As your due date approaches, you may find that your back and hips hurt all the time. All of these pains are normal and are caused by the changes occurring in your body. While discomfort and pain in your hips is normal in the third trimester, it can be distracting. At times, it may be intense enough to interfere with your day-to-day life. If this is the case, you may feel in the side of your hips or your backs. It may be hard to sleep, and the pain may worsen when you stand or try lifting weights. Luckily, there are some ways that you can remedy this pregnancy symptom.
Why Hip Pain Occurs During Pregnancy
There are a number of different reasons why you experience hip pain during pregnancy. The biggest reason why this happens is because the sacroiliac joints that connect your spine and pelvis become looser.
1. Round Ligament Pain
This type of pain feels like a throbbing sensation in your groin, abdominal region and hips. It tends to increase when the baby changes its position.
2. Relaxin Hormone
During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone causes your joints and muscles to soften and relax. When released in these amounts, it helps your body prepare for delivery. The pelvic joints basically have to soften so that the baby can pass through your birth canal. Unfortunately, the hormone can also increase your pain sensitivity and sensitivity to trauma. This can cause an increased amount of hip pain.
Every person has two sciatic nerves that start in the lower back and connect to your feet. As your uterus grows, it adds pressure to these nerves. As a result, you may feel pain, tingling sensations or numbness in your hips, bottom and thighs. When your baby changes position as you near your due date, this symptom may improve. While sciatica is normal during pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor about it to make sure that it is not a sign of a problem.
4. Bad Posture
With your weight and symptom of gravity changing during pregnancy, it is easy for your body to be in the wrong posture. This can end up causing hip pain.
5. Physical Changes
If you are overweight or already had hip issues before your pregnancy, then you may have more of a problem with hip pain. Sleeping on the side can also cause extra pressure. The size of your uterus and the softening of your pelvic bones can increase hip pain in your third trimester.
6. Transient Osteoporosis
This is a leading cause of hip pain in the second and third trimesters. Basically, it means that you have temporary bone loss in the upper part of your thigh bone. This causes sudden hip pain that worsens when you engage in physical activities. It takes about six weeks for this condition to heal, and it can be diagnosed using an MRI. If you fall before it heals, you can develop a hip fracture.
7. Weight Gain
It is normal to gain weight during pregnancy, and you need to gain weight to have a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, the extra weight can add pressure on your pelvis. As a result, you develop hip pain.
Ways to Relieve Hip Pain During Pregnancy
Luckily, you do not have to just live with the hip pain forever. While it may cause you to have problems falling asleep and discomfort during the day, there are ways that you can reduce the pain.
1. Prenatal Massage
A prenatal massage is a great way to treat yourself when you are expecting. More importantly, it helps to reduce stress and relax your muscles. A trained therapist can help target the muscles that are causing your hip pain. Before long, you will be relaxing in comfort!
2. Iliac Brace
This type of brace or a pregnancy belt can be used when you perform physical work or stand for a long time period. It helps to support your midsection and back. To make sure that you choose the right one, talk to your doctor about the best brand to buy.
3. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is a relaxing, wonderful treatment when you are pregnancy. If you have the time, take a warm bath and light some candles. If you are short on time, a heating pad or a hot water bottle can be placed on your hip. A massage with warm oil can also help, but make sure to talk to your doctor first. If you use any heat, make sure that it is warm and not too hot.
4. Pregnancy Pillows
A full-body pillow can help reduce your hip pain. By this point, you are probably having to sleep on your side at night. A pregnancy pillow can help to support your pelvic area and improve your poor posture at night. It helps to adjust your body’s shape while supporting your back, belly and legs. A recliner may also help during the later stages of your pregnancy.
5. Pilates and Yoga
Yoga and Pilates are gentle exercises that can help you prepare for labor. They help to stretch your muscles and reduce your hip pain. Your yoga instructor should be able to recommend positions that can align, stretch and alleviate your hip pain. If not, there are also prenatal yoga classes that you can go to.
6. Sleeping on Your Side
During your third trimester, you should be sleeping on your side. Keep your legs and knees bent. Pillows can support your upper legs and abdomen. If this hurts your hips, try using a pillow or blanket under your lower back to help alleviate the pressure that is placed on your hips.
7. Get Plenty of Rest
If you have to stand on your feet all day at work, then you can quickly develop terrible hip pain. Try to sit down or rest as much as you can throughout the day. Figure out which position gives you the best relief and stick to it as much as possible. Sitting or sleeping with your legs raised can help relieve your hip pain. Just make sure that you have adequate back support!
8. Water Workouts
Swimming and water aerobics are amazing for expecting mothers! The water supports your body and joints so that you do not have to. While standing and walking can aggravate your hip pain, swimming will not. It helps to relieve the pressure that is placed on the pelvis and joints. Your body becomes weightless, so your hips have a chance to recover.
9. Hip Flexor Stretch
Your hip flexors help your upper legs move forward. During pregnancy, they can tighten and cause discomfort or pain in your hips. Weak abdominal muscles can also lead your hip flexors to tighten and ruin your pelvic alignment. To stretch your hip flexors, kneel on one leg and place the other in front of your body while bending the knee. Shift your weight toward the front leg to stretch your hip flexor muscles. Then, switch to the opposite leg.
10. Hamstring Stretches
Your hamstrings are on the back of your leg. They can tighten in pregnancy and cause back or hip pain. To stretch them, start by sitting down. If you are seated, extend one leg in front of you while bending the other with the foot on your thigh or inner knee. As you lean towards your outstretched leg, it causes the hamstrings to stretch. Then, you can do the same stretch on your other leg.
11. Child’s Pose
This yoga pose stretches the muscles of the spine, which often become tightened during pregnancy. Start by kneeling on the ground. Lower the top half of your body so that it is resting on your upper thighs. Your ankles are under the back of your thighs and your lower body is essentially on the floor. If you can, rest your forehead on the floor and extend your arms backwards. Relax in this position and let it stretch out your spinal muscles.
Extra Tips for Relieving Hip Pain During Pregnancy
– Place extra padding below your hip joint to provide added support.
– If you are lying on your back, put a pillow between your knees. Squeeze it to help realign your pelvic bones.
– Do not cross your legs when you are sleeping because this could add pressure on your hips.
– Use an ice pack on your hips several times a day to alleviate your pain.
– Sleep with your legs parallel to each pother, but keep your knees and ankles separate.
– Choose a mattress that is the right balance of firm and soft.
– Put a pillow under your baby bump while sleeping so that you do not roll forward.
– Use a warm compress on your hips to relieve the pain.
– Stop wearing heels because they can worsen hip pain and imbalance your body. Stick to flats or sneakers.
– Keep your shoulders back, pelvis tucked in and head up when you are standing.
– Ask your doctor before taking any pain reliever like ibuprofen or aspirin.