Anyone Else Have SPD Hip Pain? Seeking Any Suggestions for Relief..

Updated on January 25, 2008
J.R. asks from Cupertino, CA
46 answers

I have what is called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction/SPD or also known as Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. This can come from several things, but basically the extra hormones during pregnancy has relaxed my ligaments (to prepare for birth), and I fell and/or somehow stretched or pulled them even further, causing excruciating pain in my hips for the past month. This is to the point where I am seeing a Physical Therapist, having to use a cane, and can only walk like a 90 year old woman (and I am only 37). This is 'besides' the normal nervy pain you get on each hip while sleeping.

My hips and ligaments cannot support the extra weight of the pregnancy, so I am hoping that this will go away after the birth, but in the meantime, my life is somewhat miserable and I was really hoping to enjoy this last month of pregnancy (seeing as it is my first child). I am also concerned about how they will stand up during the actual labor.

So far, I've tried the following to relieve or help the pain:

*Tylenol (helps, but only for a short amount of time and I feel guilty taking medicine, and per my OB, I should only take 2 tablets a day and no more or kidney problems will arise)
*Pillow between my legs and under my stomach
*Ice packs and warming pads
*Icy Hot pads and Ben Gay ointments
*Professional pre-natal massages and therapy appointments (great-but temporary fix)
*Gentle stretching and yoga exercises (most are difficult for me to even do though)
*Resting all day (still hurts while in bed and hasn't seemed to repair anything
*Walking a bit during the day (ends up hurting in the end)
*Using a cane
*Parking close to stores (am also now applying to get a Handicapped placard)
*Hot bath at night (only once since we don't have a tub and I was in a hotel)

I am also looking into swimming again, but I heard I have to be careful on how I do that too.

What I am wondering is if any of you have had this painful experience and have found something that helped you, that I haven't listed above?

Thanks in advance,
J.

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So What Happened?

WOW--guys..I am so impressed and thankful for all the wonderful tips and suggestions you have given me. To answer some of your responses, I don't think I'll see a Chiropractor at this point, seeing as my Flexible benefits have gone out and the added up co-pays at $25 a pop, is starting to cost me more than I am willing to pay (I am currently on unemployment and the baby items are adding up). But I appreciate the referrals. I just saw a different therapist at the same office yesterday, and she was also 9 months pregnant, and gave me some different advice and a different exercise where to slowly move my right pelvis back in place (she says they are measuring out of alignment), and the right is moved forward, where as the left is backwards--hence the greater pain on my right side. Just doing this once in the office made my right foot not curve inward like it was doing, and I was actually walking straighter as I left the office--which was great. I wasn't doing cartwheels, but hey, it is a start and I already felt better.

Also, I'm making my monthly pre-natal massages weekly now, as I'm getting closer to labor and the weight is bearing down on my bones in general, and the swelling in my hands and feet feel better with some TLC.

I am going to quit the standard 3 pillow setup at night and buy the Boppy Comfort Cuddler pillow, which looks like a kidney bean, and has pretty good reviews. I like it because I feel I need more simplicity while sleeping and rather than having to switch my 3 pillows whenever I turn over (which is already a feat in itself), this will makes things a bit easier (I think).

I'm hoping that you are all right about the pain subsiding after birth, or close after birth, as I want to get back to exercise and running, and hoping to gradually get back to it--as I've had a lack of exercise throughout this pregnancy (due to one reason or another).

Anyways--thank you all for your suggestions and I'll keep reading your responses and will let you know what happens and what works for me.

Thanks!
J. :o)

-----------

UPDATE: 1/28/08

It has now been 4 days after my last therapist appt, where my new therapist suggested that I drop the other exercises and do this certain muscle/pelvic movement technique, and I'm amazed at the difference it is making.

