02
Dec

Me and my pregnancy-induced Osteitis Pubis: a novel.

You’ll hear women start many a sentence like this when they’re pregnant: “No one tells you that….”

Could be the fact you will snore. You will get fat fingers. You will go up a shoe size and may never come back down. You will enjoy far better treatment at airports. You will get small skin tags on your neck.

But what I didn’t realise was that your body might buckle a bit. Seems obvious now, but as a rookie, I had no idea. I probably didn’t help things much by being a wild woman on book tours and doing events and launching a skin care line just as things (my belly) were getting super big. But life doesn’t stop just cos you are up duff. In fact, quite the opposite. I felt compelled to finish EVERYTHING before my teeny dancer arrived.

HOW I ENDED UP ON CRUTCHES WHEN HEAVILY PREGGO

I now know many pregnant women have pelvis or pubic symphysis issues (such as SPD) but I didn’t know what my these things were or did before I fell pregnant. My own dang sister had these issues and I had no idea! But the weight of a baby plus special pregnancy hormones can mess shit up, so I wanted to write about my experience in the hope that others need not go down the same path. I think once we women have the baby we kind of forget about our pregnancy issues and don’t tell our pregnant lady friends to be aware that it can get bad and to keep an eye on it.

I won’t bore you with the details, except for this whole post, where I will bore you with the details. (I LOVED reading big long stories like this when I was researching my injury, I would voraciously inhale every detail in the hope it would help or relate to me. So, feel absolutely free not to read on if this topic has absolutely nothing to do with you. Bye babe. Love you!)

So… It began back in the summer of 2014, when the melodious strains of Avicii’s Wake Me Up had domination on the wireless and ice cream was popular. I was in my second trimester and started to feel:

  • A niggling ache in my left hip region
  • Worsening pain when I walked
  • Sore pelvis/groin something-in-that-area
  • Pain when sitting
  • Like some more chocolate, actually

For the most part, I just tropped on like a fool, assuming the baby weight was making stuff sore, but that was standard. As it got worse I had some physio and did some clinical pilates, and I did my pelvic floor exercises, wore support shorts, and even switched physios, but opposing opinions and, I think, a general ambivalence about the enormous array of issues under the umbrella term, ‘pelvic instability’ and the expectation of loosey-goosey joints that stem from all the relaxin shuffling through your body during pregnancy led to nothing much being done, except being told to stop lifting stuff, no walking for longer than necessary and no more exercising.

I get the sense a lot of preggos get these sort of pains and they are told the same thing, but I urge you to keep getting treatment and consider a new health professional if you’re not getting any relief or it gets worse or spreads. I left it too long and paid the price. (Approx $4.95.)

The pain got far worse as the weeks went on, it was now in my groin and back, and once I realised I was limping non-stop (around 34 weeks) I saw a third physio, who immediately put me on crutches for the last five weeks of my pregnancy, which sucked a doz. (Some women are given wheelchairs, so I got off lightly.) (Also: Imagine being on crutches plus pregnancy plus having other children! Christ on a cracker!)

 

CrutchesMe on crutches. Thankfully the filthy paps were there to document it. Phew!
(Hair looks shit cos it was in the setting phase of keratin smoothing. Beanie worn to hide it. Beanie ride up and become gnome hat. No hands free to tug it down. Good fun.)

I assumed once my baby was out the issue would rack off, (like my gestational diabetes did – magic! ) but it didn’t, it became inflamed again within a couple of weeks. I noticed I was limping again after something as nothingy as a walk around the block to get some fresh air, I got very shirty indeed, and my husband and I asked everyone in the world we knew who could help. Professional athletes and personal trainers especially. (Bakers and hairdressers not so much.) I dearly wished to roam the streets with Sonny for sanity and exercise and to buy more cake.

NO TO PHYSIO, YO TO OSTEO

I had a bad taste in my mouth from physios so I decided to try an Osteo by the name of Daniela Distefano in Bulleen (Melbourne). I’d been recommended her as she specialises in pregnancy and paediatric Osteo. Long story short, Daniela is absolutely phenomenal and I pretty much attribute my recovery to her. Dan and I have become friends, we gossip about Survivor endlessly, and we both know all the words to every TLC song. See her if you live in Melbourne and have these kind of issues, whether pregnant or post-partum or whatever. She’ll kill me for that cos she is already booked solid until 2089 but I love recommending good things and people.

From having never tried osteopathy, I am now evangelical. Dan quickly got me getting X-rays and MRIs etc and as she suspected, it was chicken pox. No, wait. It was Osteitis Pubis, a chronic pubic condition caused by inflammation of the pubic symphysis (the joint between the left and right pubic bones), erosion of the joints, and calcification of the muscles joined to it. Also had fracture of the left pubis and tendinitis of the adductors and glutes blah blah blah. Osteitis pubis is a common overuse injury in runners and AFL footballers, which figures since I kicked heaps of footballs ’round while preggo. It’s complicated to treat though, the pelvic girdle and surrounds is so brilliant and complex and so much of the body’s movement stems from it.

Pelvicgirdle

Using soft tissue, myofascial release, muscle energy techniques and articulation, Dan has helped me get movement back in the pubic symphysis and greatly improve the biomechanics of my pelvis and lower back. I began complementing this with weekly Myotherapy sessions (very strong, uncomfortable sports massage), with Rick Saunders in Richmond. This helped with the crazy tightness, and the strengthening exercises he gave me to do each day (to open the hips and strengthen the glutes) have helped loads. His philosophy: it’s an instability issue. What’s the opposite of unstable? Strong. So make it strong, woman!

People with OP get very, very down about it, because it can take a very, very long time to heal, and may never heal, in fact. I was in a bit of a dark place one day, suffering cabin fever and unable to walk without pain even upstairs to put Sonny down for his naps, (holding his delicious, pudgy frame was “unadvisable” in general because it inflamed things … I’m all like, yo, have you seen him? He’s impossible not to hold and squish) so I went into Nuclear Google Mode, which is like normal Googling, but with desperation, caffeine and no set time limit on finding what you want.

THE MAGIC MAN

After hours on far too many AFL and running forums I discovered Garry Miritis, who is known for “curing” OP. He was Cathy Freeman’s masseuse her entire career and is very OP-focused. People have flown from all over the world to have him treat / fix their OP. I’d read he was no longer practicing because he’d had surgery on his hands and back, but piffed him an email all the same. He called me and offered me a massage that weekend. I was SO, EXCITED. Fixed? Really? In one massage? Shut your big gorgeous mouth.

I went to his home in suburban Melbourne and had the most painful ‘sports massage’ one can probably have and it still be legally called a massage and not ‘torture’. Garry is a lovely, kindhearted, generous, wise, inspiring man who should not still be doing treatments due to ongoing hand and back surgeries, and does very few of them in fact (he took pity on me being in so much pain with a new baby, for which I am very grateful) which is a crying shame, because he has a very, very special gift. He spent 12 years perfecting his osteitis pubis treatment, nay, fix in which he manipulates and pushes the pubic symphysis back into alignment. This has resulted in professional athletes getting back on the field after being told their career was over, and mums going on to have three or four kids with no further pubis issues. I must have asked him at least 10 times, “You ARE training someone in this, right?” but he would just laugh. Oh, Garry.

osteitis_pubis

In the days following Garry’s work, I felt incredible. I dared to believe I was healed, (the mind is a big player in chronic injury, something Garry is very adamant about) but when the pain snuck back in, I requested one more treatment. Gaz obliged and the same thing happened again, after a few PAIN FREE!!!!!! days, a niggle came back, but in a new area, up higher, on the iliac crest. Two weeks later I saw Dan The Osteo, and while Garry had done incredible things for my PS and pelvic floor and adductors, because of the very rapid, strong change to the biomechanics of my pelvis and hips, the surrounding joints and ligaments had decompensated, because they were so used to holding the fort while my pubic symphysis was out of whack, that when it went so rapidly back into whack, they toppled over in exhaustion. It was pain, but it was progress pain. Huzzah!

