lower back/sacral pain--advice please - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My sacrum is so unhappy. I am barely able to walk around the house . . . and it takes me forever to get anywhere because I'm having to take baby steps to (hopefully) avoid the sharp pains in my pelvis when I walk or move much at all. I'm 38 weeks this Friday and am stressing about not being able to walk . . . especially when I'm in labor. Went to a chiropractor yesterday and it seemed to help, a little. But today I'm feeling a little better (not quite so frozen up) and a little worse (the pain is on both sides, both sacraliliac joints, whereas yesterday and previous week it's been limited to one side). I don't know what else to do.

Anybody else go through something like this? And what did you do to relieve the pain or make it better so you could walk?

It's just so frustrating because it's spoiling all my plans to take daily walks with my 2yo and 4yo, as well as worrying me about being able to move when I'm laboring. :

Jen, mom of R (9), T (7), C (5), and E (2) ... my stillheart.gifs

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#2 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 11:07 AM
 
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I had this starting towards the end of the first trimester. One visit with the chiro won't do that much. You need to keep going. Remember that your joints are out of whack, and your muscles remember to keep them out of whack, so you need to get adjusted more than once before the muscles learn to stay in the new position. It took about 3 adjustments for me, and I was able to walk across the room at night to go to the bathroom (nighttime was the worst for me).

I'm 23 weeks now, and have been seeing my chiro twice a week, although this week I've gotten bumped down to once a week. Yipee! Sometimes the sacrum pain would switch sides, but mostly it stayed on one side. My chiro gave me two stretches to do and also told me to rub rub rub my round ligaments. When the round ligaments spasm, that can cause your sacrum to rotate. With pregnancy shifting things around, it's harder to keep everything lined up right. But chiro care is helped me SOOOO much. I can actually walk now without thinking the next step might be excruciating pain!

The stretches I was told to do... 1) Sit in a chair and put your left ankle on your right knee. Lean forward ever so slightly while pressing down on your left knee. You will feel a stretch along your thigh, but it also helps with the part above your pelvis in the back on the opposite side (ie, left leg up stretches right side). I don't usually feel the stretch back there, but it definitely helps with the pain, so I know it's working! After you do the left leg, switch to right leg. If your sacrum pain is on the right, you'll want to stretch your left leg a little more, and vice versa. It's the opposite side that's usually doing it (like when my left round ligament spasmed, it caused my sacrum to rotate and my pain would be on the right side)... 2) Step forward into a bit of a lunge, keeping both feet facing forward, and not letting your knee go past your ankle. Keep your upper body straight upright. You should feel a stretch in your lower belly when you do this. I think this was to help stretch the round ligaments, but I don't remember.

Also, when you're changing positions and such, do slow, deliberate movements. That will help prevent your round ligament from spasming. And rub rub rub those ligaments! I will often stand up and rub them right away for a minute to keep them loose.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#3 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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Great advice just wanted to add one stretch that has helped me. Get on all fours and stretch out the leg that hurts (or if it is on both sides do one at a time) straight back behind you. Then, keeping the leg straight but relaxed drop that hip towards the floor. Kinda relax that side of your behind and your hip will drop. Instant relief.

I also found laying on my side, knees bent, pillow between knees really helped.

I hope it helps - that pain is the worst.
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#4 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 11:51 AM
 
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Jen, I had this same excrutiating pain at around 30w along. I went to my regular chiro, who adjusted my ileum (sp?) when it was my sacrum that was the problem. WOW! I walked out feeling worse, and I even told him it felt worse.

Anyway, I looked up some chiros on the icpa website and found one near me and decided to see her. She spent a LOT of time with me, and told me that my sacrum was posterior rather than anterior and my L5 was turned to the left.

It took 4-5 adjustments, 2x week to resolve it (so about 2-1/2 weeks total) and I feel so good now. At it's worst, I couldn't carry my ds at all - not even to his bed when he fell asleep rocking or reading a book at night. It was miserable and I was SURE I'd end up on bedrest.

One thing that really helped me, was that after the first couple of treatments, I told her I felt better immediately then by the next day, started feeling the pain again. So, she used warm compresses on me for 15 minutes, then massaged all the muscles surrounding my lower back, buttocks area and then adjusted me by hand (manually) rather than use a drop and that's what worked.

This chiro told me that the muscles get used to a joint or bones being out of place and can help move the joint/bones back out of place unless they are retrained.

GL and I hope you get it resolved soon!

Steph, wife to C, mama to O :, E , and I :.
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#5 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 12:00 PM
 
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ITA with the stretching suggestions...ask your chiro for some stretches that will be suited to your situation. I switched from a chiro who was just doing quickie adjustments to one who worked with me on stretching after each adjustment and it's been much better for me. He says that the stretching will really help doing labor because it will prep the muscles and train them to be loose and supple.

