Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Explanation for my Pain

Yesterday I was in severe pain. My sacrum, hips, and low back were in constant pain, and any time I tried to walk, bend down, or generally move, it was debilitating.

I've had pain like this with each pregnancy, but it's never happened as early as 12 weeks before, and so severely at that point. I know that the relaxin hormone is loosening my joints, and that has something to do with the popping in and out, and the pain.

I tried a lot of things to see what helped. I drank extra minerals in my water, and drank lots of water. I took an epsom salt bath. I later took a hot shower, on my hands and knees in the shower with the water aimed at my low back/sacrum while I did pelvic rock exercises.

I think I have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), and have had it with each pregnancy. There are no cures, but there are coping techniques.

  • Prenatal exercise: After my shower last night I did some stretches and tailor sitting on the floor, and it helped even more with the pain. If I strengthen the muscles that hold everything together it should help lessen the movement and discomfort. I hope to incorporate exercise and stretching into my daily routine.
  • A good supportive pregnancy belt: I have one that's essentially a 3 inch wide elastic band. I've worn it with each pregnancy, but it doesn't quite give enough support with the increased pain of each one. My sister has a better support belt she'll let me borrow. If it doesn't help enough then I'll look into other models. If any of you have suggestions of good supportive pregnancy belts, please feel free to share!
  • Regular chiropractic care: I had this for my second pregnancy and it did help. However, the relief was usually temporary and I had to go back a few times a week. The chiropractor taught me some really good stretches that I've used through each subsequent pregnancy.
  • Pain relief: I'm hoping to avoid medication. I plan on using hot and cold compresses instead, and sleeping with lots of pillows to support my joints.
  • Good nutrition: This something I was doing well at before I got pregnant. However, the constant hunger in the first trimester made me a lot less picky about what I ate. I need to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet, and I'm sure it will improve my overall health, even my muscles and joints. I'll continue taking my awesome nutritional supplements and drinking my water with minerals.
I'm sure there are other things that can help. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them. I can use as much information as I can get. I really need to feel better.


  1. I had SPD with my last two pregnancies and it got progressively worse with my third, starting at 16 weeks, and by mid-late pregnancy I could barely walk or get out of bed without being brought to tears by the horrible pain. I could quite literally hear my pubic bone grinding and popping, and that feeling was quite disgusting! My chiro did all she could, but it only bought slight temporary relief. What helped me the most was a SI brace that I tightened to the max. It wasn't comfortable, but anything beat that horrible feeling of "falling apart" down there.

  2. Chiro is the top on my list! :)

  3. I would highly recommend seeing a good physical therapist who specializes in women's health rather than, or in addition to, a chiropractor. Strengthening your pelvic floor and other surrounding muscles will be key to preventing excess instability of your joints, like you said. My husband is a PT and often treats pregnant women who can barely walk, and the best thing he recommends is to work-on holding a correct Kegel at ALL TIMES. Not just a bunch of reps, but literally work on contracting your pelvic floor every moment you can think about it. Not hard, just about 20% of the hardest you can contract, just enough to "turn it on". Anytime you lift, stand-up, walk, or bend especially, but work-on doing it at every possible moment you can think about it. According to him, that is the best thing you can do. (I know this because he gets onto me about it all the time!) =) Strengthening specific muscles that might be weak could help, too. Apparently my butt muscles are super weak and he says that's why I've had such bad hip pain this pregnancy, there's nothing supporting my relaxed joints. I'm sure a chiropractor can help temporarily, but I believe a GOOD physical therapist can give you more lasting tools to feel better. Good luck!!!! (I'm about to deliver hopefully this week, so I'll be glad when this is over!) =)

  4. Oh, SPD I have had a few moms with this. Here is some info I have on it! http://www.enjoybirth.com/faq-spd.html

  5. How funny that you posted this today. I think that this might be what is my problem too. This is my 3rd baby and I'm 21 weeks and I've never experienced pain like this before. I went to the Chiro and that helped. My midwife also suggested a support belt called "the prenatal cradle" it looks sort of ridiculous. I got the v2 supporter one because I also have varicose veins down under and it has really helped me a lot. Very much worth the money. thanks for posting this today. I was feeling really discouraged but it is nice to know that there are other women who have this and who make it through with normal deliveries!

  6. You might try eating more eggs? Have you seen this post: http://birthfaith.org/do-it-yourself/got-lecithin I don't know if it would help with this particular problem, but it's worth a try, I think! I hope you feel better soon!

  7. I had this so severely That my contractions at the end didn't touch the pain I had in my pelvis and hips it also started earlier in each pregnancy and got worse faster! Nothing I did helped. I had to sleep sitting up for 3 months because turning over from my side was unbearable and brought me to tears each time I had to do it!! Ugh! Good luck, I hope you find something that helps you get throuh it!!