Pregnancy insider blog
I've had increased pain in my hips, buttocks and lower back which is particularly bad after spending time in static positions. I mentioned it to the midwife at my 16 week appointment who gave me a handout about common pregnancy related back pain. It included things like standing and sitting posture, sleeping position, how to get in and out of bed, bending and lifting. These are all things I'm really mindful and cautious about already as I try really hard to look after my back. The suggested exercises are all things I do already as part of my yoga and pilates classes and just as general stretches, so I felt a bit defeated as to what I could do next.
I think I tried to ignore it for a while, hoping it would get better – wishful thinking!
A colleague at work who is 3 months ahead of me in her pregnancy has really suffered with back and pelvic pain and she told me that I could self refer to the physiotherapy service and that the number was on the back of my maternity notes – winner! I just wish my midwife had told me this a few weeks back.
Being able to self refer yourself is great as it means you get seen super quickly. Have I found a perk to being pregnant?! I left a message on an answer phone, was called two days later at 10am and asked if I could come in at 11:30 – whilst that is what you may call service, when you're at work with a packed schedule I couldn't just drop everything and go! They offered me an early morning appointment on the Friday instead which was much more convenient and still only three days away.
The physio was lovely and specialised in women’s health meaning she was well used to treating pregnant ladies
She was really careful to go through my past history and did a really thorough examination of all my movements and joints. The good news was that she thought the pain I was experiencing was more pregnancy related than to do with a flare up of my disc problem. I was really relieved by this as it caused me so many complications last year, I really wasn't sure I could cope with that again on top of being pregnant.
She gave me some exercises to do to keep my back supple and also to strengthen my glutes which are really weak as a result of my disc injury.
She also suggested I get up at work every 15 minutes (easier said than done!) and do some pelvic tilts – which cause everyone in the office great amusement!
As I walk to work everyday (35 mins each way) she gave me a belt to wear to support my lower back and also give support to my growing bump. Whilst it does feel supportive, by the end of 35 mins it feels uncomfortable. I've been using it on and off over the last week or so and can't make up my mind whether it's worth using or not so I might seek further advice on that. I really want to keep walking for as long as possible but the physio did say that walking may aggravate my symptoms. At the same time they encourage you to carry on being active for as long as possible so I suppose it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons as time goes on and seeing if that leads me to taking the bus eventually!
Lower back and 'pelvic girdle pain' affect over 50% of women in pregnancy apparently, so it is pretty common. Yet another fun thing for us pregnant ladies to have to contend with! It'll all be worth it in the end – I'm sure!