying not to gain weight but you can work on that after baby is born. Good luck, I know how hard it is x

elskovs Tue 05-Nov-13 13:08:40

Ive got this for the first time in my 3rd pregnancy. Im taking codeine which works. Have you tried that?

GinnelsandWhippets Tue 05-Nov-13 13:12:22

Acupuncture & osteopathy combined worked for me with DS2. At 6 months pg I thought I'd need a wheelchair, but weekly visits kept me upright until he was born. Still couldn't walk far but was much improved. BTW my closest friend is a physio, specialising in spinal injuries and she is hugely sceptical of any alternative 'woo' stuff - she really rates acupuncture for pain management. Apparently it has has quite positive results in trials although I don't have any links you could show DH.

mrsbaffled Tue 05-Nov-13 13:16:43

Chiro all the way.....

Yorky Tue 05-Nov-13 13:45:06

I would have left DH for my chiropractor while pg with DC4!
NHS physio was basically 'Here's an elastic band, good luck.'
I don't know if its a local arrangement, but I got the 1st, think it was 9 sessions paid by NHS under GP referral, definitely worth a try smile

I had private physio (hands on manipulation) with my terrible spd/pgp. It was a miracle. Literally. I was very sceptical (after useless nhs ones). My physio specialises in pgp/spd and is one of the very few to do so. She was amazing. Unfortunately, she's in Tewkesbury so probably not much use to you confused There was a pgp forum I went on which was useful for recommendations etc. Will see if I can find it for you.

CityDweller Tue 05-Nov-13 14:27:46

Acupuncture! I have no idea how or why it worked, but it was the one thing that got me through my spd/pregnancy. Mine came on at about 18 weeks and was agony, but got so much better with regular acupuncture that kept me on my feet and relatively pain free up to 40 + 14! I found a local acupuncturist who ran a 'multi-bed clinic' specifically for women, and who specialised in pregnancy and fertility, and the cost was much more affordable (£20 opposed to £60).

I also saw several different osteopaths, the most successful of which was the cranial-style (so very very gentle). I went to the BSO for a while, but they made it worse.

I also went to the NHS physio who was next-to-useless. Although my hospital did have a referral for acupuncture if your case was bad enough (I'd already given up and gone private by that point).

TheEponymousGrub Tue 05-Nov-13 16:21:26

OP I would also highly recommend a Serola belt. The one I had from the NHS physio helped a little, but I was still on crutches by the end of my first pregnancy.

The second time around, I had to buy my own and while looking into it I realised that the one I had the first time was not the right sort at all. The Serola belt is really a quite different piece of kit. Not just a rubber band - it has steel in it!! And it sits in a different place from the other sort.

I wore it every single day - never walked a step without it, pretty much - and I was FINE. I wore it over a thin layer - a long vest or one of those jersey bump-band - because I really needed it to remain comfortable in the long-term.

By the way, I had acupuncture in the first pregnancy but didn't notice much improvement.

ixqic Tue 05-Nov-13 16:55:32

exercises taught my my osteo which are designed to improve the whole network of pelvic floor muscles. While pg and because of the pgp you learned to walk a different way to compensate. You essentially have to work on strengthening the walking muscles under to correct conditions in order to get them to shape up the way they are supposed to move.

perfectstorm Tue 05-Nov-13 17:06:00

Tillyscoutsmum, I am driving distance to Tewkesbury and very much desperate enough to go there! Please could I have her contact details?

perfectstorm Tue 05-Nov-13 17:12:17

Googled and found her! (Clare Woodward, yes?) Thanks so much for the tip.

Want2bSupermum Tue 05-Nov-13 17:16:48

I tried everything and chiro was the only thing that worked for me. Im here in the US and my obn sent me to a specialist chiro who works with pregnancy issues 99% of the time.

The chiro had me use a foam roller with ridges in it. It worked really well and during my 2nd pregnancy I didn't need to go for any appointments. I used the roller 3 to 4 times a day for 5min clips from the day I got a positive test.

rij78 Tue 05-Nov-13 17:56:56

I had bad spd with my first and particularly after the birth as DD's shoulders got stuck and had to have MacRoberts manoeuvre (imagine breaking the legs off a chicken!). My issue seems to be that the bones on my groin seem to grind as i walk.

Anyway was in agony after DD and it didn't fix for months - quite frustrating as beforehand was quite fit. Since then I do tend to get the odd bout of spd before my period and early on with this second pregnancy (currently 38 weeks). Swimming front crawl (no breaststroke) has really helped as have the exercises from this physio's book: www.rosttherapy.com/index.php?show=patientnews
Haven't had to wear a support belt this time round and feeling a lot stronger despite not being able to do as much sport. Would recommend the book.

comfyonesie2 Tue 05-Nov-13 18:15:58

OP if you look on the Serola website, you can work out what size you need and buy second hand on eBay. I got mine for £16, barely used. I really hope you find it good.