Obviously it’s shitty of me to talk up Garry because as I mentioned, he is not taking new clients (especially since he has just undergone more surgery) but there are others around with OP specialisation, and they are the ones you need if you have OP. Not others, them. Because OP is highly specialised.

WHERE IT’S ALL AT NOW

That was three months ago and despite a much better sacroiliac joint (lower back) and stronger glutes I still have pain each day around my iliac crest, hips and groin, and the inflammation worsens with bad weather (really!) period pain (unfair!) and overuse (IKEA visits!) but it is much, much better. I have some hip bone stuff I’ll need to keep an eye on but with strength I should be able avoid that worsening.

I now only see Dan every 2-3 weeks, and Rick every now and then. I get acupuncture and massage when possible. I can walk for about an hour without pain. No running yet. I do my strengthening exercises and stretches and all that boring stuff every second day, but it’s that boring stuff that is working.

Soon, SOON, I will be back to the dang gym! A year after farewelling its sweet, sweaty walls.

THESE THINGS HELPED

  • Theraband exercises and stretches given to me by Osteo
  • Wearing Solidea compression shorts during pregnancy, and their recovery shorts for six weeks after birth.
  • Heat packs.
  • Pelvic floor exercises. You know the ones.
  • Regular Sports massage by a gun massage therapist.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Putting shoes on while seated.
  • One at a time up stairs.
  • Not aggravating things by walking around Baby Bunting to try and finish the nursery.

THESE THINGS DIDN’T

  • Ke$ha
  • Cornflakes
  • Puppies
  • Bubble blowing

Apologies for the essay. I guess the headline is that you mustn’t tough it out assuming it’s “normal” to feel incredible pain when you’re preggo or post-partum, or be afraid to try a new specialist or a new kind of specialist if you have pain that isn’t getting any better. I highly recommend that whoever you see specialises in pregnancy issues, too. Don’t just suck it up. I did. Silly. And don’t assume it will rack off once you’re post-partum: your body is still behaving like it’s pregnant for quite some time after giving birth.

Fun fact: My OB-GYN told me that while you still have the dark line going down your tummy, your body is still very much in ‘pregnancy mode’ and the relaxin is still flowing.

Unfun fact: The dishes need doing.

What did you wish you’d known about pregnancy? Or, more importantly, what would you like to warn other preggos about?

Aside: Hypoxi has been my saving grace while I have not been able to exercise. I signed on as ambassador while still pregnant and could have had no idea how much I would rely on it once Sonny was out and I was cleared to get on the machines. (I had to wait until Dan was happy with the inflammation levels of my pubis – around 12 weeks post-partum.) Even just that 30 mins light pedalling felt fantastic. PLUS I get toned without doing a zillion lunges. PLUS it firmed me up and I lost weight. PLUS, it means I know it works, cos I got results without any complementary exercise. Win win winnnn!

 

Responses to this drivel: 96 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 96 )
  • Jen

    OP sounds like it sucks beyond all other pregnancy-related fashiz.  One thing I didn’t know was the possibility of pregnancy-related carpel tunnel.  Night after night I’d wake up with my hands clenched, in tears from the pain.  I’d move to the couch and rub those little mitts until I was so tired I’d fall back asleep.  Benefit – I became an expert in night-time telly.  Again, this is something my sister had and I didn’t pay attention – silly Bridget.  Again, don’t wait for treatment – get a pair of sexy wrist braces asap and between the braces, the snoring, the too-small boxer shorts you’ll feel a million bucks.  If only someone had told me this earlier…

    • zoe foster blake

      YES! Carpal tunnel! I had minor case of this also. Sucks, huh. See? Already forgetting all the things…

      • Lisa Cook

        I read your story about Osteitis Pubis and felt I should share my own struggle as I think it will help you. 
        While pregnant with my daughter I started getting this horrific pinching pain in my groin as I walked, moved or did anything upright. It got worse like yours as my pregnancy continued. Some two and a bit years after having my little Angel and the problem going from left groin to both in the worst possible pain I have ever experienced in my life I was a wreck. I would tell my partner if we where ever in a Zombie Apocalypse I would be the first one eaten because I could barely walk let alone run lol.  
        Anyway getting to the point. Numerous doctors and physio appt and no diagnoses or improvement. 
        I came across my cure purely by monitoring my own body and frequency of pain. You see I noticed that around my period and for about a week afterwards I was in extreme pain and when not bleeding it would not be as severe or not present. Bad for me because I had issues with bleeding every two weeks, which is why it took my such a long time to see the connection. 
        In the end I tried many things to stop my period all together and the Implanon was a winner. Pain free for 5 months until I decided to get it taken out for baby number 3. So SURPRISE, I’m in pain again from about 16 weeks. 20 weeks now and I know it will only get worse. Finally have my diagnosis though, hence how I came across your story. 
        Honestly nothing else worked. It is completely hormone related or at least it is for me. 
        I would be very interested to hear if after tracking your cycle you discover the same thing. I’m really not Joking. No period=completely pain free. 

        • Sabrina G

          I can see that this post was written long ago, but I am experiencing the same thing right before the period. Doctors are not helping. I was only told it’s inflammation since thats what showes on x ray. Please get in contact with me if you see this message. Please, please. I’d like to know if it ever went away. 

    • Michelle McShane

      Hi there, thank you so much for writing this. Until now I thought no one understood my pain! I see this article was written a few years ago & I was just wondering how things are for you now with pain. I recently had a bone scan & it looks like osteitis pubis. I had terrible pain during pregnancy & after my second birth which was 6 years ago & I’m still getting pain. I’ve been undiagnosed the whole time even after all the tests in the world. All the research shows it’s a short term pain for people but for me sadly it’s still there. Thanks in advance. Michelle 🙂

    • Jaymie

      Oh I have had SPD with all three pregnancies. It is excruciating, and I also got such BAD carpel tunnel with my first! Thanks for writing this article – I swear people who haven’t had SPD/OP have no clue how painful it makes just surviving pregnancy! The things we do for those divine squishy bundles of cuteness huh!

  • Prilly

    I’m so feeling you, Zoë! I’m 24 weeks along with twins & have both DSP & SPD & it’s AGONY! Currently being ‘held together’ with latex & Velcro 24/7. I can’t tell you how awesome it is in this heat! 

  • Fox

    My first “I wish I’d known” story is about bleeding during pregnancy. Gross! But… during my pregnancy, an obstetrician said I was due for a pap smear and I bled afterwards. I was upset and freaked out, and was assured that nothing was wrong. A week later, I bled more. I was terrified and thought I was having a miscarriage, and went to Emergency. A bunch of tests later… including an ultrasound… I was released and told the baby was OK. It was about as reassuring as a bunch of sinister turnips. Anyway – later, I found out that bleeding during pregnancy is really common, and usually nothing to freak out about. I wish I’d known. 

    My second story is about labour and having an advocate. I was in so much pain by the time I got to hospital (when contractions were 3 minutes apart), I couldn’t even think. I was offered gas and “there’s the bathroom, you can have a warm shower.” I was crying out from the pain; the gas didn’t really help; I couldn’t spell my name let alone get into a shower. Bah! Fortunately my boyfriend was my advocate, and asked me if I would like an epidural, and when I said YES, he repeated my request to the staff. The epidural worked, my pain disappeared, and I was able to think again. I wish I’d known that the hospital wouldn’t offer an epidural; we had to request one ASAP.

    My third story is about a little thing called a post-dural-puncture headache (see Wikipedia). After the birth, I had aches and pains all over, including strong pain around my neck, head, upper back and upper arms, but I thought that it must be part of the post-birth experience. I told the hospital staff about it, and they reacted as though it was to be expected, and gave me paracetamol. Days passed… and the aches and pains continued, and were exacerbated whenever I stood up, sat up, or walked around. At home, I was essentially confined to bed, and it was very hard to care for my bub. Eventually I went to the GP, then to Emergency, and was booked in for a second epidural which would hopefully fix the side-effects of the first one. And in the end? Coffee saved the day. Apparently caffeine works as a solution for some people, so I had coffee in the hospital (the day before the second epidural) and an hour later, I was able to stand and walk again. (!!) Gosh darn, I wish I’d known about the PDPH and I wish someone had encouraged me to have some coffee much earlier on. 