Basically, I am on my back, with my left knee bent, and I take my right leg (or whatever side is the problematic one), and turn it at an angle, as so not to hit my tummy. I then either put my hands underneath my right knee or clasped together on top of the knee, in order to hold it. I start at a comfortable distance and push my knee againist my hands and hold it for 5 seconds, then release. Then I incrementally move my leg towards my back, and do the same thing (usually have about at least 5 incremental distances where I can do this), and basically that is it. I am supposed to do this every hour, at least 2-3 times a day, but I've only done this about 2-3 day every other hour or so, and so far, it has made a big difference on how I feel and walk. Funny thing is that I still have pain in the left, but it has shifted to more of the back of the pelvis, and the muscle in the left front is compensating for anything my right side is not doing. Overall though, the pain is less severe (not like splintered bones into my flesh feeling), and even though I still can't bend down as easy or without pain, I am doing much better than I have this past month and 1/2--which is SOOOOO wonderful.

Please check with your therapist or Chiropractor first before trying this exercise, as it might not be what you need to get your hips back into alignment.

Oh, I also tried the Boppy Cuddle pillow and I had to return it after one night. It was WAAYYY too big for me, and I had more trouble turning over with it than with my pillow stack, so I'm just staying with my normal king pillows and stomach pillow for sleeping.

Just wanted to keep you guys updated with any progress.

Thanks again! 19 more days until due date!!

J. :o)

Featured Answers

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C.R.

answers from Yuba City on

I have had that kind of pain only not at the nineth month of pregnancy. The one thing that brought permenant relief was my chiropractor. Once it was back in place all the pain was gone!

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J.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I had something similar. the chiropactor-you need one who can do the particular adjustment, helped though I was there about every 5 days in the last month. you need someone who specializes in pregnancy. my next pregnancy-twins even was must better because of the amount I had stabilized and I stayed on it.

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M.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I would suggest you try reiki. It is energy healing. It has helped me with severe shoulder pain and tendonitis. It is something that you would have to have done weekly or bi-weekly. Try Pavia Day Spa for an appointment- http://www.paviadayspa.com and no I do not work there. Good luck.

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C.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.-
Ouch, you have it rough. I want to let you know that I had bad hip pain too (not as bad as yours tho) during my pregnancy, that went away immediately after my son was born- so hang in there. It should go away soon! I would recommend the pool for sure- I took prenatal pool aerobics from month 5 & it was a huge relief to be in the water. I could really stretch & the resistance of the water makes it hard to hurt yourself. I never felt better than the days I was in the pool. HTH & Hang in there!

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J., Wow I feel your pain. I had the same thing and have problems normally with the same joint off and on. I had to wear one of those very wide stretchy velcro support belts under my tummy when I was pregnant. You can purchase one at the store in the City next to CPMC on California where they sell all the pregnancy/Mom stuff. Sorry don't remember the address. It's a building or two down from 3838 California st. at CPMC. It helps take the pressure off of the round ligaments which stress during pregnancy. Which may be exacerbating the joint problem. I had actually heard about it from a physical therapist when I was pregnant. Try that maybe. I know what you mean when I was pregnant my hips would just throb like a tooth ache at night when I tried to sleep. It was awful. I found the belt thing did help me a bit though since at the time I was working 12 hours shifts in the hospital. Yeah...good times..NOT! Good luck. Suzie

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K.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I feel your pain as I went through the same thing myself! I even GOT the handicapped placard. I didn't know how I could go through childbirth if I was already in so much pain. I could barely walk. I couldn't even put my own shoes on or get up on the exam table when I went to my checkups. Swimming helped.....as long as I was IN the pool, but getting out was miserable. I decided to get a doula for childbirth since I figured I would need the extra help. Turned out she was a hynotherapist as well and she promised me she could cure me with hypnotherapy. I was skeptical but desperate so I gave it a shot. Not only did it help tremendously, but I was able to use the hynotherapy during labor too! She has moved away but I am sure you could find other hypnotherapists in the area...maybe even one who specializes in pregancy and childbirth.

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T.B.

answers from San Francisco on

There are techniques used in Neuromuscular Therapy that can help. You may have to wait until after the birth, I don't know. But, I would try to find some one who practiced a kind of massage/bodywork called St. John's Neuromuscular Therapy. I have seen a lot of SI joint dysfunction corrected with their techniques.
Good luck!

