Some women develop pelvic pain in pregnancy. This is sometimes called pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).
PPGP is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a misalignment or stiffness of your pelvic joints at either the back or front of your pelvis. PPGP is not harmful to your baby, but it can cause severe pain around your pelvic area and make it difficult for you to get around. Different women have different symptoms, and PPGP is worse for some women than others.
Symptoms can include:
• pain over the pubic bone at the front in the centre
• pain across one or both sides of your lower back
• pain in the area between your vagina and anus (perineum)
…The pain can be most noticeable when you are:
• going upstairs
• standing on one leg (for example, when you’re getting dressed or going upstairs)
• turning over in bed
I’m quite thankful that I’ve only recently had this as I know a couple of ladies that have suffered with this quite early on, not to mention suffered with heavier pain that has meant that they haven’t even been able to get in and out of the shower, however it’s still not something I’ve enjoyed.
There’s really nothing I can do to stop it from happening – it’s not something that has been brought on by long walks or climbing the stairs at work. It’s something that happens at random. I survived a whole baby show without a dose of it, but I can be sat on the sofa and all of a sudden; BOOM! I’m in agony.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve found a couple of nice remedies that have helped get through the pain… (however please don’t take my advice as gospel. If you’re suffering with similar pain, go see your midwife or doctor).
Stop what you’re currently doing. Although there’s not always a pattern to when SPD may strike, more often than not changing what you’re doing right away can help take the pain away. So if you’re standing in the kitchen cooking, place a chair/stool near you (in a safe place) so you can sit down suddenly as soon as you get an SPD attack.
Warmth. A few attacks of mine have been helped with the assistance of a hot water bottle or heat pad. We don’t have a microwave so have used several of our re-usable click-heat gel pads.
Don’t panic! If you get an attack, concentrate and breath through the pain – it will stop. Your partner will also likely ask if you’re ok several times throughout an attack so perhaps warn them not to say anything until you’re mentally back in the room. I found answering S sometimes made it worse so I just gave S a signal as to what was going on which meant I didn’t have to talk and S didn’t think I was going into labour!
Change the way you do things. Making an active change in the way you do things may reduce the amount of attacks you have. I’ve changed the way I get dressed (I now sit down a lot of the time), I make an active effort to keep my knees together when I sleep and turn over in bed, and on bad days I’ve come down the stairs backwards.
Rest. I’m probably the last person that will take the advice when it comes to resting, but since reducing my hours and coming home early simply to nap and rest, I’ve felt a heaps better and when I then was at work I rarely had an attack.
I hope some of the above can help you if you’re suffering with SPD, or any pelvic/back related pain for that matter, but don’t hesitate to visit your midwife or doctor to discuss the pain further as it may be another underlining issue. I’m also not a professional, so again, don’t take my advice as gospel.