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23 weeks with Sacroiliac Joint problems.. seriously feeling low

(18 Posts)
ALR123 Sun 20-Sep-15 17:52:55

I guess this is punishment for having such an easy pregnancy. I'm just over 23 weeks. 2 weeks ago I suddenly got a pain in my back, bum and thigh. Everyone told me it was sciatica. After it got worse and worse that week I ended up with an osteopath being diagnosed with sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJ). I'm currently signed off work and only able to get about on crutches. I'm not overweight (size 8-10) and up till now everything had been great. It's my first baby. I am struggling so much to cope with this. I've cried none stop for a week now. I can't do anything I want or need to do and am relying on hubby to do it all. I'm seeing the osteopath twice a week and have had 2 acupuncture sessions (so far cost me over £200 in 2 weeks). Doc has referred me for urgent physio but am yet to get an appointment through.
money was already tight and I can't keep paying out.
I've been on 8 paracetamol and 8 codeine a day and the doc gave me diazepam too which I decided not to take.
I'm so worried about what all these meds are doing to the baby especially as they don't seem to be doing anything to help me.
does anyone else have any experience of this? The only time I am comfortable is when I'm sat down. The rest of the time is torture and the thought of another 17 weeks is just unbearable.
I feel so lucky to be blessed with a baby but I'm 27 years old and feel like I can't carry on in this much pain sad

SofiaAmes Sun 20-Sep-15 18:04:56

I had SI joint problems a few years after having my kids. It was awful. The only thing that helped was ibuprofen (you might want to try that instead of the paracetamol). Also, most people have the problem of too tight SI joint ligaments later in life, so I was given a lot of exercises to loosen them up, but it just made it worse. I finally realized that my problem was the opposite and that mine were too loose and I needed to tighten them (which you can't actually do, but you can tighten your core muscles which helps) It actually got much better when I stopped doing yoga (many of the moves made it worse) and stopped doing all the loosening exercises. All of this is to say, google the images of what your si joint looks like and what is is actually going on mechanically and try some of the exercises online that are "tightening" exercises instead of loosening ones. (It could be that the codeine is making it worse in this way too.) You also want to make sure that you are not making movements that are exacerbating the issue. Again if you understand the problem yourself by looking at diagrams online, you will be the best judge of what's making it worse.

ALR123 Sun 20-Sep-15 19:08:29

Thanks for responding. Trust me I've spent days googling this. I understand completely how it works and it looks like it's the hormone relaxin which has allowed the ligament between my pelvis and bottom of my spine pull apart
ibuprofen (or any other anti inflammatory meds) are an absolute no-no throughout the whole of pregnancy. I would give anything to be able to take them as I know they'd help!
All the advice I seem to get is to rest and do nothing. Put no weight on it and hope for the best.
Surely there must be a better way of dealing with it?! I have already said that I won't have any more children after this which I feel awful about saying but it is so painful. I am thankful I only have myself to look after. U have no idea what I'd do if I had a child to look after and had this again in pregnancy!?

Skiptonlass Sun 20-Sep-15 20:20:02

Don't take ibuprofen! There's no clinical evidence at all for acupuncture - don't waste your money on it if cash is tight.

You can take the paracetamol as directed by your doctor but don't take over the recommended dose, even for a short time.

There is not much you can do, other than see a physio, rest and do your exercises unfortunately. It will not resolve while the pregnancy is ongoing, but excercises can ameliorate it slightly. At a size 8-10 I'd also caution you against gaining no weight - you do need some extra weight to carry the pregnancy and a healthy amount won't make it much worse/gaining none won't make it better. As long as your weight isn't off the scale, it makes little difference to the severity of the symptoms (the person I know most affected is a size six. )

I know that's not what you want to hear sad

It is excruciatingly painful. I've been signed off since 30 ish weeks and I'm barely mobile now at 36 weeks. I do want more kids, but another pregnancy is going to be tough.

I'm just trying to tough it out, keep moving so I don't seize up, but not overdo it.

