Blush: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

One of the benefits of being the author of this blog is if I have a question about my own health, researching doesn’t feel like a waste of time because I can then write about it.

One of the negatives of being the author of this blog is that everyone knows what is going on with my health. (Not that every post is about me. I usually say if it is.)

Good thing I don’t mind sharing?

So I’m pregnant.

Is anyone surprised? I guess you haven’t seen me lately.

I’m 35 weeks and 6 days today.

Image of myself pregnant, with my daughter happily reaching up to my belly.

It’s also our ten year anniversary, but that’s irrelevant to my health. I’m just excited about it and want to share.

The thing about being so close to the end of the pregnancy is that, well, you’re close to the end. Very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’s so cool to feel movement from another being inside of you and you’re never alone (that doesn’t really go away if you have a clingy baby/toddler). On the other hand, you’re sore, it’s hard to move/roll over in bed, and the number of doctor’s appointments increases dramatically (a pain to get to and a pain to arrange around your schedule).

Today, I want to talk about soreness. Specifically the soreness that comes once hormones like relaxin kick in.

Relaxin is pretty great, to be perfectly honest. It’s the hormone that loosens the ligaments and muscles in the hips and pelvic region and allow for the human body to stretch enough to deliver a baby vaginally. Remember, the pelvic area, on a regular day, is only so big. The bones have to be able to accommodate the head and shoulders in order to push a baby out. Hence, relaxin.

However, relaxin starts its work in the third trimester (usually. Sometimes it’s early). So not only are you gaining extra weight from the baby gaining weight, but your ligaments and muscles are no longer supporting you the way that they did before. This can cause quite a lot of pain.

Enough that there’s a name for it.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).

I’d like to make a quick note here that although this is most often referred to as a symptom of pregnancy, you can have it and not be pregnant.

So how can I minimize the pain from SPD?

Avoid triggers like standing or sitting for too long, crossing your legs, and lifting or pushing.

Whew. That’s a lot.

But you do a lot with your hips without realizing it.

Physiotherapy is very helpful. Your physiotherapist can give you exercises that will help to minimize the pain and recommend other ways of improving muscle function and joint stability.

Personally, the things I find the most helpful are icing the outside of my hips and doing Kegels. Even if it hurts at the beginning of my Kegel reps, by the time I get to rep 5-6, I feel so much better. Sleeping with a pillow between my knees has helped immensely as well, especially since I don’t normally lie on my side – I much prefer sleeping on my stomach. Not exactly an option right now for some reason.

I hope this helps those of you who are feeling pain, and for those who know me, it helps you understand why I wince every time I move to stand up or try to get into a car. (Widening legs or taking a big step is rather painful for me, especially at the end of the day.)

If you’re not in pain and don’t know me, I hope you at least found this interesting.


References

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Blush: Pregnancy Physio

A friend of mine recently told me that she’s pregnant (woo!!!) and I asked her to let me know if she thought of anything that made her go “Wow! I didn’t know that!” about pregnancy.

She said this:

“In my second trimester, I’m going to get recommended to a physiotherapist. I didn’t do it for my first, but I really think I should for my second.”

That really made my day.

Because, while my pregnancy with Dragon was pretty mellow, I did have pain in my hips when my ligaments shifted to accommodate the pregnancy changes. And it never ONCE occurred to me to go to a physiotherapist for it. I wondered when to consult a chiropractor in Sioux Falls; I decided not to postpone it and was very pleased wuth the result.

It seems pretty obvious now.

I thought I should do some research into why it’s recommended, and if there are any risks.

Image from americanpregnancy.org.

Please note, I am not in the medical profession. If you have any questions about whether this is right for you, please see your doctor. I don’t know your medical history, whether you are considered high risk, or other factors.

Searching for resources on physiotherapy during pregnancy was difficult, to put it mildly. Most of the sources I found ended up being written by physiotherapists on how to exercise safely while pregnant. Since I thought that was also important information, here is the best article I found on that subject.

Physiotherapy is recommended to prevent and help lessen pain in the lower back and joints of people who are pregnant. It will also help prepare for labour.

A good physiotherapist will also give home exercises to do to keep mobility up and pain down.

Risks that I found seemed to be related only to exercise in general (if you’re bleeding, stop; if you feel increased pain, stop; etc). However, any physiotherapist will tailor their routine to your needs and that of your body.


References

https://physiotherapy.ca/pregnancy-related-pelvic-girdle-pain-words-can-hurt-susannah-britnell

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-and-physical-therapy/

http://dynamicphysiotherapy.ca/blog/physiotherapy/is-it-safe-to-undergo-physiotherapy-during-pregnancy/


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Ouch my Brain!

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last Tuesday I was attacked by alien shape-changing creatures. Don’t worry, like Dain Ironfoot, I head-butted them into submission.

Yeah, I’m lying… I wasn’t attacked. I bent over really quickly and hit my head on a table; giving me a concussion. I hit myself hard.

Bear

It’s one of the dumbest injuries I’ve ever given myself. It’s right up there with the time I tripped and sprained my ankle, while walking on flat carpet.

Like a dumbass I decided to walk it off. Went to Costco and then the next day I went to work. I had a headache, was dizzy, and had a hard time concentrating. I told my wife and she told me to call Telehealth Ontario. (If you live in Ontario, it’s a great free service where you can chat with a nurse. They’ve given me wonderful advice over the years.)

The nurse made it quite clear that I should go to the hospital. At this point, the nausea set in. I went to the hospital and the Doctor told me that I needed to go home a rest.

She gave me a list of things I shouldn’t do:

  • Go to work
  • Watch TV
  • Use a Computer
  • Read
  • Listen to loud music
  • Strenuous physical activity

When I got home I went to sleep. I slept 5 hours in the afternoon and then rested on the couch for another 3. I didn’t go back to work until Monday and I only turned on my computer to help film Silver Stag.

I’m supposed to follow that list for 7-10 days. I cheated on Thursday by reading. It made me feel better, not worse, and I took breaks whenever I felt bad. At work I’m taking frequent breaks and making sure I’m not over doing it.

My day job, my freelance clients, and Five Rivers; have all be extremely understanding. As have my family, wife, and friends. Thank you!

What does it mean?

For those lucky enough not to have given yourselves brain trauma, a concussion occurs when you get a blow to the head. Unfortunately, Hollywood has lied to you. A blow to the head isn’t a human off switch. It’s a road to brain damage.

In mild cases, like mine, people can experience:

  • confusion or feeling dazed
  • clumsiness
  • slurred speech
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache
  • balance problems or dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • sensitivity to light
  • sensitivity to noise
  • sluggishness
  • ringing in ears
  • behavior or personality changes
  • concentration difficulties
  • memory loss

Thank you, Web MD.

As far as I’m aware I’ve only experienced:

  • confusion or feeling dazed
  • clumsiness
  • slurred speech
  • nausea
  • headache
  • balance problems or dizziness
  • sensitivity to light
  • sluggishness
  • concentration difficulties

Yay?

I’m Okay

Seriously, this has scared me, but the only issues that I’m still experiencing are headaches, light sensitivity, and concentration issues. (To be fair, I’ve always been clumsy, unbalanced, and sluggish.)

Hopefully with some rest and taking it easy, the remaining issues will pass.

 

Take care of yourselves and remember your brain is important.

Éric