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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.


Osteopathy with somebody else?


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.

QuietNinjaTardis Mon 04-Nov-13 19:52:58

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Tillyscoutsmum Tue 05-Nov-13 13:56:20

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?

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