Massage therapy also rocks!

Hope you start feeling better soon and have an easy labor...lower back pain is horrible.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the suggestions!!!!! I've been doing

I am going back to the chiro this afternoon (forgot to mention that above), but I have a feeling he's just a "let's do an adjustment and you can go" sort of guy. I'd really like to find someone who will spend some time and give me stretches or exercises I can do at home to make this better. But I don't think that's this guy. I may just have to blindly pick someone else who's in network with my insurance and try them out next week. I do know of someone who's great and am pining to go see her (I saw her 14 years ago and loved her--she's exactly what I want), but she's out of network for me and I have a $500 deductible that would have to be met before insurance coverage would kick in. I just cannot spend that kind of money when I can go see someone else who's in network for my thankfully low co-payment.

But I'm starting to feel as if I should try playing chiro-roulette to see if I can find someone in network who's more of what I need/want.

I will try those stretches you all described. Hopefully they will help too.

Thanks, mamas!

Jen, mom of R (9), T (7), C (5), and E (2) ... my stillheart.gifs

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#7 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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check here for a chiro that is trained in working with pregnant women and infants and children: www.icpa4kids.com

also see here for more suggestions (it's a page for pubic symphysis dysfunction and pain, but it's all in the same plane and region as the sacro-iliac joint): http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/pubicpain.htm

~claudia
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#8 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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I hear ya on the insurance. Unfortunately, my insurance plan SUCKS when it comes to chiro. I have a $300 major medical deductible, which has to be met before I can use *any* chiro. Then once I meet that, they pay 80%... BUT... it's only for up to 12 visits or $400. That $400 includes the deductible. : So... they are ending up paying a whopping $87.50. At least if we have any major medical stuff later this year, we've met the deductible already. Ugh. So yes, my care is pretty much coming out of pocket except for about 2 weeks of adjustments.

But definitely find a chiro who is good at doing pregnant women and kids. Do you know any crunchy moms? Or do you go to LLL meetings? Those are good places to look for referrals. Maybe someone will recommend someone in-network for you. My chiro is the only one in the area that I know of that's worth seeing. I ran into a lady at church at one of my appts, and she asked if this was the first chiro I'd been to. I said yes, and she said "You're lucky". She'd been through 5 chiros in the area that were quacks, and then finally found this one that really does good work. So I do recommend getting a recommendation from someone rather than just randomly picking someone. A bad chiro can injure you, as my DH keeps reminding me (he has a friend who has permanent back pain because of a bad chiro). DH is skeptical about chiros, but is ok with me going to this one since he trusts my judgement. He's not happy about the money issue, but we're working on that one. And he did say "You need this", when we were discussing the fact that we can't really afford it.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#9 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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I've been having this also, it's been worrying me too because of the whole thought of not being able to move during labor. And the constant pain even while laying down is reeeeeally draining. I started seeing a chiro that I found on the icpa4kids website, and that combined with the stretches is helping. I don't have insurance at all so thankfully they're giving me a discount... it's still hugely expensive, but it'll be well worth it to escape the constant pain and hopefully be better alligned for the birth though.
The stretches I'm doing are the "lunge" type one with my arms straight over my head to stretch the soas (sp?) muscle, and one on the floor with a leg bent in front to stretch the back of the leg and butt. I'm also icing. And swimming a lot to make up for not being able to walk.
My SPD improved after one adjustment but it's taking a lot more for the back. Oh and the "open knee chest" thing like you can find on spinningbabies.com really helps sometimes. Sometimes it's because the baby is in a poor position and that can help them float out and reposition a little.
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#10 of 11 Old 07-26-2006, 08:55 PM
 
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I had really bad sacral pain too. I was worried about what it would do to me during labor.

First off, waterbirth rocks for this very reason. It was super easy to move around in the tub. If you can swing this I highly recommend it!

During the pregnancy I was very conscious of the shoes I chose too. Very supportive very comfortable, and all the time. We have ceramic tile and walking on it without shoes totally killed me.

Yoga was also good for keeping things limber.

Good luck!
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#11 of 11 Old 07-27-2006, 12:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire

During the pregnancy I was very conscious of the shoes I chose too. Very supportive very comfortable, and all the time. We have ceramic tile and walking on it without shoes totally killed me.
aah yes, shoes are sooo important. After I ditched the first chiro and went to the 2nd who did more thorough work including stretches, he told me that I have flat feet and so basically when I walk my arch collapses, bringing my knees inward more. The strain from that affects the hips and back eventually. After I got a pair of supportive birkenstocks, my knee, hip, and lower back pain improved considerably. Prior to that I was laboring under the delusion that just because my naturalizer flats felt sooo comfortable to my feet that they were good for me.
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