Sorry OP. I've been at a children's party. Yes. That's her!

Good luck. Hope it helps

octanegirl Tue 05-Nov-13 19:46:06

Another vote for the Serola belt. It's excellent. I could barely walk without it.
As for Acupuncture...I must say I can't see the science behind how acupuncture can help with a musculo-skeletal issue....

Littleen Tue 05-Nov-13 20:00:03

Got this issue, and have tried many things without success, also lot of exercises that really don't do anything at all. I found the most boring solution (imo anyway) works best. Avoiding walking on asphalt etc, but go for walks on grass and sand, the longer the better. Feel a little worse for the rest of the day, but at least for me it then hurts a lot less for 2 days after! My physio recommended it, and it's the only thing that works for me, but I find it sooo boring to go for walks, it's a proper chore :P But worth it though.

LilacBreastedRoller Tue 05-Nov-13 20:01:54

The NHS physio wrote me off with crutches, the osteopath i saw didn't help but private hands on physio treatment had me fixed in two sessions. Get in touch with the Pelvic Partnership charity, they are lovely and wiil suggest therapists in your area who have been recommended by other sufferers.

Onlyanother18years Tue 05-Nov-13 20:27:23

Hi I went swimming 3 times a week- might not be easy to fit in but I used to go in the evening. The weightless feeling was great and I felt I was at least doing a little exercise. I used to feel really refreshed after I came out and it helped me get some sleep. Like someone said above, no breast stroke though.

DziezkoDisco Tue 05-Nov-13 21:14:16

I tried everything, only acupuncture worked for me, and stopped my terrible sciatica. Also rest when possible (not easy with no4! As I well know)

CrispyFB Tue 05-Nov-13 21:33:11

Thank you everybody for the mass of replies! I was somewhat stunned to see the thread so busy since I last visited, but then spotted it is discussion of the day.. ahhh!!

I am trying to rest as much as is possible, and not overdo it if I can. I've already realised in the last week or so that I can't just walk into town any more (a mile away involving two steep hills) and will have to fork out the £1.50 for parking. Bleh. I just wish the living room tidied itself <looks around critically> Mind you, DS (2) has weirdly started tidying away his toys without asking this last week into the correct boxes, bless him. My other two DC would never (and still don't!) do that without a fight!

My Fitbit stats are starting to look seriously miserable sad and I am sliding down my friend high score charts.. ah well, I'll live!

Anyway, some great information there, that I hope is of help to not just me but to anyone else suffering from this awful curse. Am sad but not surprised to see so many people reporting similar experiences to mine as regards NHS physios.

I've ordered one of the Serola belts - it's been dispatched already, comfyonesie2 I should have thought of a second hand one on eBay, whoops!

LilacBreastedRoller I'd forgotten to look at the Pelvic Partnership site, despite often recommending them myself to others. Duh. I'll do that now.

Onlyanother18years - I do like swimming but I am rubbish at crawl and spend my entire time doing breaststroke. It's probably a technique thing because as mentioned I'm otherwise usually fit. Even when I was marathon training I could never manage more than four lengths of crawl in a row without swapping back to breaststroke, but I could breaststroke all day I think.

supergoogler - I have never heard of Amatsu! Learn something new every day. I'm not that far from Rickmansworth - I'm in that part of the world at least!

littleen - very interesting about walking on soft grass/sand etc - I'd not heard that before.

Tillyscoutmum - sadly Tewkesbury is too far, boo.

rij78 - thank you for the book recommendation - I will take a look.

Thanks again to everyone who has replied. I'm going to take a closer look at local chiros and hands on physios (I never knew there were different sorts!) and try the belt out as a starter. I may well give acupuncture a go if needs must!

impatienttobemummy Tue 05-Nov-13 21:36:07

Osteopathy Mark Rush in St Albans, Herts. And deep tissue massage once a month

BoffinMum Tue 05-Nov-13 22:08:14

I know a good physio in CB22 who helps take the edge off things.

Whilst suffering myself I wrote the wikipedia entry on SPD which was checked medically at the time, and seems to still be there in its genuine form. I basically did a kind of mini literature review from all the gold standard documents on the subject (you can see them all in the references). Some GPs are too nervous to prescribe proper pain relief medication but obestetricians are often more gung-ho, so that might be the way forward. Remember that you can use a TENS machine as well - you can get medical ones for £35 and you need to position them higher up and use different settings to what you might do in labour. Ask the obstetrician to get the info for you from their chronic pain team.