  • Laura

    Reading this post made me feel approximately 38% less crap about my current situation, which although not strictly caused by pregnancy, has none the less landed me in a dilly of a pickle.  Last month i completely wrecked my knee during a hike when i was 6 weeks pregnant.  Every health professional i’ve seen (and there have been many) has a different opinion on when to have surgery.  The idea of going under the knife whilst cooking up an infant is terrifying, but the alternative of limping around on a painful, swollen, unstable, unbending knee for the next 6 to 12 months seems (almost but not quite) equally horrific.  Especially now since all i want to eat is nandos chips and most forms of physical activity are near impossible and my growing infant is no longer the size of a sesame seed= impending giganticness= increased chance of knee completely disintegrating into a pile of ligament dust and bone crumbs

  • Teresa Romeo

    My son is now 4 and I am still having issues with pain in my pelvis and all related areas. Of the numerous physio’s, chiro’s, massage therapists and the like that I’ve seen no one has even mentioned OP but my symptoms sound amazingly similar to yours. I’m moving to Brisbane from Darwin in a couple of weeks so if anyone has recommendations for someone good that can treat this in Brisbane I’d love to know. 

    • Amy

      Teresa, if you’re still looking for someone in Brisbane try Junction Road Physiotherapy in Clayfield. They specialise in this area and have been great for me in my recovery. It’s still ongoing at 9 months post birth but there is progress with each visit. Highly recommended! 

  • Megan

    Great article! It really is such an issue after the baby is out  that’s what has thrown me this time around with number 2. I had major problems with SIJ and I am still dealing with it and my bouncing baby boy is 8 months! I am a huge fan of Osteo’s but the sessions are so painful. Just finished breast feeding so hoping that I can get the relaxin finally out of my system and get nice and strong. On another note I have been a massive fan for a long time and was/still am obsessed with Amazing Face and now GO-TO. I really have loved following you being a mum though, maybe because my boy is about the same age but it’s really nice to see mum’s enjoying motherhood. My god it’s tough at times but it is also so funny and gorgeous and an unbelievably precious time when they are young 🙂 

    • Kidi

      Thanks for sharing your story! I hope all is well with you! I also wanted to reach out becuase I know who has been suffering of the same condition due to pregnancy. Her pain has been back and forth for over 2 years. Since your article was published, was there another treatment apart from what you’ve written on this article that you found out? Will really like to hear your insights! Thank you again

  • Tara Mahoney

    Thanks for being so open and sharing your story! I had SPD with my first pregnancy but it didn’t develop until week 27 or so. This time around I’m at 21 weeks and already in a stupid amount of pain and so frustrated because I have spent the last 12 months trying to strengthen the area with yoga but I’m still in this position!

    And you are right in your imaginings, I’m not on crutches but second time around it is so much harder to cope with because I have a 2 year old who needs me to do things and carry her and lift her and it’s just not an option to leave her fend for herself 🙂

    Thanks for the compression shorts recommendation. I’m struggling with the belt/brace I’ve been given what with it being summer and the least flattering item I could conceivably wear.

    Fingers crossed your treatment keeps going well! 

  • Rachael Needle

    Sciatica, the bastard. And not ‘slightly achy, little pinchy, sciatica’. I mean ‘Bullshit Sciatica’. The worst part is that poor preggos are limited with what pain relief they can use. But you are so right, so many women just put up with horrid pregnancy complaints because they think they have to. It is such great advice to seek help and one I tell all the lovely women I get to meet (I’m a midwife!) after I have finished hugging and crying with them because sometimes being preggo sucks balls! Sending lots of positive healy and strengthening vibes to you, Zoe. Chronic pain is a bitch and hard to understand unless you have been or are going through it. xx

  • Monica

    This sounds similar to what I experienced in my pregnancy. Mine came about from doing breaststroke in the pool (which everyone told me how bad it was after I did it for several weeks). My attempts to stay fit for the baby-labour-marathon led me to pain in the pubic area and advice from the doctor to “keep my legs closed”. Which is quite the challenge when you have a watermelon in your tummy!! I’m 7 weeks post partum now and pain is a lot better although if I do too much walking it does sneak back. It’s a hard balance cause you want to get back to normal weight and tone but you also have to look after your body when it’s telling you your over doing it! 

  • Joslyn

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend Zoe. One thing I had never heard of was PUPPP (Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy) which you can sometimes get towards the end of pregnancy,  however I was lucky enough to develop it after giving birth! Your body is covered in bumpy red welts and itches so crazy you think you are going insane! It’s horrid! 

  • Melissa @ The Other Side of Forty

    Great and informative article Zoe. I was one of those poor souls on crutches pregnant with my third (I’ve blocked most of that time out of my memory). 6 years later (where the hell did that time go) I still have a few hip issues but I manage it with regular clinical Pilates, regular Chiro treatment, massage, no running and Pinot Grigio! Good luck with your recovery and give that gorgeous Bub of yours a squish for me!

    • Li-Ann

      Melissa, thank you for your sense of humour (I love the Pinot Grigio method!). It’s heartening to see other people deal with it so positively– I had hoped mine would resolve post-birth but it didnt– just trying to do this with a big smile now. 

  • Sarah

    Hi! My gahhhhhd I love reading your pregnancy posts Zoe. I’m a somewhat new midwife and I appreciate how refreshingly honest you are about pregnancy without completely bagging the whole thing as shit and hard. Because it can be shit and hard but it is pretty coooooool and amazing too. 
    Thanks for the insight into your experience with OP, I haven’t seen it before so I’ll be super onto it now and everyone will think I’m, like, so great even if I am new and always forget where the sticks you pee on are kept.

  • kasie

    Oh Zoe, i feel your pain. I also have pregnancy/birth induced OP after my having my first child three years ago. The pain is just indescribable and no one really seems to understand, its not something you can see or even really explain properly. Ive heard of Garry through reading the injury update forums but heard he wasn’t practicing anymore, you’re so lucky to have been treated by him! Im currently undergoing prolotherapy to try and fix this horrible injury but i don’t hold out much hope. It is quite possibly the worst pain you could imagine but apparently it works so time will tell. Lets hope we both find a cure x

  • Tam

    Oh boy this sounds so similar to my pregnancies! I absolutely hated being pregnant, with ridiculous all day sickness the whole way, I also had pelvic issues which were excruciating. I couldn’t lift my older boy, do the groceries and should have had crutches too 2nd time around although they just weren’t practical while looking after a 3yo. I was also lucky enough to end up with gallstones this time which flared up after birth and also excruciating. After 6 months, I had my gallbladder removed and at 9months now have just attempted the cross trainer at the gym with minimal pain after!! Yaay! No more kids for me 🙁 

  • Kasia

    Zoe, thank you! I haven’t had OP (thankfully, sounds so awful), but I’m 31wks and have had a Patulous Eustacian Tube (irritating inner ear thing that causes my breath and voice to echo back to me) since 8wks. I was tough for too long and after many episodes of insanity I finally got it seen to. I wasn’t taken seriously in my little Central Australian town, so gave up. But after your essay I’m inspired to take my health into my own hands and persevere.
    Today, I google! 
    Best of luck with your recovery x

    • zoe foster blake

      And thank Google for that. What a marvellous move. Look after yourself! 

    • Bek

      ohmygosh Kasia – I had that TOO in pregnancy!! Absolutely drove me crazy! I never knew what it was called, or that it was a ‘thing’…. Huh. 

      The good news is it went away as soon as I had my baby, and I didn’t get it with my second pregnancy! *phew*

      Good luck!

