Hip Pain During Pregnancy: How To Relieve It?

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During pregnancy, hip pain can be caused by a range of factors, from normal changes in your body to serious health problems. The study found that 32.1% of women delivering at a tertiary hospital on 184 occasions experienced hip pain while pregnant.

The body prepares for labor by preparing for birth just before the due date, making pregnant women experience hip pain near their due dates. The pain usually starts abruptly or gradually increases, and will last for several days or weeks. Learn how to relieve pregnancy hip pain by reading this post about its causes and relief methods.

Hip Pain During Pregnancy: What Causes It?

During each trimester of pregnancy, hip pain may have different causes. Some women may experience hip pain during or before their pregnancy, and some may feel it in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Hip pain in pregnancy may result from the following causes:

Sleeping position

Pregnancy hip pain is often caused by lying on your side. During pregnancy, the mothers find that sleeping on their sides is more comfortable than sleeping on their backs or fronts. Nonetheless, the hip area may become sorer as a result. Since women spend long periods of time resting at night, they are likely to experience hip pain during sleep.

Relaxin hormone

Women may experience pain in their hips and pelvis because of pregnancy hormones, such as relaxin. Ligaments and joints between the pelvic bones may become loose as a result of hormonal changes. Despite its need to accommodate the growing uterus and childbirth, this process can be painful.

Read Also: Causes And Remedies For Diarrhea During Pregnancy

Round ligament pain

Round ligament pain can cause sharp pain in the abdomen or groin during the second trimester. On each side of the uterus, these ligaments hold it in place. Certain women may experience round ligament contractions and pain as a result of rapid movement.

Sciatica

In the third trimester, there might be pain caused by the uterus pressing against the sciatic nerve. In addition to tingling, people usually experience hip, buttocks, and thigh pain from this condition.

Weight gain

During pregnancy, you are more likely to experience hip pain if you gained more weight. By having a higher body mass index, weight-bearing joints like ankles, knees, and hips can be affected. Weight gain is often associated with knee and ankle pain. Another contributing factor to hip pain and other musculoskeletal pains is being overweight or obese during pregnancy.

Related: How To Control Weight During Pregnancy

Poor posture

An expanding belly and loosen ligaments and joints may alter the body alignment during pregnancy. Women who do not correct their poor posture during pregnancy may experience hip pain and lower back pain.

Hip pain during pregnancy is rare, and this can be caused by specific disorders or trauma. To determine the cause of hip pain in pregnancy, a doctor may order diagnostic tests to rule out these conditions. You may suffer from any of the following conditions.

Transient osteoporosis of the hip (TOH)

Pregnant women or those less than a year postpartum are usually affected by transient osteoporosis of the hip. There is no known cause for TOH in most cases. The condition is characterized by a sudden or gradual onset of intense hip pain. As you bear weight, the pain worsens. Visualizing the abnormality is possible with an MRI scan. When untreated or unbearably weighted for a long period of time, TOH can ultimately lead to fractures of the femoral head.

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Osteonecrosis of the femoral head

Osteonecrosis develops when the femur (thighbone) is exposed to prolonged blood loss. It is unknown exactly how this condition is caused, but several factors, such as advanced maternal age, high levels of cortisol, high levels of progesterone, estrogen, and direct injury from the growing uterus, are thought to be involved. In the third trimester or the early postpartum period, this can lead to severe hip pain. The left hip can be affected unilaterally (one-sided) in pregnant women, but the right hip usually does not receive any involvement.

Inflammatory sacroiliitis

The sacroiliac joints, which connect the lower spine to the pelvis, are irritated or inflamed in sacroiliitis. Due to increased pressure on the joints during pregnancy, hip pain is typically caused by this.

Sacral stress fractures

Stress fractures in the sacrum may lead to back pain and hip pain in pregnant women. Some women may experience in-induced hormonal changes during pregnancy due to calcium deficiency and reduced bone mass caused by osteopenia.

Acetabular (hip) labral tears

Cartilage and tissue are damaged in an acetabular or hip labral tear. When you move your leg, you may feel that it clicks or cause hip pain. Women who are pregnant may suffer from this condition as a result of pregnancy hormones affecting the joint.

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)

An indigestion problem caused by a stiff pelvic joint, the symphysis pubis, is called symphysis pubis disproportion. Some pregnant women experience hip pain and pelvic girdle pain as a result of this.

Cauda equina syndrome

A condition known as cauda equina syndrome (CES) is caused by the compression and destruction of nerve bundles in the neck. For some women, this may cause lower back pain, leg pain, and hip pain. For others, it may lead to bowel incontinence and paralysis, making it a medical emergency. The lower back is subject to mechanical and positional stress during pregnancy, resulting in compression.

You should seek medical care to determine the exact cause of hip pain even if it is normal during pregnancy and resolves eventually. You should consult your doctor if you have concerns.

