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Lower back/pelvis pain at 12 weeks

(20 Posts)
Poppyismyfavourite Mon 03-Aug-20 09:31:39

Hi All, I have terrible lower back pain (kind of either side of my tailbone). It's absolutely agonising, it started on saturday and I can barely walk, twist or bend over. It's OK if I sit or lie down for a while, but when I get up it ramps up again, to the extent where I cried walking down the stairs last night, and I have a fairly high pain threshold!

So my questions are:
1. Is this normal? Has anyone else had this?
2. What can I do for it?? Normally my go-to for joint pain is ibuprofen but obviously not allowed that. Hot water bottles are helping a bit.

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Poppyismyfavourite Mon 03-Aug-20 11:09:15


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aureliacecilia Mon 03-Aug-20 11:11:54

Look into pelvic girdle pain. Mine started about 18 weeks.

pinknsparkly Mon 03-Aug-20 11:29:46

As PP said, look into pelvic girdle pain. If that is what you have then a serola hip belt (other brands are available but this is what I saw recommended on here and it worked for me!) really helped me manage the pain for the duration of my pregnancy. In ordinary times, you could also get your midwife to refer you to a physiotherapist, but my hospital physio team weren't (and still aren't) seeing new patients during covid.... A friend who had it during her pregnancies highly recommended seeing a chiropractor too (you'd probably have to pay to go privately for this), but again they were all closed during covid so I couldn't do that!

Poppyismyfavourite Mon 03-Aug-20 11:39:22

Ooh thank you guys, that sounds like it! Having a name is helpful as then I can google properly.
tbh I've seen the nhs physios in my area before and they were pretty useless. I have dodgy joints anyway ("long ligaments" apparently) so will give my amazing chiropracter a ring now!
Some horror stories though, God I really hope i'm not immobilised now, we're part-way through a house renovation and I have a lot of painting and diy to do before this baby comes confused

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Poppyismyfavourite Mon 03-Aug-20 16:13:48

Well I texted the midwife and she said it's too early for PGP... even though I've read differently and it fits the description exactly. She told me to make an appt with the GP, who of course took 2 hours to get back to me and don't have any free ones left... I have to ring tomorrow at 8am.

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Gerdticker Mon 03-Aug-20 19:55:34

Your midwife is incorrect. PGP / SPD (same thing different name) can start as early as 12 weeks

I’m going to paste here an answer I wrote to another OP - I have sadly had a lot of experience with PGP so have learned tons! Hope it helps xx

- [ ] My SPD started at 12 weeks in my first pregnancy.

- [ ] There is a lot of info out there so do reach out

- [ ] My SPD continued after labour and I was eventually diagnosed with ‘osteitis pubis’, a term for injury/inflammation in the pubic bone area. I found an incredible physio online who offers a program to help you learn to move differently, and stop injuring yourself. (It’s called the O.P Clinic if you want to look it up ) It worked for me, and stopped the pain

- [ ] However that might not be your experience; for most people it goes away after the baby is born.

- [ ] After what I’ve been through I feel like an expert though!! Currently 27 weeks in my second pregnancy and using exercises to keep the SPD pain to a minimum

- [ ] My advice -
- [ ] - think of trying to help your pelvis keep stable. So wear flat well fitted shoes only, no heels or sloppy slippers.
- [ ] - keep your knees together as much as possible. Walk with small steps
- [ ] - when standing, stay even on both feet and push down into the earth through your arches. Stand tall.
- [ ] - sit only on good firm chairs, stay straight, no leg crossing. Try to have knees lower than pelvis

- [ ] - buy a Serola belt; I wear mine low and tight under my bump, it literally holds me together!
- [ ] - sit on a plastic bag in the car, it can help you swivel round when you get out, with both knees together
- [ ] - long pregnancy/bolster pillow between knees and ankles at night in bed

- [ ] My greatest relief from pain is from careful stretching. This video on YouTube is great; all the stretches are on the floor so you can take it slowly. (I would not recommend number 6 for SPD) Exercise 7 is my current favourite!

Gerdticker Mon 03-Aug-20 19:56:44

Forgot the link!

Poppyismyfavourite Mon 03-Aug-20 20:17:28

Wow @Gerdticker thank you so much for all this! I have definitely read online about it starting this early so I thought that was wrong. I have hypermobile joints too so I'm wondering if that is contributing...
The gp receptionist said I should get an appointment tomorrow, so I'm hoping the doctor is better informed!
Sitting/lyingdown I feel OK, it's just moving /standing that's the trouble. I'll watch that video now!