  • Ria

    OP is awful! I’m currently 33 weeks and I’ve finally got the compression shorts which are helping, but not solving everything. 
    The hardest thing is to stop – really stop and take it easy when there is work to do and dishes to wash and Christmas shopping etc…
    I’m really concerned about my next few weeks and the lead up to birth cos I don’t want this getting worse.
    Thanks for the tips Zoe they really help,as does reading someone else’s story.
    xx

  • Jana

    I hear you sista(s)! I too had (Google diagnosed) SPD which worsened in my third trimester. Going to the bathroom every morning at 3am meant I had to begin the process of rolling over (lots of clicking and cracking of pubic bones) and sitting myself up at 2.30 am just to make it to the bathroom (which was 5m away) by 3 am. Hand prints still remain on the wall where I’d hold myself up by taking one step at a time. I think my record was 20 mins round trip one morning.
    And yes the beloved carpal tunnel which was fantastic whilst working on a PC every day. My handwriting suffered, though, I did manage to experience the perks of writing like a Dr for a change – I just couldn’t make out what I’d transcribed.

    Also had issues with my coccyx (still do) and my butt has never recovered as every time I sit down its like sitting on a bag of bones. No more hard surfaces, cushions come with me everywhere I go. Ahh the joys of pregnancy and motherhood!

  • Emma

    Did any of your specialists mention issues if you want to have another child at some point? I had some pelvic pain/issues and my in and a few people told me it would be worse if I had a second pregnancy :-/

  • Daniela Grech

    Oh Zoe, I hear you!
    I suffered with pubic symphysis with all 3 of my pregnancies, but severely worse with my last child (Ruby, 3, gorgeous blue eyes – is Sonny into older babes? They should totes hook up). I slept on my recliner lounge for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy because I literally couldn’t get out of bed.
    I had regular chiro visits, physio, pilates and acupuncture and nothing helped. Wish I thought to try Osteo at the time.
    If I ever decided to have a 4th child (first I’ll have my IUD removed, stop taking the pill, have my husband reverse his vasectomy and stop using condoms), I’d definitely look into Osteo and a specialist sports masseuse for relief.
    Love your blogs and your instagrams posts. Especially about Sonny (did I mention I have a really cute 3 year old…? Okay, enough with the creepy baby match-making).
    Daniela x (with one L – like your OSTEO. I get called “Dan” too – not Dani – unless you want a finger in your eye). 

  • Marisa

    Hi Zoe!

    I just went to the physio for the first time yesterday through my hospital (27 ish weeks preggo). Was told I have inflamed bits and bobs. Am currently wearing a fetching tubigrip- basically a stretchy compression sock looking thing from the bottom of my boobs to my hip. 

    I think I under-sold the pain- as always I was having a ‘good day’ when I was at the physio- so it was hard to describe without it actually happening. 

    I will keep this OP in mind and if things don’t improve I’ll mention it! 

    I gained a lot of weight real fast (much much more than recommended, and much faster than anyone thought humanly possible!), that might be having an impact on the pain. 

    • Marisa

      Oh and when I mentioned the pain to my OB and indicated I wanted to see the physio his response was “you’re pregnant”

      I then asked the midwives who promptly gave me the ref for the physio! 

  • Hayley Janssen

    Oh no Zoe please do not write off all physios for a couple of bad experiences! I, as have many other ‘womens health’ specialist physios have done a 2 year post grad degree in pelvic physiotherapy for all things pre natal, pregnancy and post natal and any continence issues. I wish you had of seen someone qualified- pelvic related pregnancy issues are very common, varied, and often easily diagnosed and treated. I’m so sorry for your bad experience! Doesn’t always recur in future pregnancies as a helpful note 🙂

  • Ness

    I also suffered with this awful issue 13 years ago with my 4th pregnancy. I had to wear a tummy support for most of my pregnancy as i could not even walk from my bed to bedroom door! The support helped but not enough. I would find myself out shopping and bursting into tears because i couldnt walk anymore as my hips were killing me- nobody diagnosed me back then and I really wish I could of  had crutches to take the pressure of my hips. 
    When she was born my pubic bone disslocated andI I was then unable to lift my feet even a centimetre off the floor and I had to shuffle everywhere. The hospital physio gave me a belt to strap around my hips to pull them back in, it helped but I have been plagued with niggling  issues ever since. 
    I wish I had of known these things back then and not suffered in silence…  Thanks for the write up, I dont feel so odd anymore!! 

  • Jules

    It is so true! I had a seriously sore pelvis at 25 weeks. Excruciating pain all the time. People kept telling me it was sciatica, to get used to it because it would probably last until I have birth. I saw a chiro who specialises in pregnancy and she has changed everything. Turns out I had thrown my pelvis out at work because I was still trying to do it all. Since then I have also had horrible round ligament pain which I though was just pressure from bub. Enter Super Chiro who has helped immensely.

    Totally agree – seek help early. Don’t think you just have to deal with it!

    For Sydney peeps, my chiro is Dr Kelly Burns at Healhspace in Rozelle. She is phenomenal. 

  • Nicole

    There are paps in Melbourne?! Wahh? 
    I kinda like the gnome beanie look. 🙂
    You sound like a trooper, going through all that shiz & being so busy with work. Props women! I’d be a crumpled heap on the floor if it were me. 

  • Anon

    It’s great that you actively sought treatment Zoe. Unfortunately you appear what professionals call a textbook ‘doctor shopper’. Seeing a competent physiotherapist trained in women’s health would have had this pain controlled long ago. Persistence and the right expertise is the key. Good luck with it 🙂 

  • bec

    Oh. The snoring. It’s like nothing else, knackered from carrying a baby around all day and countless night time toilet trips…and then when you do fall asleep, you wake yourself up with your freight train snoring!? Cruel. Just cruel I tell you. 

  • Chloe

    Sounds like you went through hell to get your pelvic gurdle pain sorted out but I’m very glad you shared and feel your pain!

     I have had hip issues for 3 years and only just getting surgery after seeing many very unhelpful physios before finding one who knew when to refer on when things didn’t add up. Lots of issues are really specialised and they should have referred you for scans or to specialists instead of treating you with no improvement so I’m sorry this happened to you too.

    However I am now studying Physio to try to do better than the closed minded ones I saw, so don’t lose hope entirely. We had a very interesting lecture on this and a lady in a case study went through 3 surgerys to ‘stabilize’ and fuse her SIJs when really she had become too rigid in these joints from them overcompensating for the instability in her pubic symphysis! 

    Keep doing the tedious exercises, it’s gets so boring but they definitely do help and I hope you continue to improve.

    Chloe. 

    P.s I have an unhealthy obsession with screenshotting your instas of Sonny. He is my favorite baby (I don’t even like babies very much so there is definitely something wrong with me

    • Li-Ann

      If anyone knows a Brisbane chiro or physio who can deal with this, I would be very interested to hear! I mistakenly thought that “having the baby is the cure” but still have it 3 weeks post-partum (I know I should wait until 6 weeks post, but I’m concerned– my pain is worse post-birth than just before the birth). 

      • Tanya

        Did u find one? I have just been diagnosed with this and am looking for same thing in Brisbane

        • Rachel

          Hi ladies

          I am in Brisbane and at 29 weeks suddenly woke to the agony of SPD/PGP and spent the weekend crying, I was in so much pain. An OT friend told me this wasn’t a normal symptom of pregnancy (which is what I told myself it was) and advised I see a physio. I saw Angie at the Mater Health & Wellness Centre, and she has so far been very helpful – and necessarily stern as she tells me to stop doing pre-pregnancy exercise! I am still in pain, but it feels like it is being managed, and I am feeling much more optimistic about recovery and still being able to have a natural birth. I hope that helps, and if you have any luck with someone else I’d love to hear that too.

