My story: my PGP pain did not decrease after the birth of my son
I started experiencing severe coccyx pain following an ERPC (Evacuation of retained products of conception) after a miscarriage in Feb 2009. For the next five months I had X-rays, MRI scans, osteopathic treatment and steroid injections both at my GP surgery and under X-ray. Nothing helped and I couldn’t sit down without the aid of a coccyx cushion which, at the age of 30, was embarrassing.
Symptoms became worse
I fell pregnant again in August 2009 and the pain gradually worsened. By week 20 I was using crutches and couldn’t climb the stairs or dress myself. I left work at 22 weeks. I was referred to a maternity physio and saw them on a monthly basis where I received manual therapy. This would help for a week or two then the pain and immobility would return. In the final weeks, I could only sleep whilst laying on an icepack and would regularly wake up in a soaking wet bed!
PGP pain did not decrease after delivery
After the birth of my son, I spent two years seeking help, the pain wasn’t as severe but it meant that activities like house work and shopping became more difficult and I had to adapt my lifestyle to help manage the pain. My work as a radiographer became increasingly difficult and I had to reduce my hours significantly. I continued to see the maternity physio until after a year, they made me feel like there was little more they could do for me and I didn’t ‘belong’ in the department anymore. I became very depressed and was prescribed anti-depressants. The health professionals made me feel like I was imagining the pain – or at very least that I was making too much of it. I was continually being told it was very uncommon so long after pregnancy.
Finding effective treatment
I finally found the Pelvic Partnership earlier this year and discovered that many people had the manual therapy they needed from McTimoney Chiropractic practitioners. So I got online and found a lady 40 minutes away. I am pleased to say she has been wonderful. I saw her weekly at first and then fortnightly. I finally felt ready to have another baby (something I hadn’t been able to foresee until now) and now I am 17 weeks into my pregnancy and with her help, I am in a lot less pain than before. I now feel optimistic about the future – the first time in two years! So thank you to the Pelvic Partnership! What you do is invaluable to women like me who feel alone and misunderstood.
Many thanks, Helen, for telling your story of PGP. It is particularly difficult for women to keep looking for appropriate treatment when health professionals don’t seem willing to help or to make women feel as though they are ‘imagining the pain.’ Unfortunately, there do seem to be a number of women who approach the Pelvic Partnership who have been treated as though their PGP symptoms are just in their heads. Similarly, we do find there are examples of women whose PGP symptoms do not seem to be getting any better after some months after seeing an NHS physio and the department draws the physio sessions to a close. If this has happened to you, you have every right to return to that department if your condition is not improving and it may be best to ask for a different physio and one who has experience of treating PGP (if the original practitioner did not). There are some excellent manual therapists out there so do keep looking. The Pelvic Partnership have a list of private ‘Recommended practitioners’ that our members have recommended if this is an option for you.