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V.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
I also experienced this during both my pregnancies. It's terrible and I feel for you! I was put on "pelvic rest" and then on full bed rest because the loosening ligaments made both babies drop early.
The one thing that I found that helped, was doing "core" abdominal work. Strengthen my abs helped support the babies and took some of the pressure off my pelvis. Try asking your physical therapist for some abs work that you can do at home every night.
Good Luck!
Oh, it does go away after you have the baby, thank god!!!
V.

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K.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I am wondering if this is what I had my last few weeks of pregnancy. I could hardly walk and the pain was particulary bad after sitting for a while. I just figured it was part of being pregnant and never even asked my doctor about it because I didn't feel it affected my pregnancy, because the pain was so obviouls in the hips. My baby was taken one month early so who knows how bad it could have gotten and my doctor did comment after that she never thought I would make it the whole 9 months. I am small framed and my son would have probaly hit 9 pounds if I kept going. They took him a month early and he was a little over 7 pounds and I was on BP medication which should have made him smaller. Unfortunately, after my pregnancy I still did have some pain and they said it would take a while for the hips to go back to normal. In all honesty, it doesn't really hurt that much anymore, but I still get some aches that I didn't have before and I am overweight. It was pretty horrible though, and it doesn't surprise me that they have you using a cane. I am sure if I went another week I would have been using one too.

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R.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I went throught the same thing with my daughter. I found that if I sat and slept on a "doughnut" pillow it would relieve some of the pressure. Ultimately, the only thing that makes it go away is giving birth, but you are almost there. As soon as she was out I felt a major difference in my hips and back. Good luck, try to find some humor in it all, it gets better.

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M.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Try joining a class that offers Deep Water Running. Check local community colleges. Basically you wear a flotation belt and you stay upright in deep water and run, jog, cross country ski in the water. It supports your weight completely, there is no jarring on the joints since you never impact the bottom of the pool and it is as aerobic as you personally make it. I have known people with severe sciatica, knee and hip replacements, arthritis and various other painful conditions that have improved the quality of their lives tremendously. You can do it while you're pregnant. It is a different experience from swimming or from other "Aquatrim" (aerobics in the shallowend of pool)exercises. Wonderful way to get back in shape after the baby too. Check with your physician first before trying anything new. Good luck and congratulations on your baby.

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L.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J. R--The only thing I found helpful that wasn't on your list was chiropractic care. Be sure to find a chiropractor who specializes in pregnant women; if you don't know of one, ask local midwives or doulas. My chiropractor really, really helped me with my pelvic and lower back issues during pregnancy.

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.:

Just thinking of you brings back memories. I had the same thing during my pregnancy. Ok..this may sound strange. I did all the things you listed, then a natural medicine friend told me to add more potassium in to my diet. She said to eat a banana twice a day, and before sleeping drink some warm milk and honey. Something about the extra pottassium and vitamin D help with the pain. It actually worked. The pain lessened. It didn't go completely away, but it was much less. I ended up having a C section two weeks early because I gained so much weight I could barely walk. Anyways, it's worth a try.

Good luck
S.

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J.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I have never had SPD hip pain, but my husband was having knee problems and went to see a chiropractor (after being under the care of our family physician without success) and found relief on the first visit. Our chiropractor is Dr. Doran in Los Altos. You can get information on his website [email protected]____.com.

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L.U.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you tried chiropractic care? We go to Lifeforce Family Chiropractic in San Anselmo, and it has been wonderful for out family, ###-###-####. Best wishes, L.

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A.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
My PT has me sitting on a regulation sized softball to emulate the elbow in the hip muscles which is how he loosens me up. I find that it really helps me (I have a lower back injury which is exacerbated by tight gluts). Place the ball on the floor and allow your hip/glut to relax around the ball and hold for as long as you can stand it. Then roll slightly to get relief in a different area.
Hope that helps! Hang in there - you've only got a little while left!
A. (mom of 3, ages 12,8 and 4)

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J., I had a very similar problem when I was pregnant, 15 months ago. Like you, I had a normal pregnancy, gained a normal amount of weight. My ligaments were over-relaxed, which in turn caused my pubic bone to rub on itself when I walked.