  • Kyla

    Thank you for painting a realistic picture of pregnancy – all to often we see glam Mums-to-be in heels and skin tight dresses looking amazing and forget that it can be painful, exhausting and not so fun! I vomited all day and night for 38 weeks! 
    Good Luck Zoe  and THANK YOU

  • Carrie

    Hi Zoe thanks for the essay it’s amazing what our bodies can go through eh? Men will never understand. It’s great that other women may read your essay and realise that severe pain in pregnancy may need to get checked out. I wish i knew  pregnancy is not always rainbows and sunshine it’s sometimes painful and has its surprises, I put on 22kg when I was pregnant which I was not expecting and has taken 1 and a half years to slowly shed, definetly a surprise. Throw in the random pain, sleepless nights and then labour its definetly a shock to your system. But of course it’s all worth it for my beautiful 2 year old. Perhaps you could post your birth story in future? I love reading everyone’s different experiences- good and bad. Thanks for the reading Zoe your the best xo

  • Rhianna Bridgett

    Hi Zoe , 

    As a remedial massage therapist who works closely with Physiotherapists and Osteopaths in my every day working life , it is truly liberating to read such a pure article about the true services out there !!! Thank you ……. 

  • Trina

    I learnt the words “Morning Sickness” are about as accurate as calling my butt “toned”, ie: gross miscalculation. I vomited so often and so violently I tore my oesophagus. Yeah, fun times. I remember starting to vomit some mornings before I had even opened my eyes! Not everyone tells you that pregnancy can really suck balls. (Bad thing). Oh and that labour hurts like holy f***. 
    *My daughter Ruby turned 3 on Sunday, and was worth every moment of it 🙂

  • Kayla

    I have had issues with “pelvic instability” and I’ve been told that strengthening your core and glutes are the key. What exercises do you find helpful to strengthen your glute muscles?

  • Andrea

    My comment is not so much about the breakdown of the body but rather the breakdown of the mind. The very real and very crippling Post Natal Depression. We all hear about it and most experience some form of baby blues post partum. I don’t want Post Natal Depression to be taboo or to be some form of failing as a mother and my wish is that no one suffers in silence. I think sometimes we are all for the sisterhood and other times as mothers we are so unbelievably hard on ourselves and each other. When in reality we are all doing what is right for us and our babies. My first daughter was very planned and very adored. But I had post natal depression. This made being a first time mum even harder. I thought I was going to be a natural at motherhood. I had been around lots of babies and had felt ready to be a mum forever. My catalyst was not being able to breastfeed. I had never even considered the fact that this might not work out for me. Don’t get me wrong I am pro-breastfeeding but I am also pro- do what is right for you and your baby. I gave breastfeeding my all. Took all the herbs, had acupuncture, fed baby out of tubes hooked up to my nipples so I could still try and stimulate milk production. When I was feeding I was expressing. But nothing. No milk. Ever. I did this for 6 weeks and it wasn’t right for my baby. But I thought I’d failed. The first bottle I gave my baby I bawled the entire time. I guess what I’m saying is that I think there is a battle somewhere for everyone. Breastfeeding mums advocate for their right to feed openly in public without judgement. I push for this right for bottle feeding women. I felt so ashamed I would hide in public when I had to bottle feed. You just never what someone’s journey is behind a decision. 

  • Megan

    Osteo’s are the BOMB! I to battled through my first pregnancy hobbling around, being told it was Sciatica and just part n parcel with pregnancy and “it will disappear after bebe is born”. Ummm no it didn’t, I left hospital in a wheelchair and it took 6 weeks for me to walk again. Second pregnancy the SPD and SIJ returned but thanks to a wonderful Osteo it was well managed and I was pain free. WOOHOO! 

    • Li-Ann

      ok I apologize– I’m using Zoe’s wonderful post as a way to find help f. Megan, can I please please please have the  name of the wonderful Osteo you used (in Brisbane hopefully?)

  • Jess

    I ended up with costochondritis, which is severe inflammation of the soft tissue in the ribcage. The pain is apparently comparable to that of a heart attack – a lot of sufferers actually end up in hospital thinking they’re having a cardiac episode. 

    In my eighth month, I wound up in the hospital at 1 in the morning after suddenly not being able to breathe. As I was also in the process of being checked for blood clots in my legs, there was a lot of panic & worry that I may be having a pulmonary embolism. 

    It’s typically treated with anti inflammatories, which of course I couldn’t have. Had to make do with heat packs & limited analgesics. 

    My baby girl is 6 months old now – born about 2 weeks after Sonny actually! – and the pain disappeared not long after I delivered, but I still have a numb patch of skin over my ribs. Bizarre.

  • frances

    Zoe…

    Thanks for writing this blog and bringing attention to pelvic instability. I haven’t had kids but have chronic SIJD in both sides leaving me with an unstable pelvis and muscle pain / weakness in both sides. I have been through this for the last 2.5 years and only more recently found great specialists to help. I have had prolotherapy to help the ligaments strengthen and do specialised pilates twice a week. This has been amazing for me and whilst I still have bad days I can walk for an hour and have got stronger in other areas. Yay!!

    It’s also interesting you mention your feet… In reflexology the arch of feet are linked to pelvic arch and experimenting with rolling out the fascia here. Not much on Google about this but discovered if my hips didnt want to work in pilates my foot would cramp / lock. Other things I have learnt is stress flares it… Badly. Also, walk at your own pace, use ice / hot baths and squat away for strengthening. 

    Thankyou for bringing awareness to these issues… It’s good to know there are other people with cranky hips out there! Also helps with friends who don’t understand and every couple of months bring up wanting to go for a run!!

    We WILL get better

    Xx

  • Nic

    I had really bad sacroiliac pain with my first pregnancy & was bed-ridden for the last three weeks (thankfully my daughter arrived 2wks early). My physio had told me it would disappear immediately after birth – this was not the case! It took a year to settle down & I found myself pregnant again – I was petrified as I had a toddler to look after & little family support.  I started seeing a chiro regularly throughout the pregnancy who helped tremendously. Even though towards the end of my second pregnancy I was struggling, I was able to look after my toddler as the pain was never as bad as it was with my first pregnancy (thanks to chiro & knowing how to move my body correctly).  We did end up having to move out of our ‘dream home’ shortly after my son was born as I couldn’t handle stairs with two kids.  My kids are now 4 & 2 and I hardly get pain at all now.  So, the moral of my story is… don’t be scared if you have suffered this pain & get pregnant again – you may be surprised by how much better it is, especially since you are aware of potential problem early on.  And … THANK YOU Zoe for your article.  I googled like crazy when I first had symptoms & found little! 

  • Chels

    Oh Zoe. I just want to hug you right now. I feel your pain. I gave birth in April and at the end of the pregnancy I could barely walk and even lying down was so painful. I am still suffering right now. I was told most people recover shortly after birth, but nope, got the short straw there. I am working with an Osteo and doing clinical pilates, but walking around shops and such still hurts. The dog is suffering! Thanks for sharing it makes me feel less lonely. Not being able to be active or even comfortable has done my head in, there have been many dark days. Onwards and upwards though. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Sherid Carter

    Hi Zoe, I can relate to you! I suffered from this with my one and only child in 2006. Back then people thought it was all in my head. 

    I also was one of the “lucky” to have this long term. Once I stopped breastfeeding (yes the hormones did make it prolong)…It took me about 10 months to learn to re-walk and then 2 years to get back to living without pain. 

    Don’t give up. 

    I also wanted to offer some comments regarding your treatment as I have had similar and then tried for another baby after being told by some of the leading world specialist in the SPD world that I was more than ready body wise and strength wise for another baby. 

    In 2008 I visited Diane Lee (Canada) who helped me strengthen and activate my Transversus Abdominus (which was meant to the the problem). I did all the exercises and strengthening work possible. 

    Later that year while attending my brother’s wedding in the UK I visited another highly respected physio in the Cotswolds. I did everything she told me as well. 

    In 2013 I visited the same physio clinic run by Gary Miritis and has the same brutal therapy. The worst pain ever! 

    I was all pain free from 2009 onwards. I cannot go on “the pill” or take anything that messes with hormones – even stuff like progesterone brings back instability. 

    For a few years I was back to normal, exercising and taking part in triathlons. But very careful with certain activities. 

