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Has anyone else gotten arthritis in their pelvic joints when pregnant?

2450 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Kiki Runs
When I was pg w/baby #3, I developed this pain in my pelvic bone. My OB said that when the pelvis expands & becomes jointed, you can develop arthritis in the joints. She said when you are no longer pg & the pelvis again becomes fused the arthritis goes away. Well, I am 6 months pp & still having the pains, particularly if I am having a busy day, a stressful day, or on my feet a lot. (Once recently, I was reading a book of birth stories & my pelvis started screaming! It was like a labor flashback.

No one else I know has experienced this & I've never read about it on the boards. Anybody else out there w/this or w/any knowledge to share? I am starting to wonder is I should follow up w/my OB. I'm also wondering how long it will last & if this means I am a likely candidate for other forms of arthritis as I get older.

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I don't know about *arthritis* in the pubic bone, but I do know that it's easy for the cartilage in the pubic bone to separate. This is called symphisis pubis dysfunction. It is very, very painful and usually gets better after quite a while postpartum.

Here is the best source of information I've found on this topic - I also think chiropractic helps alot to align your spine and your whole pelvis, thereby perhaps reducing stress on the pubic bone:

I've had a few clients with this. We've used arnica both orally and topically, as well as ice packs, tylenol and rest. DO NOT MOVE THINGS WITH YOUR FEET!
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I also don't know about arthritis, but it certainly sounds like your OB is describing syphasis pubis dysfunction. As for it going away quite a while after birth - that has been my experience here! It got much better soon after birth, but I could still feel it with certain movements - most notably, crossing my legs (I ice skate and this is the first thing I noticed about 4 or 5 mos after delivery - cross-overs HURT) and rolling over in bed sometimes too. I am now 22 mos after delivery and it seems to almost be back to normal. Can you say "worried about having another"? Anyone else have experience with a pregnancy after having one with SPD?
I had this with 2 pregnancies! There is a chiropractic technique which may help. Also, the thing I found most helpful for me was some exercises an osteopath friend recommended. First, you sit in a chair with your knees bent at 90 degrees and feet resting comfortably on the floor, with knees apart. You need something to use for resistance - I found that a roll of toilet paper lengthwise worked well. You put the toilet paper roll between your knees and squeeze in steadily, for a count of 10 seconds. Then relax for 10-15 seconds and repeat. You do a set of 10. Then have someone strong place there hands outside your knees and squeeze outward against resistance for a count of 10 seconds, resting in between. Do a set of 10 outward, too. Aim for 3-4 times a day. Although it was quite uncomfortable to start, I found that strenghthening those muscles greatly reduced my pain.
Also, at night, take care to sleep with your spine as straight as possible. For most people side-lying with a pillow between the knees, and a small pillow for your head works well. Have someone help you, if possible, with that first roll out of bed in the morning, or when you get up to pee. Often that rolling motion is so painful!
The good news is that this pain was the worst with my 2nd pregnancy. I had it more mildly with my 3rd, and almost not at all with my 4th.
I was also in better physical shape when I conceived 3 and 4, running regularly before pregnancy, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but at least it's not inevitable to have with every pregnancy. When I had mild twinges of it with my last pregnancy, I found swimming often eased the discomfort, particularly swimming breast stroke.
Hope you feel better soon!
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I did not have the SPD that pamamidwife described, but with my second baby, I pulled a muscle, the psoas and the piriformas muscle (a rotator muscle) on the left side. I went to the chiropractor which helped, but not completely. I rode a ten speed bicycle and a Lifecycle level 6 for the duration of the pregnancy for aerobic exercise. I credit the exercise and the chiropractics for getting me through nine hours of a posterior labor with a deflexed head and acynclytism at home with no other complications. I went to the gym the same day. However, I sometimes do have the pain return when the weather is cold and moist or if I am very tired.

As for arthritis, as I understand the disease, the pregnant body produces hormones which cause the disease to go into remission for the duration of the pregnancy; cortisone is a widely used treatment for arthritis. I have known many women whose arthritis was relieved during pregnancy, only to return with the birth of the baby.

I had stiffness and pain suggestive of arthritis in my cervical spine until I had my last baby, and it never returned to the degree it was before my last pregnancy, twelve years ago. I never had it diagnosed as anything but stress, but it has not returned.

Hope you feel fine soon - that is so bad to care for a little one and have pain also!
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Thank you for the speedy replies everyone! And thank you for the web site mamamidwife. That answered a lot of my questions. Phewww, I guess I am not alone.
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Ugh, I had that. Feeling much better now, 7 months pp.
Chiropratic & cranial sacral therapy helps. And I 2nd Pam, don't move things with your feet!!!
Both my parents have arthritis and I haven't been diagnosed but I think I have a mild case of it with occasional flareups. During my 1st pregnancy my hips and knees hurt so bad I was on crutches for a couple of weeks. I've found that controlling my weight (while not preggo/nursing of course) and regular exercise have helped greatly with keeping my joints as pain free as possible. During pregnancy, check with your doc about safe exercises etc to do. Exercise during my pregnancies did seem to help a lot

There is a great magazine called "Arthritis Today" that you may want to subscribe to if you are a regular arthritis sufferer. Its for all ages and I've seen pregnancy articles in it. Try going to the library for back issues too
I have suffered from SPD for all four pregnancies, beginning like clockwork at 8 weeks. Ow, does it hurt! Absolutely miserable.
I always felt like I was complaining about something that is just a "normal part of being pregnant", and one day a couple years ago I stumbled across that same website that Pamela posted, and it was like "Halleluja! Now I KNOW I'm NOT crazy!"

For me, it goes away within a day or so after birthing, so I'm lucky!
I tried treating it with physical therapy througout pg #1, but it didn't do a thing.
I hear that the Webster technique, when preformed correctly by a chiro, can do great things for the pain.

Originally Posted by 3under3
I always felt like I was complaining about something that is just a "normal part of being pregnant",
Yes, and this was exactly how my OB treated me, too. Never mind the fact that I literally could not move without excruciating pain (after being on my feet for very long at all).

[QUOTE-3under3]I tried treating it with physical therapy througout pg #1, but it didn't do a thing.[/QUOTE]

Oh, my word....I also was prescribed PT during my pregnancy, and went to 2 sessions. The physical therapist was intent on teaching me the "right" way to vacuum and mop my floors, while I could barely even hobble through the doors. :LOL Lady, housework is the LAST thing on my mind!! I went back to the second session and she said "So, how are those exercises going?" WHAT exercises?!? Vacuuming?'s not!

I'm working on getting in shape now for the next time, and will be sure to give myself plenty of rest! Oh, and ITA w/Pam's advice not to move things with your feet. I'm 14 mos pp now, and if I shove heavy things around, I still get twinges. Be smart about your body, and don't be afraid to just take it slow.

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