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sciatica/pelvic girdle pain

(13 Posts)
jade1978 Sun 26-Oct-08 14:34:13

Hi everyone

Just looking for advice really, no. 5 pregnancy, just over 8 weeks pregnant and I am in agony. Severe pain in my left buttock and shooting pains down my leg. I had this with previous pregnancy but not this early. Just wondering if anyone else had this early on in pregnancy and if it was diagnosed and what as. Don't think I can handle this till June, so would love to find out if anyone had any treatment, or any advice on how to make pain less severe.

Jacksmama Sun 26-Oct-08 15:27:57

Once more with feeling! I'd just finished a lengthy answer to your question when DS crawled over and stabbed the power button on the laptop. He can pull himself up to standing on the edge of the sofa now... I'm so proud (and currently a little annoyed, LOL).
So here you are: I've treated a number of women with symptoms like these and had hip and butlock pain myself while pregnant with DS (now 8 months old). What will help is finding a massage therapist who does deep tissue work (we call it myofascial release here, I don't know if it's called that in England as well), and he or she needs to work on the muscles called the gluteus (what we think of as our buttock muscles) and the piriformis, especially. The piriformis muscle sits right on top of your sciatic nerve, and when it tightens, it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing those shooting pains down the leg.
Another option is to find a chiropractor who does Active Release Technique, which is also a form of myofascial release. That may be difficult, however, I don't know if there are any in your area. Here is a link to the A.R.T. website, I've put in a search for any providers in England but you can narrow it down to your area in the "Search by City" box:
Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Active Release, it's most popular with athletes but I use it on all my pregnant patients and it usually works like a charm even after one treatment.
Let me know if I can help or answer any other questions and good luck with the baby!

TinkerBellesMum Sun 26-Oct-08 15:48:01

I've got PGP (mainly in my dimples and hips) and this pregnancy it was one of the first signs, but it never really went away between. I would get an urgent referal to an Obstetric Physio as it will (sorry) get worse as you go on starting this early.

I was given advice on how to look after myself, pain relief (now on Co-dydramol as co-codamol doesn't touch me) and am now on crutches since I found walking was getting very difficult. They don't advise exercises or physio anymore (other than some basic moves to help posture) as it doesn't really help.

Most important advice my physio gives is listen to your body, don't push past the pain - regardless of what my GP says it doesn't make it better!

jade1978 Sun 26-Oct-08 16:45:44

Thanks so much for advice, when I was pregnant with my last child my midwife was useless and basically said there was nothing they could do, and unfortunately paying for private medical care although it sounds fantastic is just not an option. I have curvature of the spine and I wonder if perhaps this makes it worse especially with subsequent pregnancies as never suffered with first two. I just hope I get a more sympathetic midwife this time tho I doubt it.

elibumbum Sun 26-Oct-08 16:55:58

I got my GP to refer me to the physio for my pelvic girdle pain. I saw them the following week so very quick. The physio spent a lot of time asking about my symptoms and then devised a few exercises and gave me a support belt to wear. It hasn't improved hugely but hasn't got any worse. Ante-natal yoga helps me too.

I'm thinking of seeing a chiropractor too.

TinkerBellesMum Sun 26-Oct-08 17:09:52

There isn't much they can do, but they can keep an eye on it, teach you better posture and give you aids (crutches and belts etc) if needed. As you have a pre-existing condition you do need to see someone.

PortofinoPumpkin Sun 26-Oct-08 17:31:09

Can this be an early sympton of pregnancy? I'm a bit concerned as i can't remember the date of my last period. They've been a bit erratic and I personally thought i had many symptons of the peri-menopause. But I in the last few days I've had a lot of this, plus periody type pains, but a period that never materialises. (something I definitely had in my previous pregnancy). OMG I'm going to have to go and buy a test aren't I?

gettingbigger Sun 26-Oct-08 18:29:24

I went to see my Doctor about 4 weeks ago with a pain in the pelvic area. The doctor said that it could be the baby pushing a foot down on me.

All my family have been laughing at me as sometimes i can't walk very well and it hurts lots.

Last week i went to the midwife and said that i still had the pain, I said that i didn,t know what it was. She said that I have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. i have spoken to a friend since being told who is a physio. There is not really any treatment. I do wear a support belt, it is not very comfy but helps a little, am still doing pelvic floor exercises. I have been doing Aqua arobics at my local pool. They do not do a pregnancy session so I go to the normal sessions and just take it easy and tend not to jump. I find that its hard to walk when i get out of the pool but about an hour later i'm walking much better.

