I wanted to discuss a little more specifically what I am doing for SIJ relief. Again, keep in mind that I am not a physician, and my experience here should not be mistaken for medical advice. Please consult your doctor before attempting any of the therapeutic modalities I have utilized.
I have been seeing a chiropractor twice a week. Next week we move down to once a week, and eventually every other and then as needed, if I continue to progress well
which I don’t think I will, but one can always hope, right?
Naturally, he does a regular re-evaluation with me to make sure that we are on track with goals and improvement. He has been apply Rocktape (sports tape, basically) to my abdomen on the sides and beneath the belly, and then on the SIJ itself. This is to stimulate the weak muscles while suppressing the muscles that are being overworked. I don’t know if it’s working or not, but I have noticed that the SIJ taping helps me sit up straighter, and the abdominal taping is definitely adding additional support (and, therefore, pain relief).
Before we began, Kelly, my chiropractor asked me what my goals were regarding pain management. I told him I was hoping my pain would go down to a 6, and not increase above 9 (at the time I was living around 7/8 on a 1-10 pain scale). I think I’m being realistic. There is no way I can get my pain below 5. But he’s trying. He is optimistic that we may be able to get me to a 5 or under. But even he agrees that we are working against a natural process.
I also told him I want to remain as functional as possible for as long as possible. I now have two children at home that I need to care for, and my husband is already doing almost everything to spare me the pain. Its not fair to him, but neither of us want this baby to come early.
Kelly uses the Activator a lot, and has just begun manual adjustments. He wanted to hold off on them because he didn’t know how my body would respond, what with me being high risk. I totally get his concern.
His first manual adjustment was last thursday, and that night I slept better than I have slept in four months. I had the same result on monday night after my adjustment. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to wake up feeling rested and without pain! And for those who are sceptical of chiropractors? I don’t think 90 minutes of massage therapy could give me rest like that. Nor could I afford it twice a week.
At some point I plan on trying acupuncture (another therapy recommended by the maternal fetal specialists), but I’m not there yet. Think about it: needles nearby children under the age of 6? I would need a sitter, which is just one more expense I can’t afford to deal with right now.
I have been wearing a maternity belt since the 10th week. The belt helps to support a more normal, aligned gait, and prevent my SI Joint from slipping too much while I walk. Without the belt, my “pregnancy waddle” is more pronounced because I have less control of my right leg (due to the SI Joint slipping around). I can also feel more sharp pains up and down my back and leg the longer I go without a support belt. While initially it is slightly more comfortable to walk without the belt, the pain builds up fast, and the cons of the belt are far greater than the pros. So, support belt it is.
This belt, incidentally, is the third maternity belt I have tried. The first one was from Motherhood Maternity and cost me around $30. I bought this when I was pregnant with Tiger boy (my first child), and didn’t know at the time that the SI Joint was where I needed the most support, so I wore it far too high. And it was so stiff! Cut in everywhere, especially my lower abdomen. Not fun.
The second one was some sort of overall-harness that attached to a pair of underwear. For the life of me I can’t remember where I got it, I just remember how ineffective, uncomfortable, and impractical it was. Readjusting something that complicated every time you pee is terribly inconvenient for someone who pees every hour on the hour. And I felt absolutely no support-just a lot of pain on the top of my shoulders. I ditched that sucker after less than a week.
My current version is the Curad belt. The first one I bought was an off brand hack that cost me $30. I loaned it out a year or so ago and am unable to get it back. So I was in need of another one. I went back to my previous years orders (thank goodness Amazon keeps this stuff on file) and happened upon a review noting that it was the same design as the one sold by Curad for $13. I purchased Curad’s version, and have to say-it is exactly the same. And by far the most comfortable of the options I have used so far.
But I should probably be using a sacroiliac belt. I just found out about these, so I’m not sure I want to pay for more stuff, especially since I don’t even know where to start. I will keep what I have for now, but I just may go for it if the pain dictates. And even then, only if I find a nice, cheap one with really great reviews.
I don’t suppose you happen to know of any good ones?
Cont to Part 3.