Pelvic Girdle Pain Survival Essentials
You can’t really understand the agony of Pelvic Girdle Pain until it hits you. Pregnancy is probably the worst time in one's life to suffer with it, because your body is already going through so many changes, and chances are you’re already trying to cope with other “joys” of pregnancy like morning sickness, itchy skin, the hormone rollercoaster etc. The problem is that some people really don't take Pelvic Girdle Pain (or PGP) seriously, so you have to seek information by yourself and try to figure out how best to deal with it. The good news is that you’re here and I can point out plenty of ways to treat this real and painful condition. You can and will survive PGP.
If you’re on a budget, look around your house and see if you can find extra pillows. It’s the cheapest way to get some bedtime relief. You can use them to support the pelvis and keep your knees apart while sleeping, and can provide the cushioning needed to avoid joint pain and help to stabilize the body during sleep. Stuff one under your bump if it’s getting big.
Problems with sleep are one of the major issues with PGP for most women, so using pillows should be the first up for anyone who is dealing with them. Maternity slide sheets are a newer product on the market, and they can be an absolute lifesaver for women whose sleep is interrupted by Pelvic Girdle Pain. A slide sheet is an interesting item. This sheet is made of a special fabric, and all a woman has to do is put it on top of her fitted sheet each night. Then she sleeps on it, and the fabric rolls with her more easily to avoid the difficulties that many pregnant women face while trying to roll over at night.
Maybe you know the drill: Wake up, panic, sigh, move halfway, grit your teeth, curse, finish the movement, sob, recover, try and get back to sleep. Yup, a maternity slide sheet will help with that.
Another lifestyle issue that PGP sufferers face is the inability to bend over, stretch and reach or grab items easily. One way to combat this problem is to purchase a grabber tool. These tools are available in pharmacies and other stores that sell medical equipment, but they also are available in major stores like Walmart and Target. A grabber tool has a handle that is approximately 1 meter (2 to 3 feet) long (different sizes available) and then has some type of trigger and claw on it to help people pick up items that have dropped on the floor or that are high in the air. A grabber tool can take significant stress of the pelvic joint for women suffering from PGP. If you already have young children in the home you probably know they tend to leave everything on the floor.
Survive getting around
Women who have more severe cases of PGP may find that simply walking is a difficult prospect each day, and in those cases, crutches or even a walker may be necessary. It’s not great, let’s face it, but try to have a sense of humour about it. At least you’re not stuck with it forever. Crutches are less expensive, but all they do is provide assistance if there is concern about an unstable joint giving away and causing a fall. If you’re out and about or need to stand somewhere, it’s good to lean on them for support.
Many women, especially young women, are unlikely to want to use a walker unless absolutely necessary. The benefit of a walker, however, is that it can provide support for the full body weight, and in cases of severe PGP that threaten a woman's ability to walk on a daily basis, getting a walker maybe the best way to avoid bed rest. Some of them have a seat, so if you get really tired or in too much pain, you can rest for a bit.
If all else fails, consider getting a wheelchair. Often, large stores, malls, airports etc. can let you borrow a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get around. Don’t hesitate to ask.
Survive with a bit of help
For severe PGP cases, these more “normal” methods may not be enough. In those cases, doctors can prescribe pain medications that help ease the joint- and muscle pain, and some supplements also can help with the joint health, but always check with a doctor before taking any over-the-counter drugs or supplements. Some doctors can write prescriptions for medical equipment, it’s worth it to ask because that usually means that you get if cheaper or free. Sometimes you can borrow equipment from your medical service provider.
Last but not least, ask for help. If you're really struggling with living with Pelvic Girdle Pain, reach out to people. Your partner, family, doctor, midwife or online support community. There are PGP support groups on Facebook and various internet forums.
PGP is a real and difficult problem to face while pregnant but women who are struggling with it shouldn't fear. There are plenty of ways to address the problem to make your life a bit more pleasant.