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Pelvic girdle pain and physiotherapy(16 Posts)
Can anyone share advice, experience and opinions on pelvic girdle pain and physiotherapy, please?
I am 30 weeks pregnant with dc3 and went to my GP last week with pain in my hips. He diagnosed pelvic girdle pain and referred me to the physiotherapy team, saying that the condition would get worse until birth but that treatment could help - or at least stop it getting as bad as it could otherwise get.
Over the last week it's got worse. I can still walk quite well (if very slowly) and it's better if I keep active. But l can't sit down for more than a few minutes, driving the car is distractingly painful, carrying anything hurts, and I can't sleep at night. Going to work is one big painful experience.
I saw the physio today. She said to take paracetamol, use a hot water bottle, buy a girdle and come back if I stop being able to walk.
I must admit that I was hoping for a bit more help. Is it true that there's nothing that physio can do at this stage? Is there any point in going back to my GP or seeing a different physio? Do I really just have to wait and see if I lose mobility?
Sorry for the length of this post. Any thoughts gratefully received!
I think this is generally the advice people are getting at the moment.
I have been battling with it too (now 34weeks) when I saw my MW last she said she could refer me to a physio but she doubts I will even get an appointment before I have my baby.
Seems to the MW's in falls into the "one of those things" categories
I think that's pretty much all they can do really - there are some exercises that might help, and your GP could prescribe codeine if the pain is really bad, and if it gets worse you may need crutches, but really there isn't a lot that they can do to help unfortunately.
The girdle/support belts can really help if you are walking quite a bit, but I find them quite painful if I'm sitting down.
I think that might be as much as you can realistically expect from the nhs in the current financial climate, however if you have the means to pay for private physio, even just a couple of sessions, you are likely to feel some benefit.
I had v mild pgp in my first pregnancy and a bit worse in my 2nd, although not as severe as yours sounds. I had a few sessions of physio where they did some manipulation on my pelvis and it really did make an improvement, albeit temporary. They also gave good advice on an appropriate sacro-iliac belt and checked its fit and position for me.
Hmm... My physio felt around my back and hips while asking me to move in certain ways so she could see where the strain was. She straightened out my pelvis which had gone wonky and showed me lots of stretched to help with the specific areas I was having trouble with. It might well be worth seeing another physio of you can, or going back and asking for more help. Mine also told me about the paracetamol and hot water bottle, and that helped. I had a long work commute and found that getting straight into a hot bath helped a lot as soon as I got home. But the thing that helped most was starting mat leave early. Once I stopped driving I felt so much better. Good luck!
I had trouble around 16 weeks - got referred to physio and after waiting 7 weeks saw one and they were basically rubbish- wear sensible shoes sort of advice. Paid to see an oseteopath (I found one that specialised in pregnany women) 3 sessions and some exercises and I was sooo much better for the rest of the pregnancy.
Accupuncture. I started it as a last resort to try help the nausea i am still suffering with, i told the therapist about spd too and she treats me for both. Works brilliantly for spd, not as good for nausea.
My experience was quite different to yours. My midwife referred me as soon as I mentioned it (at 30 weeks) to a specialist Women's Health physio (on the NHS, at our local hospital), who I saw within a week. She was fantastic and knew exactly what the problems were after a detailed assessment. She did a manipulation that completely got rid of one type of pain (sacro-iliac) and taught me some exercises for the SPD pain, as well as suggestions to avoid irritating the joints such as using short strides when walking. She also suggested sitting on a birthing ball which has helped.
So I think the issue is access to a Women's Health physio who specialises in PGP treatment, which your hospital may not have. If private treatment is an option, you can find someone here acpwh.csp.org.uk/ - or someone may have a local recommendation on the big SPD thread. Just two sessions have made a huge difference to me so it may not be a huge outlay even if you have to pay for it.
Osteopath and/or acupuncture. Mine came on at 20 wks and these have kept it manageable. Well worth the cost for me. Make sure you see practitioners qualified/ experienced in treating during pregnancy.
Good luck! While it's unlikely to go away completely you can manage it and stop it getting worse. And swift treatment reduces likelihood of problems continuing after delivery.
I've had it since 18 weeks with 1st pg and found that seeing the nhs physio who manipulated the back left SI joint into place made it flare up incredibly painfully. It's taken me 8 weeks, being signed off work early and seeing a private physio for 4 sessions to get it to settle, although the pubic bone's now got worse but I'm leading a relatively active life (athough very slow!).
The private physio hasn't done any "treatment" on me since the nhs one - in terms of getting the joints back into place - but did give me lots of exercises to do and massage to alleviate the pain in all my other muscles that are overcompensating.
What's worked for me:
1. I can recommend getting a Serola belt like this one (especially before the bump gets too big - mine's a bit uncomfortable now but seriously helped earlier on): www.amazon.co.uk/Health-and-Care-Serola-Sacroiliac/dp/B007K6CZD2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360013837&sr=8-1
2. sitting on a birthing ball as much as poss - or if you can, kneeling over it
3. Lying, sitting, and standing in as symmetrical a position as possible at ALL times (I'm finding this really hard but pays off when I remember)
4. Kneeling on all fours as long as you can stand
5. Not driving or sitting in the car
6. This book I've found really helpful - some of the main exercises seem very counter-intuitive but I honestly can say they've worked wonders for my SI joint pain: www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0897934806/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00
7. Asking for, and accepting, as much help as possible, especially getting things, carrying things, getting up, shopping. Avoiding using shopping baskets and trolleys, and opening doors as these can make it much worse.
I'm sure you know this website already, but in case not it was quite helpful for the basic info: www.pelvicpartnership.org.uk
Another vote for osteopath treatment here too. Try and find one who specialises in treating pregnant women if you can. Mine costs £32 a session and I'm going every 2 weeks now but it's worth every penny.
Wow, thank you all so much! Having read this, I think I need to see someone other than the physiotherapist I saw yesterday so off to research the local options. It's really helpful to know that there is more that can be done - and that it might not have to be a case of suffering (not so) silently for the next ten to twelve weeks. Thank you!
I had it early at around 20 weeks, had physiotherapy and did daily exercises which did help a great deal as couldn't really walk at times but by the end was a lot more active.
Things to avoid;- pushing food trolleys (or anything remotely heavy like the vacuum cleaner), yoga and swimming (breaststroke)... try to keep your pelvic floor in alignment (no sitting crossed legged).
I have just made a physio appointment after suffering increasingly with PGP in my lower back for the last few weeks. I decided to go private as when I mentioned it to my GP at a routine check up he was pretty dismissive and I didn't have the heart to argue for a referral - I am also hoping that by dealing with it early and not having to wait for an NHS referral I can get away with just a couple of sessions. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the cost - I am in SW London so had braced myself for £100s but if I can keep it to two sessions it will come in at about £125 which isn't too bad.
I also second the advice to make sure you find a physio who has experience of dealing with this issue - the first physio that I contacted said that whilst she could see me if I really wanted, she would always recommend a specialist for PGP.
The folk at www.pelvicpartnership.org.uk are really really helpful, do contact them.
I've been diagnosed with PGP and I'm waiting for an appointment to come through. I've also booked an appointment with an Osteopath who promised one appointment should fix my back. I so hope it does!
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