Practical Advice

Find out as much as you can about Pelvic Girdle Pain and ask for a referral to a physiotherapist at an early stage. 

 In some areas you may be able to refer yourself. The ACPWH Guidelines are a good starting point.

Try to remain as active as possible but accept your limitations and know when to accept help from others.

Don't compare yourself to others with the condition - everyone is affected differently.

Research has suggested that acupuncture can be helpful for managing pelvic girdle pain. In some areas it is available through the NHS so it would be worth enquiring about this.

If the health professional treating you is unfamiliar with the condition the ACPWH have also produced guidelines for health professionals which can be viewed on their website and purchased for a small fee.  Click here to acess the ACPWH Guidelines for Health Professionals.

 Ask for a second opinion if you are still having symptoms and  the only treatment offered is a support belt and crutches or if no treatment is offered.  If you are having difficulty finding a physiotherapist with experience of treating pelvic girdle pain please contact us by email at info@pelvicinstability.org.uk and we will do our best to help you.

Day to day living

Sit down with your family and explain how your pelvic girdle pain is affecting your daily activities and what your worries and concerns are. Work  out practical ways in which your day to day life can be made easier e.g getting help with collecting the children from school, hanging out washing, shopping, walking the dog, lifting and carrying etc  Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help from family or friends. Have a look at our occupational therapy page for further information and our links page for further information on other agencies which may be able to help such as home start.

If you are having difficulties with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, cooking etc ask your GP to refer you to an Occupational Therapist.

An Occupational Therapist can visit you at home and look at practical way to make things easier for you which can include:

  • Checking the height of your bed/sofa/armchair. It is more comfortable to rise from your bed or chair if it is a certian height as if it is too low it can be painful to standa up from sitting. Raisers can be added to your furniture to ensure that it is an optimal height for yourself.
  • A toilet raiser may not be the most attractive item in your bathroom but it is amazing how much easier it is to lower  yourself onto the loo if it is not as low down as a conventional toilet. These raisers can simply be lifted off by anyone who does not require their use.

A body pillow may be worth considering as it is much easier and less painful to sleep with one of these. When sleeping on your side the pillow can be placed between your knees and then under your bump for optimum support.

Our Occupational Therapy and useful links page have  further information.

 Antenatal Care

Discuss any concerns with your midwife and make sure that the fact that you have pelvic girdle pain is recorded in your notes, together with your pain free gap. Discuss with your midwife, birth partner/s and physiotherapist the best positions for labour and birth.

Getting out and about

 If your mobility has become affected such that you have become mainly  housebound as a result of pelvic girdle pain it can be hugely therapeutic to have a trip out to the shops. This can be made easier by the Shopmobility Schemes which operate throughout the country and rent out a wide variety of mobility aids, often free of charge or for a small donation.

Sitting on a carrier bag can make it easier to get in and out of the car. To get into the car,  sit first then swivel your legs in together. To get out of the car push the seat back then swivel your legs out.

Caring for small children

Take particular care when lifting and carrying and avoid carrying a child on one hip. See our general advice page for further information. 

 If you have still to purchase a second stage car seat you might consider  the Bebeconfort Axiss Seat which swivels round to the side and then back again thus  making it much easier to get restless toddlers in and out of the car. This seat is now available from many of the major retailers including mothercare. It does retail at approximately twice the price of  many of the other standard stage two car seats but considering how often you have to put toddlers in and out of the car it may well be a worthwhile investment.

Ensure that pushchairs, prams and changing stations are at a comfortable height for you.

 Find out about possible sources of support in your area such as home start and talk things over with your health visitor.

 

Working

How much your  work is affected   will depend on the type of job you do and what your own individual symptoms are.  Remember everyone is affected differently. Discuss the situation  with your employer if you are having  difficulties.  If they are  unfamiliar with the condition the ACPWH Guidelines can be a useful means of highlighting what some of the problems are. If you are having a lot of problems with pain and mobility you may have to consider taking  time off work. Discuss this with your midwife/or GP. Don't be hard on yourself if you do have to  take time off  work  but do make sure you get yourself assessed by a physiotherapist with experience in managing pelvic girdle pain/symphysis pubis dysfunction.

Workplace Ergonomics

 If your involves mainly sitting at a desk  try to avoid sitting in one position for too long.  Your chair/height of your desk /ease of access to your computer screen are all part of your work place ergonomics - ask your physiotherapist for advice regarding your own particular situation.Sometimes a few simple changes to your working environment can make a huge difference.  Your workplace may have an Occupational Health Department who will be able to give further advice. Be careful when carrying laptops and other equipment and avoid loading them unevenly on one side of your body.

Driving

Getting in and out of the car, the seating position and gear changes in manual cars are all  difficulties that people with pelvic girdle pain/symphysis pubis dysfunction have reported. Using a carrier bag can  make it easier to get in and out ( removing it  before driving!) and some people have reported benefit  from using seat wedges. Ask your physiotherapist whether wedges may be helpful  in your particular situation. If you have access to an automatic car it may be worth trying this to see if it is helpful  as some women have reported that an automatic car has made driving easier.

Benefits

You may be eligible  for Disability Living Allowance(DLA) if your mobility is severely restricted and/or  you have difficulty with activities of daily living such as preparing meals.You do have to have had symptoms for three months before you apply and be expected to have them for another six months. This benefit is not means tested and is tax free. It is divided into two components a mobility component (two different levels) and a care component(three different levels).  Please email us at support@pelvicinstability.org.uk if you would like further information.  A guidance sheet on this is now available.

Parking badges(Blue Badges)

If you are having significant problems with mobility a  blue parking badge can make a big difference to being able to get out and about and help maintain your independence. It can also be used if you are in a car driven by someone else.

The Blue Badge Scheme is administered by the Local Council or authority and the address and telephone number will be in your local directory.

If you qualify  for higher rate mobility allowance as part of DLA you are automatically eligible for a disabled parking badge. If you don't qualify for higher rate mobility allowance it may still be possible to obtain a parking badge- click here to access information from the Scottish Governments website on the Blue Badge Scheme. 

Previously  people who didn't qualify for a badge through being eligible for the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance  had to have a  walking disability that was deemed to be permanent to be eligible for a blue badge a badge but now those who are "unable to walk or have considerable difficulty in walking because of a temporary but substantial disability which is likely to last for a period of at least 12 months but less than 3 years" are eligible.

 if you would like further information please email us at support@pelvicinstability.org.uk

Have a look at our Occupational Therapy page for further information about how an Occupational Therapy Assessment can help if you are having problems with activities of daily living such as bathing, cooking etc

Free Membership of PINS.

If you would like to help us improve awareness of this condition and  to be put in touch with other people who have similar experiences please consider becoming a member of Pelvic Instability Network Scotland. Further information is available on our membership page.

 

 

The information on www.pelvicinstability.org.uk is for information only and is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health professional. Pelvic Instability Network Scotland (PINS) is a registered Scottish Charity SCO 39222. Copyright Pelvic Instability Network Scotland (PINS) 2008