    THEN after all the prep and work, we made the VERY brave decision of planning baby #2 (8 years after first child). I got pregnant quickly and as soon as the HcG levels starting getting into dbl digits I was in pain and virtually crippled!  I was in such a state and stress & there were a few other things going on in our lives at the time – at 5 weeks I miscarried. A miraculous event!

    I wish to tell my story so that women who get told that they are “all good”, those that do all the exercises and strengthening – even those who travel worldwide to all the best specialists in the SPD world – I still got it again and this time I am not sure whether I would have ever recovered considering I was couch bound at 5 weeks pregnant. 

    Any ladies reading this -go with your gut and NEVER feel inadequate for only having one child. I pray for all those who suffer with this evil condition to persevere and stay strong. You are not alone & stay hopeful that things will get better. If you are hesitant about child #2 don’t go there 🙂

    Thanks for the great awareness that you have brought to SPD.

  • A Brunswick mum

    Dear Zoe

    I have to share my story on this one – it still drives me mad thinking about it.
    My little boy is 3 yrs old now and I had a very easy pregnancy, no pain, rainbows, bluebirds etc.

    So, determined to be a yummy mummy, I got stuck into personal training 3 months post natal. What a f*cking disaster. But a slow release disaster so it was very confusing what caused the disaster.  So I started getting pain in my left groin BUT of course still had all the usual pelvic floor weakness, leaking ugh that goes on for some time after pushing out a decent sized baby. Got a referral to the women’s physios at Royal Melbourne Hospital – the best you would think – and spent 18months going for very regular visits during which my osteitis pubis remained UNDIAGNOSED.  They had such tunnel vision (lovely ladies and I saw more than one and can’t really blame anyone in particular) all they could focus on was strengthening the pelvic floor and every time I mentioned that it was the pain that bothered me far more than any leaking which really wasnt that bad they would just say “oh yeah some people get pain too” and go back to the kegels lecture. It was only 18mths in (by which point the PT was long abandoned and my breastfeeding hunger had turned me into a solid busty gutsy little barrel) and I mentioned that I had been pain free for a while but it flared up when I (in desperation) tried doing the couch to 5K running app that a lightbulb went on and a finger press into the groin later and it was diagnosed.  And then I learnt that the moment it flared I had to rest, ice, ibruprofen for a week and it was sorted.  I also had to up my magnesium and calcium which was drained from all that BFing.  It is now totally under control, I can do yoga and all those groin stretchy exercises again but I keep the running to a minimum. But I spent a good 18months doing everything wrong – like going for a long hobbling walk when it was tender thinking that this was gentle exercise!!!

    Anyway, the moral of my novel is that this is something that even womens health experts can totally miss, especially if you are presenting with other more common post birth issues at the same time.  And for gods sake, exercising like you used to when your body is still healing and nurturing another human being is not good for you. Be gentle and kind to yourself and ALWAYS seek a second opinion.

  • Leanne Turner

    Im in tears right now!! I have been suffering from this for 5 years…. I have 2 sets of twins (yep!) & the second set I went full term. They were decent sized babies for a single & I had 2 in there. I knew the pain I was experiencing was not normal but I was literally told to suck it up by a nurse at the hospital. 
    I had a planned caesarian & ill never forget walking into the hospital hanging off my husband for support to walk. 
    When I finally got an answer (gotta love the footballers injury thing!) I felt some relief emotionally – but with an answer you somewhat expect a cure. Ok thats what it is, great now how do I fix it?? 
    Im im tears because I have felt so alone for so long. I dont know anyone with this kind of injury (even a footballer lol). I have done my own fair share of googling, but have never come across someone telling my story, in a way that makes me feel less alone – so thankyou! I have not had much relief in over 5 years, other than knowing what my limitations are & if we have a big day planned we also plan for the time I will need the crutches after it.
    I live in Bendigo & anyone my doc has suggested has had no idea what to do & treated me like a test case – we will try this & see how we go (ended up back on the crutches for 5 days after one of those!). I still have hope that one day it will get better.
    I have never done this before in my life & feel very weird asking a complete stranger – but I am sure you understand why! It would be amazing if you could ask if there is anyone in Bendigo who does know what they are doing & could help me. I do hope that it will get better but part of me has given up & I have just learnt to live with it, but I also know I shouldnt do that which is why im asking.
    Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 

  • Tanya

    Oh Zoe thank U thank u so much for your great article and bringing this out in the open. I havent met any other woman who has this as well! My daughter now 5yo and still having issues. Mine was self inflicted as I did an exercise DVD when 6mths pregnant (paranoid at weight piling on) and that relaxin (damn u relaxin) caused me to over stretch my pelvis. Walked like a penguin for mths. Waddle waddle. About twice a year it flares up and is so debilitating. I too have been to physios and mris and ultrasounds blah blah and doing pelvic exercises (look across at other women in cars next time you’re at a traffic light. Im sure we all do it haha) but best piece of advice is core strengthening and squats and yes those sexy pelvic belts. I wish I had known more about this when pregnant and I too thought it would disappear after I gave birth. I just tell others I have back pain as pelvic instability sounds like a hookers problem (is it from too much sex they ask. Ha. Yeh right!) and osteitis pubis has that gross pube word which is aaaakward! Any other tips girls please share. Pelvises united. 

  • Irina

    I’m so happy to read that osteopathy was helpful! It is indeed a great treatment for pregnant women and what is even more important – it is safe. During pregnancy your body undergoes tremendous change to accommodate the growing fetus. It makes me so happy to know that the profession I’m advocating for can be so helpful to people, especially mothers. 

  • Karen Lang

    Hi Zoe

    Working with clients everyday as a Counsellor and Reiki Therapist, I have found that besides the physical component of pain, there is always an emotional one as well.

    If you are finding that you are not moving on in your pain from physical adjustments and massage, I would love to share with you what I have found over the years from training and my client’s feedback when we have moved their emotional pain and letting go of past hurts.

    I would be very happy to share this with you, if you are interested.
    Karen Lang
    naaron2@hotmail.com

  • Anne Høidahl

    Hello Zoe
    Thank you so much for telling your story! All over the world women are suffering from pelvic girdle pain – and so many ask: “Oh why didn’t anybody tell me about the pain from the joint of the pelvis?!” – And so many also wonder like you do, why didn’t I pay more attention to what other pregnant women with PGP suffered? I try to spread information about this kind of pain on my Facebook site  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bekkenl%C3%B8sning-Pelvic-girdle-pain/475526812506163
    And I am so glad that I could share your story to this site.  Please do rest as much as you need to! Best wishes Anne in Norway

  • Anne Høidahl

    Hello again  
    Oh, I just forgot to mention this: In Australia PIAhttps://www.facebook.com/PIAAustraliaInc?fref=ts
    is doing a wonderful job informing women and others, about the problem of pelvic joint pain during and after pregnancy.
    Please do take as much rest as you need to. Yes, I know it has to be said over and over again. It is so very important!  
    Love Anne in Norway  

  • Kate

    Oh Zoe, I am a Myotherapist, and 38 weeks pregnant. I understand where you’re coming from both professionally and personally. SPD is an extremely uncomfortable condition and as you’re now aware can be debilitating long after pregnancy. I am so pleased to hear that you found some incredible “unorthodoxed” practitioners to help you and I wish you the very best for the future. Just remember to keep doing those exercises!! X 

  • Jen

    12 years ago I self diagnosed my OP – I’d had a molar pregnancy, but twins..with the remaining twin miscarrying at 21 weeks, not long after I went back to old exercise routine including kick box aerobics. Hoping to get help I went to an “expert”(who helped Penrith Panthers with OP at Penrith Hospital). He looked up his nose at me, told me it was elite athletes who got OP and told me I obviously wasn’t in enough pain. I demanded an MRI. Begrudgingly he gave in. Results came back textbook OP. He then advised rest, and said if I was an “athlete” he would have given me steroid injections. So I just had to live with it, cutting out exercise that required lots of pelvis movement, sitting on hard surfaces, standing still, walking too far…you get it…you never know what is going to trigger a shooting stabbing pain up your clacker. I had limited, short term relief with massage, kinesiology and Iyenga yoga. One day I nearly fell down a flight of stairs when the pain hit me like a bullet and I toppled over…it scared me because I was holding my 7 yr old daughters hand, and she was falling with me. I couldn’t deal with it any longer so I had surgery, lifting the nerves away is the way I describe it. The stabbing crippling incidences are very, very rare now, and only when I really push it or sit for a really long time on a hard surface. I hope with your early diagnosis that you can overcome OP with the amazing, helpful professionals you have been lucky enough to track down.