I don't think I had SPD pain as pronounced as you do, but definitely had pain whenever I walked too much (which turned out wasn't much as I got bigger). My OB told me I had SPD and advised me to buy one of those elastic Belly Bands. It helped support some of that baby/belly weight and I was able to resume a somewhat normal life. Towards the end of my pregnancy I wore it every day and found it helped.

Yes, the pain stopped once my daughter was born and now my hips and pubic bone are back to normal. I think it's all about the pregnancy hormones which relax your hips to allow for childbirth working over-time. I have no idea if it happens next time; I've just got one child myself so far.

And in childbirth, I didn't have much of a problem with it. I opted for the epidural, which worked perfectly for me.

Hope this helps somewhat. Best of luck with it all and congratulations! When your little one is here, this will all be a distant memory. The best is yet to come!

T.

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A.M.

answers from Sacramento on

I had this problem with my second pregnancy. I did physical therapy also. They incorporated pool therapy, which was the only thing that helped (for a short period of time). Honestly, the best cure I found was giving birth! Good luck.

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D.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
I don't have any direct knowlege of your exact situation, but I would like to recommend MSM. My husband was was injured in a horseback riding accident, broken bones, 2 years of recovery and 7 years of muscle and joint pain. He took large doses of MSM and in less than a week the pain and stiffness were completely gone. He had full range of motion after 7 years of suffering. MSM is a food grade sulpher that does amazing things to and for people's bodies. I don't want to take a lot of time and space here, and I don't sell the product, but you might want to do a little research and see if it might help you. You want to make sure you get a good quality and not something that has been cut. We know quite a few people it has done amazing things for.
If you don't mind, I'll also send a prayer for a healing touch for your body.
Blessings,
D.

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E.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I had this pretty badly during my first pregnancy. I'm afraid I can't suggest any remedies you haven't already tried, but wanted to let you know that it was not a problem for me during labor (although I had an epidural so wasn't feeling much) and that it went away immediately after I gave birth. I had it a little in my second pregnancy but not NEARLY as bad. Good luck to you as you suffer though the last few awful weeks - it is no fun, I know!

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E.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm sorry you're going through this, I have the same condition but not as severe. I have two kids and during the second pregnancy, I was limping due to the pain. Two things helped: swimming (not laps, just on a "noodle" in the deep end) and a non-force chiropractor. I was skeptical at first but it really did help. During the first visit, I thought it was a whole lot of nothing but the next day, I was very sore and able to walk without limping. With each day, the soreness improved and the pain had lessened substantially. If you're in Santa Cruz, her name is Cathy Sy and she's on the corner of Soquel and Capitola Rd. Good luck!

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J.N.

answers from San Francisco on

I also recommend chiropractic care. I had similar issues during my pregnancy and my chiropractor took care of the in just a few visits. I have a great chiropractor in Walnut Creek. I don't know where you live, so email me if you'd like her phone number.

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G.C.

answers from San Francisco on

J.,
I am so sorry to hear about the pain you are going through. Children seem to cause us aches and pains from the moment they are concieved till they are grown and on their own :)
I would suggest to you a supplement juice called MonaVie active. This is a pure juice drink of Acai berry and 18 other beneficial fruits. The Acai berry (you may have heard of it through Oprah-Dr. Perricone listed Acai as the number 1 superfood in the world on her show) is a natural anti-inflammatory. The juice also includes glucosamine (in plant form) and celadrin. Both of these are known natural joint repairers.
You can also get the original formula which does not have glucosamine/celadrin.
I would ask your OB before taking it, but I really think it could help you. Monavie has been known to; enhance sleep, enhance energy and relieve aches and pains.
If you have any further questions, or think you might be interested please don't hesitate to call or email me.
G. C.
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com
I have many studies and a lot of articles on the benefits of Monavie.
Hope you can find relief soon!

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L.L.

answers from Sacramento on

Maybe a chiropractic might help you feel better?

Treatments that I found:

- Some patients benefit from wearing a special brace called a sacroiliac belt. This belt wraps around the hips to hold the sacroiliac joint tightly together, which may ease your pain.

- Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, Acetominiphen (for example, Tylenol) can be used to treat the pain, but it will not control the inflammation.

