Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction SPD now known as Pelvic Girdle Pain PGP is when tissue surrounding the three joints in the pelvis relax or soften a bit too much due to high levels of the hormone relaxin. Basically it means a lot of pain and discomfort. Of course this does not affect every woman who is pregnant. For those unfortunate enough to experience this it can occur late in the pregnancy or as early as 5 weeks!!!.
- Pain over the pubic bone at the front in the centre
- Pain across one or both sides of your lower back
- Pain when you are:
- walking up stairs
- turning in bed – I couldn’t get over the amount of pain this caused
- getting in and out of the car
- getting dressed
Top Tips for dealing with PGP
Get a Physio – I cannot recommend this enough. I have visits every 7, 10 or 14 days with Jenny in Total Physio in Sandyford. She has brought me so far into the pregnancy reducing the pain and helping me deal with it when it does occur.
Listen to the Physio!!! – If they say listen to your body and rest, then REST. Do the exercises they give as homework. Everyday I do 2 sessions of mine so check in with your physio before starting anything.
Take one step at a time – When climbing stairs, take one at a time. This reduces the stretching required and will reduce the pain.
Keep you knees together – When turning in bed, or getting in and out of the car, always try to keep your knees together, again this will reduce any pain.
No more heels 🙁 Last time round this wasn’t too much of a problem as I was 7 months before my pelvis went. This time round however I was only 11 weeks. I tried twice at Christmas to wear heels for a short amount of time and it was a major non-runner. Will have to rethink an outfit for a wedding!
Slow down – Going from a lifestyle of running around, literally and metaphorically, it can be hard to admit to yourself that you now just can’t commit
Get Help – Related to the above, where possible ask for help with jobs around the house, especially when other children are around.
Top Supplies to help manage pelvis pain
I purchased my Serola Belt direct from my physio and it has been a life saver. Whenever I have pain in any area I pop the belt on. When things are going well I only have to wear this for 2 hours a day around lunch time. Lately, however, I’ve had to wear this all day, every day.
For relief in the evenings or whenever you can get your feet up, pop an ice pack on your lower abdomen. Granted you may get funny looks and some interesting slags, but it’s worth it.
Hot Water Bottle
Other than creating a storm when using the ice pack at the same time, the hot water bottle provides much welcome relief for your pack. I have a small one I use at work every day. NEVER use the hot water bottle on the front or stomach while pregnant.
Suggested by my physio, I use the tennis ball once a day to try to reduce the tightness in the muscles in my back. Down the right side of my spine is very tight every day as my back tries to compensate for the pelvis. Admittedly this can be very painful, trying to not shout with the pain or curse as so not to wake the 2 year old.
At the time a friend gave me a pregnancy pillow during my first pregnancy, I didn’t realise how invaluable it would become to me. I’ve heard plenty of woman name their pillows!!! Also husbands dread when they see them being used…..
The pillows are amazing for providing comfort when you get larger towards the end of the pregnancy. Sleeping with it between your legs helps reduce pain and under your bump can help reduce stretch marks.
Anyone else have tips to share?