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Back pains (I suspect SPD) being ignored?(18 Posts)
I went to my GP today telling her about my severe back pain and pelvic pain, and she was very sympathetic and asked me to call the physio clinic. I called them and after waiting for an hour for them to pick up, they did an assessment over the phone and suggested I should come in to be fitted with a support belt. I said I would like to be examined by a physiotherapist too, and he said he would request an appointment which will probably come in the next couple of weeks.
I am in a lot of pain and as I explained to him during the assessment I can't get on with normal day to day activities, which he shrugged off and said is quite common in pregnancy. Is this really that common that I am awoken at night with pain? More than 5-10 min of standing and I can't stand and it pains alot. Is this really that normal? What would you suggest I do? I asked if I could be referred to exercise classes but he said they don't have anything on the NHS, but I could do pilates privately.
Can anyone advise me as to what kind of treatment I should be expecting from the NHS? If you have/had SPD what were you offered?
All sounds pretty standard to me, it's rubbish but unfortunately it is a very common side effect of pregnancy. The support belt will give a reasonable amount of relief, from what I've read the exercises help far more towards prevention rather than cure. You can get pregnancy Pilates DVDs for about £5 on amazon if you don't want to pay for a class.
I'm surprised they're so blase - a friend of mine had SPD and was able to self refer for physio. She had a few sessions with a physio who showed her exercises that she still needs to do (child is now 15 months) as she still gets pain. I would imagine this service varies from place to place. Have you asked your midwife about it?
Had problems starting around 16 weeks and my physio referral took about 2-3 weeks & I was given some exercises to do which have helped.
I have good nights & bad nights but generally turning over in bed hurts a lot and wakes me up. I get tired quickly walking, if I have an active day it will hurt to stand up & some nights getting undressed brings me to tears. Am 29 weeks.
I requested painkillers at 27 weeks & was given co-dydramol which I only really take if I have an active day ahead, knowing I have effective pain relief actually makes it easier to cope on the days when I don't take any too, I think half the problem with SPD is that it feels like it just drags on forever.
What a shame they're being so unhelpful. No, it's not normal to be in that sort of pain, and it is a condition that can be treated (to some extent). It would be worth checking with your midwife if there is a specific Women's Health / obstetric NHS physiotherapist - there is in my local hospital and she has been fantastic. You need someone who is familiar with SPD and it sounds like the physio you spoke to on the phone hasn't got a clue.
If there is not an NHS one available, would a few private sessions be an option for you? I got significant benefit from just one appointment with the specialist physio so it might be worth forking out for.
CailinDana, thanks, I haven't asked midwife but I will when I get round to seeing her!
usernamegoeshere, thanks for sharing your experience. How have you coped with work?
TwitchyTail thanks, I will ask the midwife if there is a specific obstetric NHS physiotherapist. Which type of private specialist physio did you see? It could be an option - I'd do anything to get rid of this pain!
My physio is actually an NHS one - our local hospital (Trafford) has one who specialises in Women's Health (which basically means SPD)! My midwife referred me and I was seen within a week, with plans to see me weekly until the birth. Definitely ask your midwife if your hospital has one, or access to one (may be at a different hospital within the same Trust). If not, I would recommend at least trying a private physio for a session and seeing how you get on, but again make sure it is someone who has expertise in SPD. Your midwife might have some local recommendations, or there is a long SPD thread on this forum that pops up regularly - the posters on that might have specific physios they can recommend.
If you can afford it I highly recommend the following:
1) osteopath - make sure you see someone who has experience treating pregnant women, try to get a local recommendation if you can. This will help determine if your alignment is off and some very gentle manipulation and soft-tissue work will help get you back in line
2) acupuncture - for the pain.
My spd was really bad from 20 weeks, but has eased off the past few weeks (I'm 31 wks), which I put down to a combination of the above + some quite serious activity modification. It still flares up if I do too much and it's always most noticeable turning over in bed at night.
Sorry you're getting rubbish help on the NHS (my experience also). And no, this is not something that you should just have to 'put up with' because you're pregnant. If you can afford it, don't let it go untreated as it is very unlikely to get better on it's own.
Oh, btw, I'd be wary of using a support belt until you've had your alignment checked. If your pelvis is out, strapping it into a support belt will only make it (alignment, pain, etc) worse.
CityDweller, thank you so much! I'm going for a fitting tomorrow for the support belt and I'll tell them I can't wear it until I've been checked.
I'm going to start looking for an Osteopath.
There's "normal" and then there's "common" issues. It hacks me off that midwives say pelvic pain is "normal" it may be common but it's not normal!!! When my midwife said it was normal (at 18 weeks) I put up with it for another month or so before seeing the GP and saying 'surely I shouldn't have to put up with this for another 18 weeks?' So she referred me to a physio (which took 8 weeks but hey ho) who helped with advice on exercises to do to ease the pain when I get it, gave me a support belt and tips to avoid causing more pain (how to turn over in bed, get out of bed etc.) Coping so much better. It hasn't gone away but I'm not exacerbating it. As I said it may be common but it's not normal so DO NOT PUT UP WITH IT!
sorry you are going though this - sounds similar to me and i have just had to put up with it, i am doing yoga and it does help.
not sure it is spd though - this tends to be pain in the pubic bones rather than back - i have both, lucky me!
Anyone who knows about spd now pdp is aware of the pain!!!
Last pregnancy flared up 21 weeks and I coped on painkillers and the avoid list!!!!
This time it came at 9 weeks!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday at work normal routine office job!
Came home was in agony my DH had to carry me upstairs! I cried just turning over in bed and getting up to use loo!
GP has signed me off now! 34 weeks and counting its a horrible pain and def something not needed with all the other pregnant woes!!!!
The belt to me didn't help but this is dc4 so maybe my pelvic none is done for!!! Never ever heard of this before I got it!!!!!
Get help and push for treatment!
Sorry should read pelvic bone!!! Not none???
Best thing I ever did was see an osteopath.
Pregnancy number 2 I was completely immobile and using crutches/wheelchair. Pregnancy 4 I was walking normally right up to the day I went into labour.
The difference? My wonderful osteopath.
Thanks everyone for your support. I've been told too that it is 'normal' but this much pain and not being able to stand for more than 5 min is not normal. I am looking for a local Osteopath but seems difficult to get recommendations.
You could give this a try: http://acpwh.csp.org.uk/ There is a facility on the homepage to find someone by postcode. It is physiotherapy rather than osteopathy, but my physiotherapist did manipulations that really helped.
TwitchyTail, thank you! This seems really useful.
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