31weeksgone Sun 20-Sep-15 20:38:01

I'm 33 weeks pregnant and have had SPD since around 18 weeks? I know it's not the same but just to reassure you I've been taking codeine and paracetamol since then (but co-codamol not separately) as and when I've needed them, probably 4-6 co-codamol per day. They're the doctors choice and midwives so if they say you can have them, you'll be okay, you'll just burn yourself out through pain if you don't use anything and you need it. It's so tough, it feels like such a long journey but we just have to keep going. It'll be worth it in the end. Sending sympathy and pain relief! flowers

upthewolves Sun 20-Sep-15 21:39:48

OP I developed this postpartum and it was agony. In now 5 weeks pp and was prescribed codeine and given exercises by physio. I didn't take the codeine for more than a few days because it made me constipated and I've been really slack on the exercises as I have a 5 week old baby but it has eased on its own. i realise this may be different if you get it in pregnancy. You have my sympathies, it's horrible flowers

Blimeygirl Sun 20-Sep-15 22:31:23

I have exactly the same thing! I am 25 weeks and I have hypermobile joints (had this pre pregnancy) which are now showing up with SIJ pain. My physio said I need to use a support belt, I think it's made by serola (?) specifically for SIJ support. Also to do pilates as my pilates teacher is a qualified physio so very knowledgeable. I have specific exercises to do as well and she showed me ways to help with the pain I.e always having support when bending for things and getting up from lying down by using my side rather than just my stomach muscles. Also using plenty of pillows in bed and even a firm one behind you when sitting down. If I think of anything else I will let you know but trust me I understand the pain. The biggest thing was also to massage the muscle in your bum, it is really sore when you do it as you have to be very forceful but does help when it finally relaxes!

ALR123 Mon 21-Sep-15 15:28:09

Thanks for the advice it's good to know I'm not alone although I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!
Went back to the docs this morning and ended up being signed off for another 2 weeks which I am gutted about as I just want my life back , but they keep telling me how important it is to not put any weight on it or walk on it where possible.
They also doubled the amount of codeine I'm on to the maximum but have had to give me lactose because like you it's making me constipated!
I'm going to try and not let it get me down so much as I'm aware that stress isn't good for the baby. We only just moved into our dream home 3 weeks ago and had so much to do before baby arrives, it's just so frustrating not being able to do a damn thing!
And all those people that offer you help when you're pregnant... seem to disappear when you actually desperately need it :-(

Jenny70 Tue 22-Sep-15 02:54:46

You poor thing, it is agony.

I had a stretchy belt support thing, from Boots/physio (can't recall if physio recommended boots, or had one themselves). It sat low, under bump but above your bottom... it strapped TIGHT and help my pelvis together - was the only way I could walk.

Can't recall cost, but cheap compared to your expenses so far, and if it helped (even a little) it might be worth it.

WiIdfire Tue 22-Sep-15 03:01:26

I had this from 14 weeks. The only things that really helped were resting, and pillow support in bed. I just wanted to reassure you that in my case it dramatically improved after delivery and was pretty much completely gone after 6 weeks.

Skiptonlass Tue 22-Sep-15 07:14:01

The serola belt is well worth buying - it made the difference between being able to get around the supermarket and not for me, for several weeks!

We moved house as well - I've just had to accept that it's not going to all be done until I'm back on my feet. My dh has been amazing throughout but he can't do everything as he works very long hours. make sure your oh realises how bad it is and don't be afraid to ask for help. My parents came over (we live abroad) for a week and did loads of house stuff and cooking etc- it really did help to be off my feet for a week.

Take the codeine - it's ok! Just be aware that if its in the form of co codamol it has paracetamol in too, so don't take anything else that's got paracetamol in. And don't worry about harming the baby either - they aren't hurt by it or by such levels of stress.
Sometimes crutches can help but I couldn't get them - all my joints are loose and the opinion was that I'd damage my upper body!
No one tells you all this shit can happen in pregnancy do they? smile it's bloody miserable but I'm trying to look at it as its only effecting me, not the baby, and it'll get better quickly after. Good luck smile

Skiptonlass Tue 22-Sep-15 07:14:50

Affecting.. Sorry, damn illiterate autocorrect!

ALR123 Tue 22-Sep-15 07:55:06

Thanks so much for the advice. Yeah I've been looking at the serola belt I think I'll order that today.
I know what you mean about the supermarket as I went in yesterday after the docs to buy a baguette for my lunch but quickly realises that when you're on your own with crutches you actually don't have any spare hands to carry anything!
My husbands been good, really supportive but is also working long hours and Saturdays too. He normally is so laid back but he appears really stressed for the first time ever (doesn't help that his mum is very poorly with terminal cancer) and I feel so awful putting on him.
Can I ask one thing, obviously being just under 24 weeks I still have a lot of growing to do. Did yours get a lot worse from when you were first diagnosed.??

Skiptonlass Tue 22-Sep-15 10:41:57

Sorry to hear about your mil.