  • Thea

    Zoe thank you SO much for sharing your story and being so straightforward about this subject!  

    I’m a specialist pregnancy and postnatal exercise specialist and see “pelvic instability” clients – along with all the other not so pleasant pregnancy related issues – pelvic floor dysfunction, prolapse, pelvic pain…

    The problem is so often that people get their knickers in such a twist about all these issues, that they are either somehow in this day and age still taboo, or that it’s just a regular-olde side effect of pregnancy that is totally normal and we should all just put up with, like our mothers, grandmothers etc…  

    As you have so eloquently, and intelligently, highlighted that just doesn’t have to be the case!  SO totally agree with you – women don’t need to suffer in silence, and put up with their pain & discomfort, there are specialists out there, please seek them out and don’t just go with a regular physio, osteo, chiro, masseur or PT when you’re pregnant or recovering from pregnancy.  

    Thanks Zoe and wishing you all the very best for your recovery xx.

  • Ruth Benjamin-Thomas

    Dear Zoe, I cam for the Bhave review and found this. It was meant to be. 11 years down the track I can tell you it WILL get better. I was on crutches at 16 weeks, wheelchair bound and then bedridden for the bulk of my pregnancy. It was so bad my  Dr advised me not to have any more children and coming from a man who had 5 I knew to take him seriously. BTW for anyone in Sydney reading this – Dr Vijay Roach @ North Shore Private is the best with this stuff.
    “Super models in mini-skirts” that was my mantra (you know, stand up straight and don’t open your legs – esp when getting in and out of cars) plus 2 weekly massages and Pilates whilst pregnant. Don’t know if the Pilates helped but it was a laugh where everybody called each other names (I was the crip). Good for the soul whilst in constant pain and not a drug in sight.
    It took me years to recover and right now I am even better than I was beforehand.
    The secret is BALLET. I kid you not. It’s a whole body and mind workout but with a proper teacher everything that you need to strengthen to support that pesky pelvis happens far quicker than everything else I’ve tried. I can’t praise it enough.  I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this and I my heart breaks that like me you found it difficult to hold your boy but I promise it gets better, just not at the speed we expect. Rx

    • Jenny

      Hi Ruth,

      I’m really interested to know – was there any particular ballet school/instructor that you thought was the key to sorting out these issues? I would be keen to try it. Thanks, Jenny 🙂

  • Leah

    Thank you writing this article. I was diagnosed with OP after a fall (which I landed on my abdomen). It has been a year now, and I am not much better, even after physio and medication. I could not understand why “I” wasn’t improving, but now I see I am not the only one to suffer with this for such a long duration.

  • Sarah

    I really hope you’re feeling much better now Zoe I know I’m really behind the ball on answering this post but the thing I wish someone had told me was that some of your brain turns to jelly, and it seems it may stay that way (my little miss is nearly 9 months and I still suffer from sever baby brain). Whilst I was pregnant I did so many unusual things, including wearing a cream cleanser as moisturiser for a month and thinking, gee this is making my skin look abit oily. I swear it said ‘day cream’ when I brought it. So it must have been the baby brain. Or voodoo. I still forget things midsentence. But at least now I have a much better (the best) moisturiser that does not make my skin oily (of course I’m a goconut)

  • marina

    yep- i know this all too well. I was on crutches with my first from 20 weeks and now with my second from 26 weeks. what i hated most? aside from the crippling pain and feeling like a failure, was/are the stares from strangers! Preggo lady on crutches at Westfield!! Osteo and Physio weekly, ice packs, those amazing pregnancy shorts and Magnum ego’s are my saviour this time around. Thanks for the great read 🙂

    • Rach

      hi Marina, can you tell me which pregnancy shorts ou used? I’m currently 16 weeks with my first and have had this since week 5 and getting near to crutches point. Physio and osteo haven’t helped yet and I’m just getting worse…
      Thanks

  • Shaz

    Loved reading your story….not long at all!! Just been diagnosed with OP 5 after years of physio Chiro, muscoskeletal etc treatment and wondering if anyone knows of a good OP Osteo in ADELAIDE or the Adelaide hills area?  My doctor is talkng about Orthopeadic surgeons and rheumatologists and I’m thinking I’d like to give Osteo a red hot go before going down this path.  Thanks!

    • Tamaryn

      Out of interest Shaz, did you find a good osteo that you would recommend in Adelaide? I am at the point of needing one I think!

  • Lucie

    Yep, this was me… For several years after my son as born and X-rays confirmed OP. Thankfully for the past few years I’ve been relatively pain free and can usually handle a visit to ikea however this morning I woke to the very familiar pain down below… My son is 7:5 year old!! Thankfully I don’t want more kids because at 7.5 years post birth I’m still having osteitis pubis pain .. Id end up in a wheel chair for sure if I had another child. Thanks or writing your article 🙂

  • Kris

    I have been googling, going to the physio, asking my OB and getting the regular ‘it’s normal pregnancy pain’ responses. And the hobbling to the bathroom/kitchen/bedroom at night and have attached an ice pack permanently to the area. A friend told me to read your article and yep…sounds like me! Thanks for the tips. Will definitely keep seeking alternative advice and trying to get more treatment. Thanks so much for writing this article Zoe…! 

  • Sarah

    Zoe,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I too suffered this condition unbeknown to me and ended up with Chronic Post Partum Pelvic Instability after undiagnosed OP. I’ve had four children (last two were twins).
    I’m on a waiting list to have surgery to have my pubic bone fused after 8 years if failed attempts of a “cure.” 
    I’ve now tried cortisone injections into my Sacroilliac joints to amazing effect.
    As a registered midwife, I encourage women with this type of pain to seek help early, as I may have been able to avoid this drastic measure for a “cute” (surgery) if I’d known it wasn’t a normal part of pregnancy and sought help earlier from the right people.

  • Kim

    Hey Zoe 

    I read your blog all the time all your post’s are great.
    I read this back in December when I was freshly pregos and thinking I’m young(24) this pregnancy is going to be a peice of cake.

    I went from that to pretty bad morning sickness quick. Then I started to get the back pain ohh the pain at about 17 weeks But refered to this blog and got my self some SRC shorts from my obgyn and carried on I got to 24 weeks and started to get the pain In the front of my vagina having no idea about SPD thinking this is my first baby it’s prob just a bit of stretching. Mostly it was only happening when I was putting pants and undies on.

    The as the weeks went on it was hurting when I was walking. But bareable but to my unknown it was actually getting worse at 28.5 weeks I woke up to get out of bed in such bad pain I couldn’t walk. My husband had just left that morning for a business trip so I called my trusty mum and asked her to take me straight to the maternity ward and I’m happy I did.

    After a 6 night stay and large amounts of pain meds I was diagnosed with SPD and was sent home on crutches with a hand full of pain killers.

    I am now 31.5 weeks and am discussing delivery with my Obgyn. He is suggesting I deliver early at 36 weeks but one thing none of the comments suggest is how I should deliver or how anyone has delivered.

     I have been told that I must have an epidural buy a specialist anethesiest. Which I am fine with. But to anyone who has had issues with SPD or OP after birth and you zoe can you suggest if I should still have a vaginal birth or a c-section??? 