Also if I was going through it again, I might invest in a Laz-E-Spa inflatable spa pool). Floating about in warm water helps blood flow and relieves pain too (I had that fact checked out by a top anatomy lecturer in a medical school).

Best of luck, anyway.

Nursee007 Tue 05-Nov-13 23:24:24

An osteopath who specialises in woman and childbirth....mine was called Carragh McAree and she practises in teddington. I saw her weekly from about 22 weeks and got 3-4 days of decent relief each time, I swear she kept me out of a wheelchair. the BSO or the pelvic partnership should be able to put you in touch with someone closer to you who has specialist knowledge and experience. I was SO miserable with my SPD ( came on at 18 weeks ) and am SO frightened of it happening again ( which, as we all know, is a large possibility! ) that's it's completely put me off the idea of having any more children, so I really do feel for you, having to cope with it whilst having small ones to look after. Be kind to yourself and do as little as possible, ice the sore areas ( even if it means sitting with a ice pack on your fanjo, it does help!) and take all the painkillers you can ( I'm allergic to codeine so couldn't take it....!)
Support belts did nothing for me....and I tried LOADS!

TigerTrumpet Tue 05-Nov-13 23:38:38

I'm 3 years PP and still have SPD pain. One thing that works for me and gives 2-3 days of relief is side planks. I randomly googled SPD pain exercises in desperation after years of physio and osteo failed to give any improvement, and found a YouTube link to a guy demonstrating side planks to help realign the pelvis. I only found this a few weeks ago, so I wouldn't know if it's safe during pregnancy, but definitely worth a try afterwards if you're still suffering.

Good luck!

perfectstorm Tue 05-Nov-13 23:44:26

Nursee007 mine returned (I'm 24 weeks) 2 weeks ago and I cried, I was so scared. With DS it began at 13 weeks and was chronic by now so I really hoped taking it easy meant I'd escaped it - seems not. I am so desperate not to repeat what happened last time. I had to use a wheelchair in shopping centres by the end as walking more than a few feet at a snail's pace was beyond me. I am so, so grateful Tillyscoutsmum has been able to rec someone local.

I'm not remotely scared of childbirth, and I birthed an almost 9lber over 3 days with just a water pool and gas and air. I'm scared shitless of a return of SPD. It's so painful and yet so little seems to be done to help women with it on the NHS.

BoffinMum Wed 06-Nov-13 07:51:25

Because people don't obviously die from it, it's ignored as a condition. The assumption is that it will just go away after childbirth (four years on in my case and it still hasn't).

fuckwittery Wed 06-Nov-13 08:44:24

I've seen a few chiropractors in pregnancy in the herts area (three babies and moved around) and would recommend Karyn Clark at Evergreen Chiropractic clinic in Letchworth; also Paula at Herts and Beds Chiro in WGC and Jo MCCarey at Saffron Walden Chiropractic clinic (she may be a bit far from you).

CrispyFB Wed 06-Nov-13 17:49:50

Thank you very much everyone for all your replies and suggestions. So much to think about and I am sure it has been helpful for others as well thanks

Mine has always (mostly) gone away after birth - massive improvement in the first day or so, then a more gradual one over the following year. It is then mostly gone, although at certain times of month it flares up and if I overdo it (like, seriously overdo it - 20 mile walks etc!) I get the lower back pain back occasionally. I can live with that. Hoping that happens again this time or I'm screwed! Knowing it goes away is the only thing that helps me cope mentally. I am dreading becoming infirm in old age, I won't take it well at all. SPD has been a real eye opener as to what it might be like.

BoffinMum - Yep, and it makes me furious. I bet if it happened to men there would be a lot more research and help. Thank you for all your hard work on the Wiki entry too.

Want2bSupermum Wed 06-Nov-13 18:11:36

Boffin Fabulous that you wrote the wilki entry. I read it when I had it and it was very helpful.

My obn took it very seriously. She told me that it can remain after birth and that I was at higher risk for needing a hip replacement later in life if not treated during pregnancy during multiple pregnancies. She didn't want to give drugs and gave me a list of people to go see (acupunture, physio, chiro).

Don't get me started on the NHS and their idea of care during childbirth...

Perfectstorm - I hope Claire is able to work her magic on you. I only has two sessions and the difference was amazing.