I would ask your Doctor or Midwife if they think it could be SPD as then you could get a belt that can offer some support.

more info can be found at

TinkerBellesMum Sun 26-Oct-08 21:57:43

PortofinoPumpkin for me it was only because I had a history of it and other back problems, it's not common to get it before the third trimester. Everyone at the hospital I was in last week was surprised I was on crutches at 24 weeks as it's very early for it.

gettingbigger, SPD is the old name for PGP because it only refers to one type of pain (the pubic bone) not to the other 4 joints or the nerves that can be affected by PGP.

Jacksmama Sun 26-Oct-08 23:32:27

Sorry, I forgot to mention that a sacro-iliac support belt (also called a trochateric belt) can really help. Repeated pregnancies can loosen your sacroiliac joints (they're under the two dimples between the low back and buttocks) and when they shift excessively as you're walking, they also irritate the surrounding nerves. If you do choose to go see a chiropractor, make sure they don't do too much spinal manipulation. I tend to not manipulate pregnant women very much, because they get pretty "floppy", so there's not much point. Things pop out of alignment again too quickly, I find. The hormone relaxin is secreted during pregnancy for the purpose of loosening joints and ligaments to allow the baby to pass through the pelvis (of course we know it doesn't always work that way, I would be a case in point!!) but relaxin isn't selective, it loosens everything, so I tend to do much more soft tissue work than adjusting. Could you ask your doctor to give you a referral to a massage therapist or physiotherapist, or write a prescription for a sacroiliac support belt?
One more thing that might help - this is a stretch I teach all my patients with sciatica. Sit on a chair that allows you to put both feet flat on the floor. Now take your right ankle and put the outside of the right ankle on top of the left knee. It's like sitting half-cross-legged. Make sure you're sitting solidly on both sit-bones, not balancing on one butt-cheek. Now slowly curl forward over your lap, as far as you can. As your forehead moves toward your knee you'll feel a muscle in your hip/ buttock tighten. That's the piriformis. When you're as far forward as you can go, hold the stretch for five slow breaths. Then do the other side. If you have one side that is noticeably tighter and more painful than the other, start with that side, do the other, and then come back one more time to the tighter side. When your belly gets bigger and you can't round forward anymore, start the stretch the same way (outside of ankle on other knee) and sit up very straight, almost arch your back, and then lean forward, leading with your chest. It's a bit more hardcore doing the stretch this way because it tightens the piriformis from the other direction first, so lean forward gently!! Before your belly gets very big, you can also alternate between rounding forward, and arching your back and then leaning forward.
Good luck, sorry about the lengthy message, contact me if I can help any more.

TinkerBellesMum Mon 27-Oct-08 00:14:38

These are the belts my physio recommends. Your GP may prescribe them but not all do, have a look at what they do because they all do something different and support in a different way it's not just about the cost.

Ah yes Jacksmama, I can't remember the amount of times I've gone over on my ankle or not been able to hold something because I'm pregnant. Darn relaxin!

jade1978 Thu 30-Oct-08 20:00:54

Thanks jacksmama will give it a go, have been in terrible pain all day to day, couldn't lift my daughter out of her carseat earlier. I haven't even seen my midwife yet and won't for a couple of weeks as they have changed the system. Will make an appointment with Gp, might have more look and hopefully he will take it seriously. Thanks everyone. I am willing to give anything a go

dan39 Thu 30-Oct-08 20:40:47

Ooh spooky I came on tonight intending to post about this very thing - I was worried I was being some sort of wimp but I too have awful buttock and groin pain - mostly buttocks - that make me cry sometimes and makes walking and getting out of the car (and to be honest just sitting!) really hard. I wondered about spd as lots of ple on here mention it...

Saw my MW on Tue and told her and she suggested sciatica, suggested the yoga cat pose and said come back if it gets worse. However I can only see her on a Tue. So, went to GP about it today and my usual (lovely) one was not in so I saw one I don't partic like. He sent me off with 2xparacetamol 4 times a day.

These are not really working and I don't know what to do next. I will try anything - will try your exercise in a min but my tum is quite big now (am 26 weeks) and I have the added complication of bad nerve trapping/tingling going on at the front!

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