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Anybody had postnatal joint pain? DD 9 months now and it seems to be getting worse

(23 Posts)
stripeywoollenhat Tue 13-Oct-09 14:51:50

Ankles, knees, lower back and I'm noticing diminished manual dexterity as well. It's particularly bad in the mornings - I am actually hobbling for the first ten minutes or so that I'm up. I stopped breast feeding about two weeks ago. Has anybody had this? Is it a postnatal/breastfeeding thing? And if so, will it go away? I'm forty, this is making me feel like I'm ninety...

Harebelle Tue 13-Oct-09 15:48:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

stripeywoollenhat Tue 13-Oct-09 19:33:03

Harebelle thank you for replying. I was hoping for something soothing along the lines of "I had that and it went away when I stopped breastfeeding", but I guess it's back to the GP with me... Bah.

newspaperdelivery Tue 13-Oct-09 19:54:06

Actually I did stripey!

I used to have to go up the stairs on all fours, my legs wouldn't weight bare or bend.

If I remember it went after about 10 months. Perhaps a little sooner. The GP said it was related to depression, although we all thought I would have thyroid problems my bloods were fine.

We'll never know - Harebelles response seems very sensible re: autoimmune thing. I felt very 'unwell' and generally floored, lots of sore throats and flu like symptoms and so on.

My sympathy

stripeywoollenhat Tue 13-Oct-09 20:01:43

News - cor, not quite on all fours, but feeling really a bit miserable particularly about my hands feeling less useful than they used to. am otherwise fine - a bit tired but i think that's the small girl's late night demands more than anything else... nearly ten months thoguh - here's hoping... smile

newspaperdelivery Tue 13-Oct-09 20:11:08

Hoping too. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't so bad, but I def used to have to go one my hands to get me up stairs as I felt like a thousand tonnes blush Probably not far off.

Feel like it tonight to be honest, slow joints and tight chest. Stiff fingers now you come to mention it.....


DorotheaPlentighoul Tue 13-Oct-09 20:18:11

I had this! Terrible joint pain in legs, hands and particularly forefingers. I was really worried I had inherited my grandma's crippling arthritis (which she got in her teens). I think DS was 9 or 10 months maybe (sorry not really sure) when I finally went to GP -- I had stopped BFing at 6 months.

GP did a blood test for arthiritis which came back negative, which was a great relief, but all he could suggest was ibuprofen. Took it for a good 3-4 weeks and when I stopped, problem was better. Flared up again a little bit after a month or two -- then stopped and has been fine for the past year or so.

I am convinced it was somehow post-natal, but nobody has any idea what exactly caused it. Hope yours goes away too.

vanimal Tue 13-Oct-09 20:42:37

I have this too!! DD2 is 4 months old, I am BFing her.

I hobble out of bed in the mornings, and also have to up stairs on all fours.

But I seem to remember having this with DD1 as well, and she was formula-fed. So I think it's just a scary post-natal thing.

newspaperdelivery Tue 13-Oct-09 20:56:47

That really is not how to spell weight bear blush

stripeywoollenhat Tue 13-Oct-09 21:14:13

news- sorry you are feeling cruddy, hope it passes quickly.

thanks for all the reassuringg 'i had this too' posts. still slightly freaked, but less so. thanks all. smile

newspaperdelivery Tue 13-Oct-09 21:15:14

Are you going to visit the GP do you think?

ShowOfHands Tue 13-Oct-09 21:19:25

It's really, really common. Search on here, I remember a thread about it where lots and lots of people said 'oh God that's me too, I thought I was over the hill'.

I would advise checking with your GP to rule out auto immune conditions that can be triggered by childbirth but only as a precaution. I think the relaxin in pregnancy leaves your joints a little loose and weak and bfing seems to exacerbate it though ff mothers report it too.

stripeywoollenhat Tue 13-Oct-09 21:22:53

i asked my gp about it a couple of months ago and had a blood test done - very marginally raised levels of something which is an inflammatory marker (or something). but it is worse now. i was thinking i'd leave it till my milk is quite gone, hopefully not more than anther week or two, and if it's still bothersome i'll go back and be fobbed off ask again...

RubysReturn Tue 13-Oct-09 21:24:18

I did too Stripey! I did go when I stopped bf. However I had undiagnosed hypermobility which explained why it went on so long.