Yes, unfortunately mine did get worse. I had twinges from about 18 weeks, and I put it down to a shit work chair/long hours etc. then I saw the physio and the excercises and belt definitely helped at that point. I also started sleeping with pillows between the knees.
So it got a bit better but then at about 26 weeks it suddenly got a lot worse. We moved house, and I did try not to lift anything but I'm not very good at standing back and letting others do everything... Also had a visit from the in laws who spent a week wanting to do stuff and I completely overdid it and had no chance to rest.
That was the week that broke me actually, I pretty much collapsed in IKEA in tears (not like me at all) and dh was so shocked he dragged me to the docs.
Doc signed me off from 30 weeks (I have severe sickness as well, I can't imagine that's done anything but wipe me out even more) and told me to keep active but at a very low level and rest a lot.
I'm now 36 weeks and it's worse than it was at 30. I can just about get round the house and supermarket, but walking anywhere is out of the question. I sit down to cook, because I just can't be on my feet.

It's frustrating - I'm an active person normally and I'm finding it very hard. I do worry about further pregnancies - once I'm back on my feet after this I'm going to see someone about it and try to get my core as strong as I possibly can and any pelvic issues ironed out.

ALR123 Tue 22-Sep-15 10:52:47

Oh gosh, that sounds absolutely awful. We sound very similar as in it was an Ikea trip last weekend that broke me too, by the time we were back at the car I couldn't stand and was sobbing my heart out. I can't Imagine it getting worse than it already is but I reckon I'm in for a shock.
I can imagine having sickness with this us just horrific, it makes me feel lucky that I have just this to contend with. How have work been with you?
I desperately want 2 children but some days when I'm bed ridden, dosed up on codeine and constipated (! !) I think to myself I don't think I could do it again.
4 weeks to go for you... are you having a standard birth still or have they said you'll need c-sec? Lying on my back is excruciating so I can't see what's going to happen?!

ALR123 Tue 22-Sep-15 10:56:37

Also, it frustrates me that there's a lack of knowledge about it. My doc is absolutely clueless. I had to ask her to amend my doctors note from Sciatica to Sacroiliac joint dysfunction and she just keeps dishing out the meds and telling me "as soon as baby moves position you'll be fine". Errm I somehow don't think that's how this works? !

Skiptonlass Tue 22-Sep-15 12:14:25

IKEA is like a trial, isn't it? smile I ended up sitting by the hot dogs, crying my eyes out. Very dignified...

Well, my boss is American, young, driven and makes zero concession to EU employment laws (or time zones, I do keep trying to explain that the world is an oblate spheroid but it's not getting through...) smile so no, she's not been good. But I live in a country with strong legal protection. She will definitely get me when I'm back, but I'll cross that bridge when we get to it smile

It's been hard, I won't lie. I've found pregnancy much physically tougher than I thought I would. I'm the sort of person who is rarely sick, doesn't take time off, etc. it's been tough. To be vomiting and then hobbling has been awful. But, time has passed and I'm almost there, and you will be too. Hang on in there!

I would do it again though (I must be mad) ... I just keep on thinking that this too shall pass. Plus I'm having a c section in two weeks (alas, I also have placenta Previa so no birthing for me!) and there will be glorious, glorious painkillers! Codeine hasn't touched it for me unfortunately sad but bring on the morphine smile Lying on my back for midwife exams has been very painful. Luckily my mw is a star and lifts me up and down, but it hurts...

My advice is to try to get some urgent physio with someone who is experienced in women's issues - I was really lucky as the health centre I go to has everything under one roof. The physio does help, but it's not a cure.

And REST all you can, and just keep counting the days down. Try to keep a sense of humour as much as you can, but don't be afraid to tell people how you're really feeling. I am apparently very good at the 'I'm fine!' Thing but sometimes you've just got to say 'I'm in pain, it hurts, I feel crap. Can you pick that up, shove this in the laundry and sort out dinner?'

TheFairyCaravan Tue 22-Sep-15 12:32:20

I've suffered with severe SPD and SIJD for 19 years now. This all comes under PGP so my advice would be to contact the Pelvic Partnership. They can put you in contact with a chiropractor or osteopath who has knowledge of treating this in your area. I, personally, wouldn't carry on with the accupuncture. I've had lots of it and it's never given me any benefit.

I would buy a Serola belt, don't buy any of the cheaper ones or the ones from Mohtercare they aren't worth it and they don't work as well.

Ice the joints. I get a lot of relief from doing this.

Rest as much as possible. It's the only thing that really helps. It's horrible but it's necessary. When I got SPD in my second pregnancy I was 19 weeks pregnant, by the time I was 26 weeks I was in a wheelchair or bed. I had a toddler and DH is forces so we had no family to help. We watched a lot of TV and the housework was left.

If you have to go somewhere like IKEA again, use their wheelchairs.

Take the meds the doctor has given you.

If you need to be signed off sick don't feel guilty. If anyone else was in this much pain they wouldn't be rushing in to work either.

Accept as much help as you can.


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