- Rest your back by limiting your activities. The purpose of this is to help decrease inflammation and calm the muscle spasm.

I found websites for you:
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/antenatalhealth/phy...

http://www.wreckramblin.com/Article/Symphysis-Pubis-Dysfu...

http://sunshine35446.yuku.com/topic/1151/t/Pelvis-Pain-Sy...

http://www.spine-health.com/topics/cd/sacjoint/sac01.html

http://www.orthogate.org/patient-education/lumbar-spine/s...

Not sure if this is anything new to you, but hope at least one of these sites can give you helpful information.

Below is information that I copy/pasted for you from the internet:

How is it treated?

A pelvic support belt can often give quick relief. Exercises -- especially for the tummy and pelvic floor muscles -- form a large part of the treatment and are aimed at improving the stability of your pelvis and back. You may need mobilisation (a gentler form of manipulation) of your hip, back or pelvis to correct any underlying movement dysfunction. Hydrotherapy (exercise in water) and acupuncture can sometimes be useful. Surgery is only used to treat the most severe DSP cases and is often unsuccessful.

You should also be given advice on how to make normal daily activities less painful and on how to make the birth easier. Your physiotherapist or midwife can help you to devise a birth plan which takes your SPD symptoms into account.

Other therapies that may be useful include osteopathy and chiropractic but it is essential that you see a registered practitioner who is experienced in treating pregnant women.
Self-help tips

• Avoid pushing through any pain. If something hurts, if possible don't do it. If this type of pain is allowed to flare up, it can take a long time to settle back down again.

• Move little and often. You may not feel the effects of what you are doing until later in the day or after you have gone to bed.

• Rest regularly by sitting reasonably upright with your back well supported.

• Avoid heavy lifting or pushing (supermarket trolleys can be particularly painful).

•When dressing, sit down to put on clothing such as your knickers or trousers. Pull the clothing over your feet and then stand up to pull them up. Don't try to put your legs into trousers, skirts or knickers whilst standing up.

• When climbing stairs, go up them one step at a time. Step up onto one step with your best leg and then bring your other leg to meet it. Repeat with each step.

• Avoid separating your legs and making straddling movements -- such as when getting in and out of the car or bath. If you need to separate your legs, do so slowly and carefully and keep your back arched.

• Avoid swimming breaststroke if you can and take care with other strokes. Swimming can often feel like it is helping whilst you are in the water but cause an increase in pain when you get out.

• Performing regular pelvic floor exercises and lower abdominal exercises can help to reduce the strain of the pregnancy on your pelvis. To perform a safe and easy lower abdominal exercise, get down onto your hands and knees and level your back so that it is roughly flat. Breathe in and then as you breathe out, perform a pelvic floor exercise and at the same time pull your belly button in and up. Hold this contraction for 5-10 seconds without holding your breath and without moving your back. Relax the muscles slowly at the end of the exercise.

• Follow the advice in our protecting your back and pelvis article.

• You can get in touch with other women in your situation by contacting The Pelvic Partnership, a charity which was set up to offer support to women with SPD. The National Childbirth Trust also offers information and support to women with a range of pelvic dysfunctions.
How soon will I recover from my SPD symptoms after the birth?

A recent study showed that around 60% of women with SPD still experienced some symptoms after delivery. Most women find that their symptoms improve after the birth of their baby although a small percentage still have pain when their babies are a year old. You should continue with physiotherapy after the birth and get help with looking after your baby during the early weeks if you can. Some ex-sufferers find they experience pain every month just before their period is due, which is caused by hormones which have a similar effect to the pregnancy hormone relaxin.

Updated by Alison Bourne, women's health physiotherapist
Alison works as a Senior Physiotherapist in Women's Health at the Royal Hospital, Chesterfield, and also has a private clinic in Matlock, Derbyshire. Her work involves delivering and managing an antenatal and post-natal service to both in and out-patients and providing evidence-based advice and training to other health professionals. She also regularly takes Parentcraft classes and provides training for other physiotherapists in antenatal education. Alison has two children, Lucy, who was born in 2001 and Alex, born in 2004.