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Gerdticker Mon 03-Aug-20 22:11:25

Don’t b

Gerdticker Mon 03-Aug-20 22:15:07

Whoops pressed send early!

Don’t be disappointed if the GP is a bit useless. If they can refer you to a physio then great, although my experience of Nhs Physio was a bit pants!

Have a google of Private physios in your area that specialise in antenatal & pelvic issues?. Some people swear by osteo/chiropractor - my experience sadly not great but it’s so much down to individual practitioners

Like I said before, I think stretching is the best thing you can do to help yourself x

physicskate Tue 04-Aug-20 10:15:54

The pelvic partnership website has great advice. Also has links to recommended practitioners.

My spd started at 11/12 weeks during my last pregnancy. Crutches by 26 weeks. Housebound by 32.

It massively improved after the birth. I too have hyper mobility. But even after the birth, my leg would seize up/ give out once or twice a day. I saw an osteopath who specialises in pregnancy (some chiropractors and physios do this too). She fixed me completely after two sessions.

Dd is now 16 months. One reason I thought I could be pregnant again, is that I was doing some lunges while doing yoga and it felt a bit sharp. Tested, and sure enough, I'm pregnant. Will be seeing my osteopath regularly and often.

She said it was an outright shame I'd been told there was nothing anyone could do during pregnancy to help (which is what I'd been told). The osteopath said that there is lots hat can be done to at least improve the situation and she said she was fairly confident she could stop me from needing crutches for my next (ie this) pregnancy.

Poppyismyfavourite Tue 04-Aug-20 10:21:16

Thanks @Gerdticker - I spoke to the GP on the phone and she seemed fairly sympathetic, I have an appointment this afternoon! (have never got one so fast!). I've also seen the NHS physios about my knees before, and they were pretty useless.

I am a total convert to chiropractoring actually - I hurt my back horseriding a few years ago, winced and hobbled my way in, and practically skipped out (went from 95% pain to maybe 5%). I also fell down the stairs some time after that, and again she almost completely sorted me out (from 95% pain to ~30% - it was pretty bruised). Sadly she can't fit me in until the 21st... but I have my fingers crossed for a cancellation!

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Poppyismyfavourite Tue 04-Aug-20 10:22:29

wow @physicskate that is terrible they said nothing can be done... Fingers crossed that you are ok this time!
Were you ok after your first baby then?

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Poppyismyfavourite Tue 04-Aug-20 10:23:42

also @physicskate did the hypermobility cause you any problems during birth?

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physicskate Tue 04-Aug-20 11:08:00

No. The hyper mobility didn't cause problems during the birth. I've read that many with spd have an 'easier' time pushing etc... I didn't find that to be the case.

I come from a family of slow dilators. The thing for me that made labour more difficult was that is lasted 86 hours without any sleep.

Make sure the chiropractor knows how to deal with pregnancy.

Yes, it was awful. Nhs physio was less than useless. Had a group session. They were all 30+ weeks, and there I was at 19. The advice I got there was just the basics 'don't cross your legs, don't walk if it heat etc...' the only thing they did at my one to one physio was hand me crutches and show me how to walk with them... and this was the women's health physio.

They told me to ice my crotch, which was sometimes helpful a bit. But told me nothing about how to protect my sacro illiac (either side of the tailbone).

Defo yes to hands on manipulation, just make sure the person know what they're doing.

Poppyismyfavourite Tue 04-Aug-20 18:08:43

Well the GP didn't think it was PGP either, but she did say something about the sacroiliac joint.
She's referred me for physio and sent me for blood tests, and did a urine test for infections (which was clear) so at least something is happening...
She also said I can take paracetamol and codeine. Not keen on codeine though as I've only had it once before and was totally spaced out! At least I can take it if I'm desperate though!
I might have to text the chiropractor and beg her to see me sooner!

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physicskate Tue 04-Aug-20 18:22:54

SI joint problems is part of pgp.

Spd is an older term: symphesis pubis disfunction. Pgp is pelvic girdle pain, so anywhere in your pelvis as opposed to just the sp joint (front middle of pelvis).

physicskate Tue 04-Aug-20 18:24:22

To be fair though, pgp tends to be more progressive. Sudden onset is less usual, I think...

Poppyismyfavourite Tue 04-Aug-20 18:33:03

Interesting... Tbh I don't care what it is, I just want it to stop!
I'm hoping this means I'll get an individual physio session rather than group

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