Friday, February 24, 2012

SPD in Pregnancy and What Worked for Me

About the 30 week mark the past two pregnancies, I start getting some pain in my left leg. It starts in the hip, down the thigh, and progresses until it reaches my foot. No position brings relief- sitting, standing, laying down. Sleep is elusive due to the discomfort. Walking is even worse. I believe this, my friends, is called Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction!

And yes, I totally self-diagnosed myself. Ha.

The only thing that differed for me from the general consensus, was that the SPD would resolve post partum. In my case with my son's pregnancy and birth, it did not. Despite regular chiropractic care and even a massage or two, nothing brought relief. It wasn't until I switched chiropractors when my son was about 9 months that things finally improved.

I was hoping with my daughter's pregnancy to avoid this again since we were still seeing the new Chiropractor. It was such a long time of being in pain and not functioning well with my son, we weren't eager to repeat it! Unfortunately it did kick in about the same time. But this time I decided come hell or high water, I'd be more proactive at trying things to keep it from spiraling out of control like it had before.

What did we do then and did it work?

Chiropractic, massage and acupuncture. And Yes. Thank heavens, it definitely worked. I'm pretty sure it was a combination of all three; however, the acupuncture is what really worked best in my case. Can't say I ever imagined I'd so willingly submit myself to a couple dozen needles, but the relief was so immediate! After the very first appointment I was able to get up off the table without pain. It really was amazing. And oddly relaxing; by the third appointment I was soundly snoozing through it all! Acupuncture was so beneficial, my husband and I decided to budget in a monthly appointment for me.

What's it like?

The needles are very, very thin. Like the width of a hair. You can't feel most of them. There was one on my back that was sore, but not excessively so. For my treatment, I laid on my side, on a table similar to a massage type table. It took about an hour. The needs were pre-sterilized and disposable. After removing the needles(you can't feel it) the doctor sort of shook/massaged my muscles a bit to get things moving. You can take a peek at my acupuncturist's clinic Here.

Since my own success with acupuncture, my mother in law has also gone in and found great pain relief in her neck and shoulders. Even my stepdad went in when he was struggling with his back! There are many things acupuncture can help with: insomnia, blood building, pain relief, fertility, etc. I don't really understand the whole Qi or meridian thing about how it works but figured it's been around long enough they must know what they are doing!

Which brings up another question- who in the heck first thought, 'Hey, I think I'll try sticking these needles here and see what happens.' And you Know those first needles were Not the width of a hair! Ha!

If you are so unfortunate to also experience SPD during or after pregnancy, I hope you are able to find relief whether it's through massage, chiropractic or acupuncture care. Take care of yourself!


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