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J.R.

answers from San Francisco on

You have to try chiropractic! My practice, myself and my sister specialize in prenatal and family care. We have seen many women with this challenge during pregnancy and we can help you too! You can call our office at ###-###-#### and/or check out our website www.RozenhartChiro.com.
There is no charge to talk to one of us and we would love to help you.

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I haven't had this to deal with, but I have a friend who practices chiropracty -- in your home -- and who was just telling us yesterday how she treats pregnant moms, because the loosened ligaments change the stresses on the body.

Chiropractors will tell you if their non-invasive treatments are appropriate for a particular situation....it may be a good alternative to investigate.

She's a mom of two, very sweet and professional. Her name is Virgiljia Tali -- and here's her information

Dr. Virgilija Tali
Fountain of Health
Family Chiropractic
Chiropractic care in the convenience of your home
###-###-####
www.drtalidc.com
[email protected]____.com

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R.S.

answers from Sacramento on

J.,

wow, sorry to hear you are in so much pain. there are several things i can recommend.
1. you can take as much as 3000 mg of tylenol each day during pregnancy. I lived off tylenol due to a back injury and surgery prior to pregnancy. I have nor has my 5 month old had any ill effects from it. My kidneys are working just fine also.

2. If massage provides relief think about chiropractic. It did me wonders during pregnancy. I was adjusted up to 3 times a week when my pain was really bad. And it helped incredibly.

3. during labor and after you are going to hurt, obviously, but you are going to be ok. It will NOT be as bad as what you are going thru now. Thank goodness.

I wish you luck and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

R.

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O.G.

answers from San Francisco on

one thing that might help is a belt to lift your tummy off your pelvis, and there is also on you can wrap around your hip area to keep it steady. I was 38 and slipped at work when I was 6 months pregnant, so I understand what you are going through. I hope this helps. Good luck

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T.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I am currently 33 weeks pregnant, and have had SPD since month 6. Hurts like hell. There is not much else you can do, just wait it out, and it will all be gone after you have the baby (had it with my first one too). I am taking perscription pain killers at night from my OB, but even those don't cut the pain. Some nights I take 2 Tylenol PMs to at least conk me out enough to sleep through the pain. Good luck--you don't have much longer to go.

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G.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Sorry I just emailed you and I didn't realize you were pregnant. So here's another idea. There are girdles/tummy supports that you can buy that will support your bump so that it doesn't pushed down into your hips. They are great.

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A.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I had a lot of SPD hip pain in both my pregnancies. There were a few days when the best I could do was to lie in bed with a heating pad -- I couldn't get down the stairs, I couldn't even get pants on without excruciating pain. I just suffered through it in my first pregnancy, and, honestly, it didn't get better on its own. About 5 months after my first baby was born, I started taking action. Now, a little over 2 years later, I am 90% recovered / healed. What helped the most were 4 things:

1) Trager body work for temporary relief. This is the kind of "massage" where they rock your limbs and body. It seems to realign the joint. I called it my miracle massage because it made the pain instantly go away. I had it once during my first pregancy and maybe 3 times during my second. It's expensive.

2) Chiropractic. Basically, the chiropractor puts pressure on your hip joint and sacroiliac joints (i.e., front and back of pelvic ring) to make them pop back into alignment. It required a lot of treatments, and really only started to have long lasting results when I combined it with strength training.

3) Maintain / build abdominal strength by actively squeezing the muscles throughout the day. I started this during my second pregnancy on the advice of the Trager practitioner. The idea is that my hip joints were too loose to carry their usual proportion of the load, so the muscles around them needed to get stronger and carry that load. I basically had to hold my abdomen and hips together by compressing the muscles instead of moving around in my usual way. Normal movement made the joints overextend and misalign. I did this during and after pregnancy, and I find it helps to realign my joints when they get knocked a little out of place.

4) Do another exercise that doesn't stress the hips to maintain strength until everything is stable again. I chose bicycling on a stationary bike. The kind with the arm levers was great because I could get a good workout (after recovering from the birth). While pregnant I just rode the bike without the arm levers.

