Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some painful acronymns to ponder



SPD, symptomis pubic dysfunction, and PGP, pelvic girdle pain, previously thought to be two separate conditions, are now apparently the same thing. This pregnancy-induced pain (caused by the hormone relaxin relaxing the ligaments connecting the pelvic bones TOO much) has been recognized since the time of Hippocrates. But my favorite quote on it is this one from the 17th century:

The affection appears to consist of relaxation of the pelvic articulations, becoming apparent suddenly after parturition or gradually during pregnancy and permitting a degree of mobility of the pelvic bones which effectively hinders locomotion and gives rise to the most peculiar and alarming sensations.
—Snelling (1870)

Please excuse me, it's just that I have a peculiar and alarming sensation in my pelvis.

Personally, I don't care what they want to call it or what funny adjectives are used to describe it, it is what I have. Pelvic Pain. Imagine you got alternating sharp, stabby pains, and a dull, constant achy pain in a single spot directly at the top and center of your (low-rise) panty line. That is what I have. To prevent it I can only sit in very specific ways (no crossed legs, ankles or knees, back straight but not too straight, knees lower than hips, feet flat on the ground), I can only walk/shuffle at an honest-to-goodness-that-IS-an-old-lady-with-a-cane-passing-me speed,  I have to take stairs very gently and at very, very "excuse me ma'am are you alright?" speeds, I can't stand for longer than 5 minutes, I have to wear orthopedic inserts or Birkenstocks even at home (good bye to my collection of cute flats and boots!), I can't swim, do yoga or any kind of exercise, and I can't walk/shuffle for more than 10 minutes at time (which given my speed is about 100 feet.)

If there weren't a cute little bundle of joy at the base of all this I might be pretty mad.

Although apparently it doesn't help matters that said cute little bundle of joy is already sitting quite low with his head providing my very sore and tender and over-stretched pelvis with more pressure. But at least (knock on wood) he isn't breech!

Least I scare my friends into thinking that they want no part of pregnancy after reading my pelvic pain lament, rest assured, it usually happens only to those who are uber-flexible to begin with. (To give you some basis of comparison, I can go into a back-bend from standing. Without warming up or anything.) The horomone relaxin (which is SUPPOSED to loosen your pelvic joints so that baby's head can come out!) just loosens things up TOO much in those of us who are naturally already really, really flexible. But if you want to try and prevent it, then make sure you do lots of pilates BEFORE you get pregnant. That way you'll have a really strong core that can compensate for your failing pelvic ligaments and help keep your pelvis secure and in alignment. Regularly doing Kegel exercises would also help. But again, starting before pregnancy. I'm not a doctor but this is what my osteopath told me (who, errr, is also not a doctor.) But it makes good sense, and doing pilates regularly is a good thing for anybody! Yoga on the other hand.... not good for those who are already too flexible. Sad face for me because I loved yoga. Sad face. Oh well. I highly recommend yoga to everyone else though! Great for the mood and the body and the soul. Breathe in for five counts... one... two... three... four... five...

I imagine my pelvic pain floating away...

Ouch! Just tried to cross my legs... pelvic pain is definitely still a resident here. And probably will remain so until two weeks after the arrival of baby boy.

But I'm at 32 weeks! only 6-8 more to go!!!!!!!

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