    Thanks Kim

  • kay

    I am Kay from Australia, I have been trying for 5years to get pregnant and needed help! i have Been going to the doctors but still nothing. The doctor said that me and my husband are fine and I don’t know where else to turn, until one day my friend introduce me to this great spell caster who helped her to get back her lost husband back with love spell and also made her pregnant, So I decided to contact this spell caster Dr.Abuya on his email after interaction with him he instructed me on what to do, after then i should have sex with the my husband or any man I love in this world, And i did so, within the next one month i went for a check up and my doctor confirmed that i am 2weeks pregnant of two babies. I am so happy!! if you also need help to get pregnant or need your ex back please contact him for help via email:dr.abuyalovehome@gmail.com He is a good spell caster …

  • Rachel

    Thanks for the post Zoe, I found this very informative! Do you have any update since you wrote this? I’d love to know how you’re going with everything 🙂

  • Jane

    Hi Zoe, how’s your osteitis pubis now? I’ve had it coming up two years and I’m desperate to have another baby but too terrified – sex is even too painful still so that’s not a great start! I’m encouraged by what you wrote about some women Garry treated  being able to go on to have trouble-free pregnancies. Pity he’s no longer working! I hope you’re doing better now and you’re able to enjoy motherhood pain-free! It would be great to read an update on how you’re doing! 🙂

  • Nicola

    Zoe, how relieved I was to find this post and that someone else was experiencing what I am now.. in such horrid pain and it’s only getting worse 🙁 mind you, am only 24 weeks pregnant and am worried it is going to end up putting me in a wheelchair. My OB suggested an physio which (with all due to respect to any other physio out there) did absolutely nothing for me. After reading your post I am going to look into seeing someone who specializes in OP and I have YOU to thank for it. You are incredible, love reading all your blogs. hugs and love and all the rest xxx

  • Dr Suresh John

    Thanks for the summary zoe, It is rellay nice! any update on this

  • Melissa Kennedy

    This scares me so much.

    I’m a petite 5″3 with super hypermobile joints (otherwise known as Hypermobility.. or to nonhypermobies as Double-Jointed-ness), especially in the hips/lower back.

    I have been doing physio-pilates for the last 2 years which has erased my pain butt cheek and neck spasms but they basically told me I will “fall apart” when i’m pregnant especially with all that relaxin flowing through my already lax joints 🙁

    I hope knowing reading your story and your advice helps me when im preggo! lucky im in melbourne!!

    All the best for baby number 2

    xx

    • Amy

      Hi Melissa 

      I am in the same boat as you with hyper mobile joints in my hips (and everywhere else) plus a tiny pelvis and I’m 5’3 too. My physio warned me about pain in pregnancy but brushed off experiencing pain when I was pregnant because I thought I was fit enough to handle it.. Well now 30 weeks pregnant I can’t walk and my pelvis feels like it’s falling apart! Trying to research my options now as my obstetrician isn’t any help. Great idea to get well informed before pregnancy! 

  • Patricia

    I too was diagnosed with OP following the birth of my second child and was crippled by it.  With a disability sticker on my window unable to take a step without a stabbing pain in my groin, trying to take off the edge with far too much nurofen! I saw the surgeons, I endured a cortisone injection under cat scan with no success.  

    After 2 years of agony, frustration, and endless tears in desperation I started an injury thread and started talking to people all over the world. .. helping me to decide whether fusing the joint was my last hope….I have always been fit and healthy and very active… for goodness sakes I have a black belt in  taekwondo, and just walking had me sweating profusely! 

    I was ever so grateful when an afl footballer put me onto the magic healing hands of Pat Allen in Donald. … was an amazing man who at retiring age is still doing his best to heal so many people suffering with this cruel condition.  I can’t praise him enough!  The doctors were telling me to rest.  He would’ve cured me after 2 sessions had I seen him earlier. …I needed 8 sessions because I was that bad!  Resting is the worst thing you can do!!! The inflammation needs to be manipulated out of the joint.  I still get my niggles from time to time as the joint is arthritic for leaving it untreated (as recommended by doctors) but it’s manageable and I can hop skip and jump once again. .. no fusing required. … life is Grand Thanks to Pat Allen…God Bless that man xxx

  • Melanie

    Omg thank you so much for sharing this even though it’s taken 2 years to reach me…
    I’m 16 weeks pregnant with my first baby and after having undiagnosed issues with my hips before pregnancy it has gotten 160%worse now! 
    My legs seized up after a long drive this weekend and I had to be escorted off the road like a grandma.
    My baby daddy tried to massage my glutes a few weeks ago and I ended up like a reverse turtle, I couldn’t roll over off my belly to get up!
    I try to roll over in bed and get stuck halfway (then get a serious case of the pain giggles “stop laughing at me it hurts so bad!!!”

    I’ve been seeing an osteo for massages every 3 weeks but she hasn’t mentioned OP or anything similar… I’ll be calling Dan the osteo you mentioned tomorrow (as well as the other guy in Richmond) 
    Thank you Zoe!! I hope your new little minion is giving you less pain this time around xx

  • Sarah

    Voraciously inhaling all the details! OP is ruining my life. I hate it. Its ruining my bonding with my children, my relationship is under stress, my social life is in tatters, my house has been left for dead (meh), my bank balance is wheezing from the constant pressure of appointments and medications. I’m eight weeks in to life with my second child and probably about 13 weeks into life with ridiculous pelvic pain. It’s recently hit a peak and I just can’t handle it. It brings me comfort to know I’m not alone in this incideoud pain as I lay here icing my crotch feeding my baby. Just needed to spew some words out somewhere and I don’t have a blog so here I am. I’m so sorry you went through all this and I hope your second pregnancy doesn’t see you suffering the same fate. Congratulations and best of luck. 

  • Alexandra Crameri

    Thank you Zoe for your honest and accurate description of coping with SPD in pregnancy. After a few weeks of putting up with the pain because I thought it was normal I hit a new level of crippling agony at 22 weeks that left me unable to drive home from work. I was fortunate in finding a fantastic women’s health physio as the efforts of my chiropractor gave relief that lasted about 5 minutes! I was entirely reliant on crutches from 26 weeks and could only ‘hobble’ extremely short distances on them so found myself pretty much housebound for the remainder of my pregnancy unless I was taken out in a wheelchair. I was cheerily informed by most health professionals that everything would jump back into place after delivery apart from my physio who cautioned that it may take some time for me to get back to normal, particularly whilst breast feeding. She was right. Being a fairly stubborn person I managed a painful short walk pushing my daughter in her pram when she was 2 weeks old. That left me pretty much back where I’d started after giving birth. 16 weeks on and I am still learning how to take it easy whilst building up my strength under the guidance of physiotherapists with clinical pilates and post natal aqua. I am getting stronger. I have achieved a visit to IKEA. Thankfully nobody expects you to climb stairs with a buggy because that still hurts. Wearing your baby in a sling in carrier is a big no-no due to all the weight it exerts on your pelvis which is a shame because my daughter loves it. On the days she’s unsettled I compromise and try not to wear her in it for too long. I’m making slow progress and it gets me down a lot as this is not how I imagined life with my young baby. Your blog has given me hope that I will get there in the end and that a subsequent pregnancy can be managed successfully too. For now it’s a warm bath and bed while the baby sleeps. Oh, gestational diabetes really just finished me off when that was diagnosed at 29 weeks! 

    • Amy

      Hi there,
      Just wondering which physio it was that was able to help you?
      Desperately on the hunt for someone good to help for what I think may be SPD.
      Cheers,
      Amy

  • Natalia

    Hi, I am from Chile I have osteitis pubis.

    Can someone tell me where to go with pat allen or some reocomendation?

    thank a lot
    hugs!
    Natalia

  • Amy

    Thanks Zoe for sharing!!

    Literally have all the symptoms you mentioned. Hubby making fun of my limp, lucky he makes up for it by putting my pants and socks on for me!

    I’ve been seeing a local physiotherapist and all they’ve said is it’s normal pregnancy stuff. Really unsatisfied and desperately looking for any recommendations for HCP’s based in Mornington Peninsula.

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