What Are The Best Ways To Relieve Hip Pain During Pregnancy?

hip pain in pregnancy
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If you suffer from hip pain during pregnancy, you may benefit from the following remedies.

Exercises and stretches

During pregnancy, back strength and abdominal strength exercises may help ease hip pain. With the guidance of an expert, you can try antenatal yoga. Although these exercises are simple ones, gynecologists recommend that you seek their advice beforehand.

Pregnancy hip pain may be relieved with the following exercises and stretches.

1. Piriformis stretch

Then lean forward until you feel a stretch along the sides of your belly button. Place your ankle on the opposite knee. If you think the stretch is too painful, hold it for 30 seconds and try again.   You can do this as many times as you like.

Related: Is It Safe For A Pregnant Women To Lift Weights During Pregnancy?

2. Lumbar rotation or back stretch

The knees can be raised, the feet can be flat on the bed, and the arms can be stretched out to the sides. You may roll your knees to one side and hold for 30 seconds until you feel the stretch. This may be repeated three times a day for both sides.

3. Iliotibial band or ITB stretch

The pain leg can be crossed behind the other leg if you stand near a wall and support yourself on the wall. As you lean away from the wall, hold your position for 30 seconds until the leg on which you are having difficulty stretches. It may be repeated three times per day.

4. Standing hip abduction

Stand on the back of a chair or a firm, stable surface with one hand. Bring the painful leg back to normal position by lifting, holding, and bringing it back. Perform the exercise three times a day and repeat it up to ten times. Once you become accustomed to the exercise you may increase the number of counts and the holding time.

Related: The Benefits of Swimming During Pregnancy

5. Bridges

Laying down flat with your feet on the floor and your knees raised is an option. Repeat the exercise ten times lifting your bottom and holding it for ten seconds each time.   You can do this as many times as you like.

6. Hip stability against the wall

The good leg can be used to push against the wall in 90 degrees if holding it against the wall. By doing this, the hip muscles of the painful leg (the leg that faces away from the wall) could be contracted. For 30 seconds, hold the position. The exercise may be performed thrice a day and five times.

7. Side leg raises

Maintain a straight posture while lying on your side. For five seconds, raise and hold the leg. Both sides may be done ten times each. The exercise can be performed three times a day.

Related: Can I Do Elliptical During Pregnancy?

8. Clams

Keep your knees bent and your ankles together as you lie on your sides. Raising your knee will help. Each side should be done ten times on both sides, and you should watch your back to ensure that you don’t fall. It may be done three times daily.

9. Wall squats

Squat by leaning against the wall, bending your knees, and slipping your back against the wall. Repetition of ten seconds followed by ten holds is recommended. You can do this as many times as you like.

Should you be unable to perform the movements and stretches, you may seek help from the midwife or physiotherapist. While exercising, make sure you’re safe.

Warm compresses or warm bath

The pain may be relieved by a warm bath or a warm compress. It is believed that warmth increases blood flow in an area by dilating blood vessels. As a result, muscle spasms and joint stiffness may also be reduced.

If you use hot pads soaked in hot water or a damp towel, you can do it over a period of 15 to 30 minutes. It is possible to further relax the muscles by adding magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) to water.

Pregnancy pillow

When you experience hip pain when sleeping on your side, you may want to use a pregnancy pillow or blanket to support your back. In addition to a pillow, you may also use a table leg for added comfort. Hip pain during pregnancy may be reduced by using maternity pillows.

Change sleep positions

Near the due date, some women may experience less hip pain by sleeping on their sides and keeping their knees bent. It is possible to experience pain in one area if you lie on the same side. If the other side is pain-free, you may change sides.

Massage

Pain and soreness may be eased by massages. As you lie on your side, massage the painful area using gentle rotating and rocking movements. A partner or caregiver may be able to help you with this at home.

Related: Pregnancy Massage: Benefits, Techniques, and Contradictions

OTC medications

For women with hip pain during pregnancy, over-the-counter medications may be necessary. It is up to your doctor to determine the type and dose of pain medication based on your personal circumstances.

When Should You See A Doctor?

For a diagnosis of hip pain during pregnancy, it is recommended that you see your doctor. When hip pain radiating into the thighs precedes the 37th week of pregnancy and there is soreness or pressure in the pelvic region, you should see a medical professional immediately. There could also be a vaginal discharge and contractions in the uterus if preterm labor is the cause.

Hip pain is possible at any time during pregnancy. It may occur at certain times or during certain periods. You should visit your doctor and find out the exact cause of the problem. Laying on your back for a few minutes with the hips elevated above your chest level can benefit your health. Before hip pain sets in, use supportive pillows while sleeping. If your gynecologist does not recommend exercises and stretches, you can try warm compresses and massage.


References

[1]. Musculoskeletal pain and symptoms in pregnancy: a descriptive study: NCBI

[2]. Why weight matters when it comes to joint pain: Harvard Health

 

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