Some of the things you're doing were really unhelpful for me. Swimming was terrible because it made my joints just wiggle around like mad. I thought my physical therapy was a waste of time and money. Being inactive made everything worse because the muscles all got weaker. Yoga and other complex stretches made me overextend my joints. Any kind of twisting or torquing motion (even just pushing a laundry basket sideways with one foot) was out of the question -- instant pain and misalignment. That being said, simple forward bends were and still are great for gentle opening of the sacroiliac joints so they can realign themselves. Sleeping with a lot of pillows or with one leg forward made everything worse. I got some minor relief from sleeping with a small hand towel rolled up and placed under the top of my hip. The idea was to keep my hips properly aligned all the time

My first child is 2 1/2 and my second is 8 months, and I'm happy to say that I can actually run 3 miles again without any pain whatsoever. I do have to be careful, i.e., keep those abdominal muscles compressed, as I move about during the day, especially when picking up my kids, twisting in any way, walking up stairs, etc.; but that is a small price to pay for freedom of movement again. I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to hike or run or even dress myself normally ever again.

I hope this gives you some ideas. Best of luck!

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M.B.

answers from San Francisco on

DOn't know anything about SPD, but ask your doc about an MRI (when you're ready) for diagnosis of possible Avascular Necrosis. A really painful condition, but swimming and time help a lot. Also, I had a weird surgery that did help the AVN. Good luck. M. B>

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M.E.

answers from Chico on

I'm a chiropractor and I see SPD all the time with my pregnant and post partum patients. Sometimes adusting the pubic symphysis will help to get the ligaments to adhere again. I also recommend the use trochanter belts and maternity support belts when standing or walking. I suggest talking to a chiropractor that has experience with women and pregnancy. Prenatal massage by a therapist that specializes in pregnant patients is very helpful also. I hope it heals soon and that you have an easy delivery.

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M.V.

answers from San Francisco on

hi J. - i live in point reyes and i'm an osteopath (physician) who treats this kind of thing often . . . i hate to be the one recommending myself, but there you have it. chiropractors can help too. my web site is http://mvdo.starfishpartners.com. other osteopaths can be located through cranialacademy.com

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S.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J. R.
I assume your OB/GYN does not have any further advice (beyond sending you to the PT). You might ask him/her again for more suggestions. I'm concerned that by walking at all you are exacerbating the problem. Ask the OB/GYN &/or the PT about that.
My friend had this (not pregnant) - she went to a chiropractor. Don't know how that works for pregnant ladies, but it's a thought.
All the best,
S. C. (grandma to 5 young grandsons)

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V.T.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
I would recommend to try chiropractic care. I t is very safe and effective to relieve the muscle spasm and realign the pubic and sacroiliac joints. A lot of chiropractors that use Webster's technique will also work on the uterine ligaments to help even out the pressure that the baby weight puts on your spine.
You can also try wearing a maternity belt. This can stabilize the SI joints and give you some relieve. There are also a number of stretches to relax tight muscles around the area to help with the pain.
Feel free to call me if you want to know more about how chiropractic care can help.
V. Tali DC
chiropractic care at your home
www.drtalidc.com
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M.R.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I had something like this though no one ever labled it as such. As long as I received regular chiropractic care and did my stretching and walked a little bit daily, it seemed to be under control. Check into chiropractic...if you can find one who specializes in pregnant women, it would be even more awesome.

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

I am a PT and have found an binder worn low around the pelvis works to provide some relief in symptoms. It can be difficult considering the size of your tummy because of baby :) Bascially this provides a compression force to bring the bones closer together. I would avoid stretching and yoga as you are already "stretched". Ask your therapist to discuss some Kegel exercises as well as low abdominal strengthening (isometrics) and adductor isometrics. Your therapist will know these terms :) Hang in there and best of luck as you approach the end of the line! --C.

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J.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.!