Boffin - the wiki entry is great. Wish I'd read it at the time. It took me months of being fobbed off by midwives ("it's just pregnancy aches and pains. Everyone gets them to an extent. Man up" basically confused) and lots of googling before I was even aware of what it was :-(. It's terrible

BoffinMum Thu 07-Nov-13 13:14:20

It is a serious pg complication and 10,000 women suffer from it a year. Some will have their life expectancy reduced as a result. Others will become depressed and of that group, some will take their own lives. Others will have terminations. I don't see how things can get more serious than that.

BoffinMum Thu 07-Nov-13 13:16:03

BTW the important thing with medication is to take it religiously by the clock at the correct dosage, whether you are in pain or not at the time. This is the palliative care approach to pain management and it works well.

LilacBreastedRoller Thu 07-Nov-13 17:54:51

So true, Boffin. I couldn't walk when the NHS told me to just get on with it. The same clinic gave my DH multiple treatments for a minor knee niggle, which only prevented him from going running. When the private physio saw me she reckoned my sacro-iliac joint had dislocated. Under what other circumstances would a person with a dislocated joint be told to just be brave and hope it would all be ok in four months? It's scandalous misogyny.

CrispyFB Thu 07-Nov-13 18:18:49

Amen to all this. The reason I never got care in my first pregnancy until too late was because I was told to get on with it angry even though I could hardly walk and was in tears. The midwife just sighed, handed over a tissue, and went back to nattering with her friend. And that's a MIDWIFE.. somebody who is supposed to be on our side.

I know of people who are permanently disabled as a result too, so I have counted my blessings each time that I've made a mostly full recovery.

Belt arrived today, will try it out later!

perfectstorm Thu 07-Nov-13 21:16:56

I had to have an internal exam with a registrar obstetrician at 36 weeks. She told me to lie on my back and flop my knees wide apart. I said, "I have quite bad SPD, that's way past my safe separation distance..." and she said impatiently, "It'll be fine, just flop your knees."

I couldn't walk for a week afterwards. The woman is now a consultant obstetrician. At one of the nation's top teaching hospitals.

It's horrifying how ignorant and casual people are. I've even heard a (male) doctor insist it's psychosomatic - this despite most women who suffer never having heard of it prior, and not understanding what in hell is going on when first affected.

CrispyFB Thu 07-Nov-13 22:58:08

Wow, that's awful. There is a huge amount of lack of knowledge over the subject which is shocking given it affects such a sizeable proportion of pregnancies to some degree and many in a very severe and life-limiting way.

It so is NOT psychosomatic for the reasons you say - I had no clue about it whatsoever with my first pregnancy and was baffled when I could barely get up out my chair and make it to the bathroom without leaning on every surface en-route. I thought women were still supposed to run marathons or something (thanks, Paula Radcliffe..!) and clearly so does most of the rest of the world, including medical "experts".

BoffinMum Thu 07-Nov-13 23:04:13

Of course it's not psychosomatic. If you still have at after pg and they scan you it's bloody obvious, right there.

There is a great reluctance to trial any reasonable treatments on pg women as it's expensive to do the ethical controls. That's the root of the problem.

BoffinMum Thu 07-Nov-13 23:07:18

I only managed to get treatment when my MP got involved. Suddenly the hospital found the nine lost (or presumably ignored) referrals and started providing treatment instead of fobbing me off with tokenistic group sessions teenage apprentice physios who knew less about pilates, etc than I did.

perfectstorm Thu 07-Nov-13 23:20:39

I saw red when I heard the psychosomatic bollocks (a GP, thankfully not mine, who knew nothing about it but was insisting it wasn't present in all cultures and must therefore not exist...). I thought I'd strained a muscle in my groin when I first got it as I had no clue what it was. I was very, very active and massively overdid it because I had no idea that was bad. I was really hurt when I went to the hospital physio clinic who made me do pelvic floor exercises, a maternity pilates class (I managed one, and then was in such pain I never went back) and gave me a belt.

Boffin Mum you aren't in the Cambridgeshire region, are you? I was. One of the nation's top teaching hospitals, and I got sod all help.

perfectstorm Thu 07-Nov-13 23:44:57

(This bit tokenistic group sessions teenage apprentice physios was so familiar, plus the CB22 part made me wonder - also the very, very good MP we had in the constituency at the time!)

BoffinMum Fri 08-Nov-13 06:47:47

I am indeed in Cambs, and Addenbrookes should be embarrassed at their shortcomings in this area. I complained formally to PALS in full Boff mode (scary). When did you have problems?

BoffinMum Fri 08-Nov-13 06:50:36

And of course it exists in other cultures, although I suspect race may be a factor, as well as age, and the fact British women force themselves to be pretty physical in pg (Paula Radcliffe syndrome). In fact I was still training in the gyn at the time my pelvis fell apart, I think I shouldn't have been.

perfectstorm Fri 08-Nov-13 10:28:24

Yeah, my last pregnancy was appalling because I was told you could be active to the level you were before pregnancy - no warning whatsoever that a double-jointed woman might want to be watchful for ligaments protesting!

