My story: the final chapter, post PGP
By Julie Hinckley
In a previous article, Julie outlined the difficulties of not getting access to really good manual therapy. In “My story: complaining about poor treatment of PGP”, Julie explained why she felt it was important to complain about poor treatment and how she set about this. In this article, Julie provides a very positive follow up to her original article.
I’m writing to give hope to women who have had longer-term PGP after the birth of their baby. It has taken me four whole years but at last I can say I am now fully better, and after so long I never thought I would be saying that!
I had severe PGP after the birth of my second baby and was really struggling because it took me ages to find a decent physio who knew how to help. I travelled from London to the Cotswolds to see a very knowledgeable physio, Lucy Walmsley and after roughly three appointments I was 80% better, but since then the years have dragged on with me feeling ‘not quite right or totally back to normal’. I began to think I would never, ever be able to make a full recovery, which was very distressing for me.
In my third year of having PGP, I carried on with physio treatment, but less often. I also found another great physio similar to Lucy who is in Brighton near where my parents live, Dawn Leibe at Body Rehab Studios in Hove, so I combined visits to the physio with visits to stay at my parents’ house. I find a small roll cushion put behind the lower back great for car travel, making it much more comfortable. I learned that it is very important to keep the curve in your lower back, (the arch in the small of your back) which is called ‘maintaining your lordosis’. Apparently, this is very important for your posture and plays an important role in preventing back problems and back pain. I also use a coccyx cushion for sitting on, which can be bought online and is very helpful for making car travel more comfortable.
I think the final stage of my recovery was due to two things:
- Altering my posture (instead of tilting my pelvis forwards, I began to draw in my stomach muscles and keep my pelvis level) and also using my core strength (corset/stomach muscles) at all times, especially when walking. I made myself aware of engaging these muscles and feeling the ‘wrapped in cling film’ effect of these muscles working effectively. For too long I had not known about the core strength muscles and when I was walking I still felt wobbly and unstable, even when the pain of the PGP had long subsided.
- Attending Pilates evening classes. I have been going twice a week for the past two years and this has finally paid off because at last I feel strong and pain free.
So there is hope out there…I am still surprised (and disappointed!) about how long it took me to get better, but at least I got there in the end! I do hope this article encourages other women who are struggling to remain positive about recovering from PGP.
Thanks so much, Julie, for sharing your experience of feeling that you are completely recovered from PGP after four years. Following your success in finding two good physios in succession to provide manual therapy, it is very helpful to know that you have found changing your posture and using your core muscles has really helped you to overcome your symptoms of PGP as well as attending Pilates classes twice a week for two years. If any of our readers are finding it difficult to really feel completely recovered after longer term PGP, do get in touch via our telephone helpline on 01235 820921.