DorotheaPlentighoul Tue 13-Oct-09 21:31:51

In the meantime, get the Nurofen down yer neck -- such relief! I was a bit hmm about basically taking it round the clock for weeks on end, but GP was very reassuring and it was totally fine.

Jux Tue 13-Oct-09 21:43:19

Don't leave it too long though. Do get yourself checked out; it is most likely to be nothing too serious, and it's worth it to get the reassurance. If it's more serious you'll gain nothing by leaving it.

Hope you feel better soon, and get as much rest as you can.

stripeywoollenhat Tue 13-Oct-09 21:54:01

thanks everyone - if it doesn't get better i'll go back and in the meantime, nurofen it is smile

moosemama Tue 13-Oct-09 22:08:31

Hi Stripey

I had this with both boys and have a little this time, but nowhere near as bad.

With the boys it was mainly my feet, hands, knees and hips. Bizarrely the middle joint of the forefinger on my right hand was the absolute worst. It used to get red hot and swell up.

I was also much worse first thing in the morning, I used to have to wait in bed for half and hour slowly and gently moving my joints, then go downstairs on my bottom. blush

My GP assured me it was hormonal/related to and excess of relaxin and would improve when I stopped breastfeeding and it did, both times.

Its nowhere near as bad with dd, but I do still have some pain in all the same old places this time.

I was on another thread about it recently, which annoyingly I can't seem to find now, it appears to be more common that I realised as lots of other ladies had the same experience.

It could have been your sedimentary rate or ESR that was raised. This is an indicator of inflammation in the body, but unfortunately doesn't point to whatever is causing the inflammation. My ESR has been raised at every blood test I have had while I have been breastfeeding dd (and there have been quite a few blood tests, what with one thing and another).

Given that you have now stopped bf, I would perhaps do what you suggest and give it another week or so then go back to the GP.

VeryHungryLennipillar Tue 13-Oct-09 23:20:16

I have inflammatory arthritis (psoriatic arthritis) and have the postnatal joint thing too. The two things are similar but different feeling - my arthritis is a deep aching, creaking type of pain where as the postnatal joint thing is more a lack of sensation and stiffness (although the arthritis causes the same stiffness). My arthritis is moderately severe when active and started with a similar feeling to the postnatal thing but worsened quickly and flares (it gets rapidly worse over the space of a couple of days and then eases after a week or two) where as the postnatal thing is constant. If you are finding your joints are flaring or worsen with activity and ease with rest then I would get to your GP sooner rather than later since inflammatory arthritis can be well managed. HTH

VeryHungryLennipillar Tue 13-Oct-09 23:26:15

One simple way to check for arthritis related inflammation in your hands is to feel the joints in your fingers. If you press on either side of the joint (hold your hand nails facing you and press one finger to the left and one to the right of the joint iyswim) If you move up and down the joint when pressing you should feel a dip - this dip fills with fluid if the joint is inflammed and it would be painful to touch. Right now my fingers are stiff and have poor sensation but there is no fluid so I know it is not my arthritis.

Another possibility is carpal tunnel in your hands - this can have postnatal onset, mine did - and is also easily treated in most cases. (Yes I know I have rubbish joints!)

CaptainNancy Tue 13-Oct-09 23:35:34

I found with my first dc that my hands were turning into little bird-like claws simply from carrying her round so much- back was agony too... around 9mo she suddenly got really heavy...- has dd put on weight much recently?

stripeywoollenhat Wed 14-Oct-09 11:55:19

lenni - no fluid that i can detect and rest seems to make it worse rather than exercise. very achey knees today, not much fun for crawling around playing with dd... captainnancy, she seems suddenly much heavier this week. but have had aches for weeks so think it's not this, although it's probably not helping...

cakeywakey Wed 14-Oct-09 12:41:57

Sorry to hear you're having trouble - it's horrible having something like this to deal with on top of looking after kids.

I had something similar after I stopped breastfeeding my daughter at six months. In my case it was early-onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at 31 BUT before that was diagnosed, my doctor was testing me for parvovirus, aka slapped cheek diease, which can cause similar reactions to RA in adults. If you're around kids a lot you could have picked that up perhaps.

If you haven't already seen your doctor please do, even if they have to run different tests to find out what's causing your joint stiffness, they can prescribe drugs that mean you can actually function. Ibuprofen didn't touch mine.

Hope this helps and that your problem turns out to be fleeting and nothing serious.

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