Pregnancy and Pelvic Pain – A Patients’ Perspective

 

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) affects around 1 in 5 pregnant women and although not uncommon, it’s not considered normal to have pelvic pain, so it’s not something that you should just put up with until your baby is born.

 

One of our lovely patients Kate, writes a great Blog called Organically grown, imperfectly sewn about being a mum and the parent journey, bringing up two wonderful boys and now her two new arrives – her beautiful twin girls!

Kate suffered with pregnancy related spinal pain whilst carrying her wonderful bundles of joy and has been having treatment from the clinic to help reduce pain and improve mobility.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say a great BIG congratulation to Kate and her family on the new arrivals, we are happy we could help you along the way.

Take a look at what she has to say about (PGP) and her treatment at Harding Chiropractic Clinic.

“If you’re a regular reader, you will have seen me mention the difficulties I’ve been having with my mobility during this pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with Pooh Bear, I had some hip pain during the middle of my pregnancy which eased off before birth then returned for a while after he was born.  This pain wasn’t constant and usually occurred the day after I’d walked too far or over done it slightly.  This time it’s been much worse. The fact that I’ve had SPD before, bursitis when I’m not pregnant and am carrying two chunky twins has put even more pressure on my pelvis and pubic bone has meant I’ve been suffering for longer.

It wasn’t until my pelvis started crunching and clunking when I was getting up in the morning that I started to wonder if it would cause any long-term damage and if here was something more I could do to manage it.

Just at the right time I met a lovely Chiropractor, Helen who explained that there was something which could be done to loosen up my joints and help with my mobility.  

At Helen’s chiropractic practice is just outside Chester, there are three practitioners all of whom have slightly different techniques depending on their specific interest and your complaint and are all really knowledgeable about how pregnancy affects your body.

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With all the changes taking place to your body during pregnancy Its not surprising that around half of all mums-to-be suffer with back pain at some pointPelvic girdle pain (PGP) affects around 1 in 5 pregnant women and although not uncommon, it’s not considered normal to have pelvic pain, so it’s not something that you should just put up with until your baby is born.

Early diagnosis is key, it’s best to seek help early if you start to feel pain as treatment will be far more effective in managing your symptoms throughout your pregnancyPGP usually improves after birth although around 1 in 10 will have ongoing pain, it’s far more likely to persist if you had more severe pain during pregnancy. If you are still experiencing pain following birth you should continue to receive treatment until the pain fully resolves to reduce the likelihood of future episodes.

If you have had PGP, you are more likely to suffer in a future pregnancy. Making sure you are as fit and healthy as possible before you get pregnant again may help or even prevent it from recurring. Strengthening abdominal and pelvic floor muscles will reduce the chance of developing PGP in the next pregnancy.

– Helen Harding BSc (Hons) Chiropractic

In my case, my appointments started off closer together, two per week, then as I improved we spaced them out.

I can honestly say that the treatments have been a lifesaver.  Of course, they haven’t cured me.  It will ease off once the babies are born due to the initial weight-loss but it may take a few months before my hormones settle and I feel completely comfortable again.

Before I started treatment I tended to sit on the sofa as much as possible because everything was such an effort and painful.  I was stuck in a rut and sitting for long periods was (and still is) as bad as walking around all day.  Thanks to having my joints loosened up and my spine and pelvis realigned, I feel much more mobile and am able to potter about within my limits and feel much happier in myself too.

That’s not to say I’m prancing around now and can do all the usual things we take for granted before pregnancy but I’m not in constant pain and discomfort anymore as long as I don’t over do it, it is definitely manageable without the need for painkillers.  There are days I need help to get dressed etc but others I can manage and I have had to crawl up the stairs on one occasion because of the pain in my hips!  My flexibility is better after Chiropractic sessions and it feels like my body recovers more quickly if I have stood or walked for too long or far.

Unfortunately, lots of Mums are given a wealth of information on how to help manage SPD during pregnancy and what to avoid but most of that is common sense and you will get to know your limits and you can’t physically do some things due to reduced mobility as your joints tighten up and you’re yelping in pain.

My referral to the NHS Physio was useful in that I was given info and a support belt but (in my area at least) that’s as far as it goes.  You don’t get any physical treatment.  This has made me wonder about how many Mums struggle on and why there isn’t more awareness of the treatments available which can help.

SPD has been so bad at certain points for me that I can appreciate how limiting similar disabilities are.  I had to hire a mobility scooter at the zoo and can’t do anything at speed anymore.  It takes an age just to get out of the car never mind walk anywhere once you’re out and I almost had to phone hubby to pick me up after being in too much pain to continue walking after five minutes.  Last week we used a wheelchair to run errands in town because it would have taken me too long without and I know I’d not have been able to walk that far with the weight of my bump bearing down on my hips.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has had any treatment for SPD during pregnancy or if you feel there should be more done to help Mums cope.  Even if various treatments and option were discussed rather than it being an expected side effect of pregnancy which will go away once baby arrives (or at least after a few months of birth) that would be a start.

After my own experience, I’ll be taking the twins for a session after birth to help realign their bodies especially if we have to have a caesarean.”

 

To read the full blog and to follow Kate along her journey click here.

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