It was 2008 for me. I now live in the Cotswolds.

CrispyFB Fri 08-Nov-13 13:51:53

Exactly - I was told I could (and possibly should!) be as active during pregnancy as before for the sake of me and my baby. Which is why I first put my pelvis out running for the train. I didn't even have to run, I liked to do it, and I guess I overstretched a step. I could barely get off the train afterwards. Of course I put it down to just pulling a muscle(!) and continued once I recovered to try and stay fit, just doing more damage along the way. I did quit trying eventually but by that point it was because I physically couldn't try any more. Okay, so I'm an idiot partially, but I'm also somebody who is determined not to let a bit of discomfort get in the way of fitness.. after all if I'd quit when it hurt I'd never have managed a marathon.

If just ONE medical professional had said that for a sizeable minority of women, they do have these issues and not to overdo it, I would never have been so stupid. Instead of handing out stupid Emma's Diary and Bounty "freebies", most of which encourage you to exercise, why not give out actually USEFUL information about things like PGP/SPD instead?

Update on the Serola belt. It's so far doing nothing for the central groin pain (where the symphisis pubis rubs together) but it seems to be helping with the lower back pain. However it is causing a new ache in my quads on the outside. Kind of funny really as it's the same discomfort I get when skiing which I think is down to my physiology (and possibly a little bit of technique, but not entirely by any means) as I have very tight quads.

perfectstorm Fri 08-Nov-13 14:07:45

Crispy that was completely my experience, too, though I ran for a bus! Seems the biggest irony here is that the women who hurt themselves most severely are the ones who do all the things that usually make for health. Namely, decent levels of exercise.

A headsup would have been so, so valuable - this time, that pain threatens and I sit down and don't move for the rest of the day, plus have a memory foam mattress. The pain is, so far, manageable... and the relief of a decent, expert physio who does hands-on realignment just up the road is the biggest possible reassurance.

I cannot believe it's my second pregnancy, I was in a wheelchair for part of my first, and I only now know that realignment is possible. Appalling.

CrispyFB Fri 08-Nov-13 21:21:22

I was on strict bedrest with my second pregnancy from 18 weeks (around the time SPD usually kicks in!) so the pain was not as bad when I did walk somewhere. However being stuck in bed all day made for excruciating pain as you can imagine!

Given I knew what to expect with my third, perhaps the osteopath didn't really help at all, and the pain being a bit better was solely down to me knowing not to overdo it.

I'm amazed at how suddenly it comes on. I mean, I have been a little bit sore if I've walked five miles or something up until around 16 weeks. Then all of a sudden it kicks in. Walking the 1/4 mile to school, turning over in bed, getting up out my chair.. argh. Unfortunately the children sense my weakness and are playing up more than ever right now, knowing I can't stop them very easily sad Ah well, just over four months to go hmm

I need to find myself a decent physio or chiro and use the belt. I might stand a fighting chance with the two - I get the feeling the belt helps hold things back in place after an adjustment so it would be more useful then.

comfyonesie2 Fri 08-Nov-13 21:28:45

Crispy, re quad ache, you may have the belt too tight. I made this mistake the first few days I had it and then my osteopath showed me how to put it on correctly. It shouldn't be like a boa constrictor! If it feels tight, it's too tight....just close the front and then tighten the Velcro at each side by an inch or so. He said "it should support, not squeeze" otherwise apparently the pelvis can flare out the other way (doesn't bear thinking about!!). HTH

perfectstorm Fri 08-Nov-13 21:33:37

Would you like me to ask Clare Woodward who she can recommend? As she lectures on the subject and goes to conferences, she may well know someone near to you? I'm due in feb/march as well, so we sound close in dates. It's grim.

CrispyFB Fri 08-Nov-13 23:24:57

Thanks comfyonesie2 - that's very useful to know! Thinking about it, I don't think it's my quads, it's the bits at the side (outside) of my legs just under where the belt is. But I think you know what I meant! I will try it looser tomorrow.

perfectstorm - that would be great, thank you very much! I've just gone past 20 weeks now, due late March but will be having a c-section probably at 38 weeks due to other complications (long story..) so will be delivering second week in March I have estimated. I'm in the SW Hertfordshire area, will be delivering at Watford General anyway!

There seems to be a physio literally just down the road from me who also does clinical pilates who says she does treat pregnant women. The convenience factor is high of course, but no point in going if she's not really going to help much. Especially as I am paying for it out of pocket!

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