|Who can help: therapists and others||| Print ||
There is physiotherapy available on the National Health Service (NHS) through most maternity units or through your GP. Make sure you find someone who has had extra training in treating pelvic joint pain. Make sure whoever refers you is aware that you need to be seen quickly, as sometimes you can be put onto a long waiting list by mistake, when being seen quickly can reduce the deterioration of your condition. Alternatively, you can use a private physiotherapist. Physiotherapy treatment is safe throughout pregnancy, and can keep you mobile and independent.
These professionals have extensive training in treating joint and other problems. They can be a good alternative to physiotherapy. They are rarely available on the NHS. Make sure you find someone who is experienced in treating pelvic joint pain.
An Occupational Therapist can provide equipment and advice to help with the activities of daily living (washing, dressing, getting in/out of bed etc).
GPs can refer you for physiotherapy or to see a consultant. Either referral can be a useful source of support. Make sure that the fact you have PGP is properly recorded in your medical notes. You may find yourself in a continuous educational role.
Don’t be afraid to share all the information you have with them. It helps you to assess their level of knowledge. Antenatally, it can help to give you support and information (and vice versa) and prepare for any help you may need afterwards. Midwives can be very helpful in planning how they can meet your needs during labour and birth. It is beneficial to make sure they are aware of your individual physical needs and wishes. Postnatally, they may be able give you access to other services you might need. Don’t be afraid to ask for home visits if it becomes difficult to get out, particularly with a new baby. Most are only too happy to give the extra support. Midwives are usually based at either the local hospital or your GP surgery. You can also use an independent midwife who will give you individual care. To find an independent midwife click here www.independentmidwives.org.uk/. Independent midwives charge a fee for their services.
The obstetric consultant is the senior doctor who specialises in conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. You may be referred to discuss plans for birth (or other complications of pregnancy). You may also be referred to discuss planning future pregnancies. You can request a referral from your GP or midwife, and are also entitled to a second opinion (i.e. from a different consultant) if you would find this helpful. A registrar is more junior than a consultant, and a Senior House Officer (SHO) is the most junior member of the team.
The orthopaedic consultant is the senior doctor specialising in bone and joint conditions. You may be referred if you have had trauma (e.g. a fall) or if your symptoms are not improving. Again, you can ask for a referral from your GP.
These clinics specialise in treating people with long-term pain. They have many treatments available as well as usually offering an advice or counselling service. You can be referred, usually through your consultant. There may be long waiting lists for this service.
If you need financial assistance, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the main benefit you may be entitled to if you have severe difficulty or pain when walking. Get someone supportive to help you with the application, as focusing on your disability can be depressing. You may also be entitled to Incapacity Benefit if you have been working.