I went through this with my first pregnancy, and I sure empathize with you. I saw many specialists and the best thing that ended up helping was hot showers, and spending what felt like the better part of the last two weeks of the pregnancy draped over a big bouncy exercise ball. It seemed that if I wasn't on the exercise ball, I was in the shower. The good news is that the pain ended pretty much right after delivery, and the best news is that I did NOT experience this with my second pregnancy!!! Sure there was some pain, but completely tolerable compared to the first pregnancy. Hang in there, it looks like you're close to delivery, and let the knowledge that the pain is almost over carry you through to the joy of your baby's birth!!!
Enjoy your baby!!!
J.

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L.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Poor you. This is terribly debilitating. I had this on my second pregnancy.
There is a brace you can get from a physiotherapist (they'll show you how to fit it). It is uncomfortable but does offer some relief.
I found swimming to be hugely beneficial and on days when I could not walk I still managed to swim 40 laps. The key thing is to stick to overarm or crawl (absolutely no breaststroke as this can cause further overstretching of the pelvis).
Good luck.
Good news is that once the baby is born it goes almost immediately.

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J.Y.

answers from San Francisco on

Oh, man. You poor girl. I know because I had it too with my first pregnancy. I spent some of the last of my pregnancy in a wheelchair (for shopping or outings)! Walking took forever and was excruciating!I never found anything that helped so I just endured.

The good news is it did get better fairly quickly after giving birth and I hardly had any trouble at all with my second pregnancy, which, by the way, was twins!!

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N.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

I don't know if you've tried acupuncture but it is very successful in dealing with hip pain and other problems related to pregnancy. I am a licensed acupuncturist in the San Jose area and have worked with many pregnant women both with fertility and pregnancy challenges. If you are interested please feel free to call me.

N. M. Burns L.Ac.
Valley Acupuncture
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S.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I had this exact problem during my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies. I recommend chiropractic care--I used to be a skeptic but now I'm a believer. I saw Bruce Peterson, he's in San Ramon by Chevy's. I went 3 days/week and the relief was there after the 3rd visit (then I started going once/week) and stayed during the pregnancy unless I skipped a week. Good luck.

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K.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I have the same problem, just not as bad as you. I purchased a belly band which supports your lower back and lower abdomen which in turns helps take some weight off your hips. I also go to a chiropractor who really helps a lot. tylenol can be taken as recommended on the bottle. Unfortunately, it does not reduce any inflamation like motrin does, it just helps (barely) with the pain. motrin would solve the problem but is dangerous during pregnancy so don't take it. I would just recommend the belly band or some other device that supports the back and belly during pregnancy. i guess the best news is that the pregnancy is almost over. i had this with my first pregnancy and it went away immediately after giving birth, i assume (and hope) the same happens this time. best of luck to you.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

I had SPD from about 6 months onwards even though I never got beyond 110 pounds throughout my pregnancy. It was excruciating getting dressed, turning in bed, getting out of bed and walking, so I deeply sympathize with you.

Nothing really helped, but the baby came 5 weeks early. I surmised it is because of SPD, but my theory is not supported by a doctor. I went through natural delivery without epidural or other pain killers, and I have to tell you it doesn't affect labor. Labor is a different kind of pain so you won't even remember you have SPD.

After birth, I continued to have a reduced amount of pain for about 3 months. But SPD does go away eventually. So hang in there, and just be prepared in case baby comes early! Good luck!

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H.G.

answers from Fort Collins on

J.,
The exact same thing happened to me and I concluded that it was because I was too active during my pregnancy. I"m a personal trainer and ran through the fifth month and by the ninth month, I was in tears every day from hip pain and was crawling around my house. I had to go on maternity leave early because I couldn't do my job. I gained no more than 20 pounds during my pregnancy, so I was really frustrated because I felt like I had done everything I had been told to do and it still hurt. The only relief: when my daughter was born. The pain actually started to light up a few weeks before she was born as she started to drop a little bit, but after she was born, the pain was gone. I don't know if you're extremely active, but if you are, be careful about doing a lot of strenuous activity just after your baby is born. Wait AT LEAST 6 weeks because the relaxin stays in your body for probably 3 - 5 months post baby.

You might try chiropractic. That helped ease the pain for me, a bit.

Hang in there! It sucks and makes pregnancy almost unbearable, but you'll be over the worst part soon and get to enjoy your little bean!

Good luck!

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