Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction!…Pt. 2…

03 Jun

So! In my last post I said a bit more about my referral to the Pelvic Girdle Pain clinic at our local hospital…

When I realised that I was attending a clinic for women with PGP I started to panic that the midwife had gotten it all wrong and that I’d be thrown out. The doctor had told me I didn’t have it (silly girl that I am)…my pelvis wasn’t clicking, I wasn’t in pain most of the time. All I needed was physio and I was convinced that he was right and that they wouldn’t be able to help me, but I went along to the clinic anyway…

So there I was, thirteen weeks pregnant and sat in a room with seven other women…seven other women with very noticeable bumps. They were FAR further along in their pregnancies than I was (cue yet more worry that I would be outed as a faker) and, after we each gave a little background about our lives and how our pain was affecting us, I discovered that I was the only one still in the first trimester, and the only one to have no other children to run around after (panic worry panic panic).

One by one, we were all taken aside to be assessed and shown how to best support our pelvises (pelvi?) with a tubigrip bandage. I was asked to lean with my palms against the wall of the cubicle and raise my legs while the nice physio lady checked my pelvis for movement. Twice. Then a third time.  Then she said she’d be referring me to the consultant physiotherapist because she didn’t think that I had the movement I should have had.

Of the eight of us, I was the only one who was asked to stay to make an appointment…perhaps this was my punishment for my fakery?

In the week between my appointments I wore my tubigrip with varying degrees of success. It’s a pretty huge piece of bandaging and we were told to wear it doubled/quadrupled up (as we needed) over our pelvis and hips, like a little bodycon miniskirt, and under/over our clothes as necessary (for example…put it on UNDER your dress or top, but OVER your tights/trousers/leggings). We were only supposed to wear it during the day OR at night (never both in the same day), and were warned to cease wearing it if we noticed their baby’s movements slow or lessen (although this was just for the others – and my future reference – as they were all WELL past feeling their babies move and I was barely past my 12 week scan).

It felt amazing to have my pelvis supported by the bandage, for a while…but as time wore on I just felt utterly squashed, and it not only seemed to cause my tummy to ache, it also made me suffer more regular attacks of round ligament pain (note: this link is a good description of RLP as well as SPD) which is a completely undesirable trait in an item that’s meant to ease discomfort.

…AND it made trips to the loo a spectacularly massive effort…

It didn’t really help. Sure, the compression felt good, but it just wasn’t supportive enough to really do anything for me. I was still feeling like a fraud at this point as I obviously didn’t have SPD…no wonder the bandage wasn’t working for me…

At my second appointment I met Jane, the consultant physiotherapist.

We had a chat about how I was feeling and my past history of injury and pain (I had a pretty heinous fall to my right knee while skating that put an end to me playing roller derby and seems to have squiffed my whole body up), and then she checked the movement of my pelvis and legs. It didn’t take long for her to decide that my pelvis was blocked (tight/rigid) on the right hand side and she then set about trying to free it up a little, which ended in a massage (the best bit by far).

She also showed me how I could free my pelvis myself at home by lying on my back on the floor, bending my right knee up (foot flat on the floor) and relaxing my left leg over the top of it, using the weight of my left leg (and the firmness of the floor) to stretch out my right-hand sacroiliac joint. After doing this I can also try to give that side of my pelvis a firm massage to help it relax even more.

At the end of the session I still felt like a big fat phoney, but Jane assured me that my doctor was wrong and that I am suffering from SPD. As well as doing the exercises she gave me I was also supposed to go back for another session, but work commitments got in the way and, over 10 weeks later, I still haven’t managed to go back…

…more about that another time…

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Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy


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