Pregnancy is an exciting phase. However, it involves pains and aches with your body changing. Hip pain is one such common symptom that you may experience. It is the most felt discomfort in late pregnancy phase that is during your third trimester.
For some, it may be a minor problem, but for some others, it can interfere with their everyday activities and cause sleep disruptions. You will usually feel the pain in the back or side of the hip, and it turns worse while standing. The pain aggravates when lifting weights.
What Causes Hip Pain During Pregnancy?
Here are many causes of hip pain during pregnancy. It is mainly caused when the ligaments holding the sacroiliac joints, which connect spine to pelvis, loosen.
1. Relaxin Hormone:
You body releases relaxin, a major hormone during pregnancy. It causes relaxation by softening all your joints and muscles. It is released in significant amounts to prepare your body for delivery. It softens the pelvic joints, so that your baby can easily pass through the birth canal at the time of labor. However, the hormone increases your sensitivity to trauma which can result in hip pain.
There are two sciatic nerves in the body.
Both originate from the lower back region and connect to feet. When your bulging uterus exerts pressure on these nerves, it can lead to numbness, pain and a tingling sensation in the hips, thighs and buttocks. As you near your due date, the baby changes position, and you may feel less discomfort. Although sciatica is a common sign of pregnancy, you should inform your doctor as it may occur due to other serious causes.
3. Round Ligament Pain:
It is characterized by a throbbing pain in the hip, groin, and abdominal area. The pain increases with any changes or movements in the baby’s position.
4. Transient Osteoporosis:
Transient Osteoporosis : It is another primary cause of hip pain that afflicts especially in the second and third trimester. Transient osteoporosis causes a temporary bone loss in the upper portion of the thigh bone. It, therefore, leads to the sudden onset of hip pain which intensifies with walking or other physical activities.
MRI scan is usually required to diagnose the condition. The healing process lasts for six weeks, but it sometimes leads to hip fracture.
5. Increase In Weight:
Extra weight from your growing pregnancy can put some amount of pressure on the pelvis causing a shift and thereby pain.
6. Wrong Posture:
It can lead to hip pain, especially during second and third trimester when your body is not in perfect balance due to your baby’s weight.
Other Causes For Pain In Hips During Pregnancy:
Overweight women and those with prior hip issues will develop pain when they sleep on their side. Though sleeping on the side is a must during late pregnancy, it can cause hip pain due to built-in pressure.
Physical changes will also cause hip pain during pregnancy. The pressure built by the huge uterus and softening of pelvic bones can cause hip pain and discomfort in your third trimester.
The center of gravity shifts during pregnancy because of the pressure built on your hip and pelvis. It can, therefore, cause hip pain, which you can reduce by changing your body structure.
How You Can Treat Hip Pain During Pregnancy:
Hip pain can be severe enough to cause trouble while you are sleeping. It can also cause stress and discomfort during the day. Here is how you can get relief from the pain and discomfort:
1. Use A Pregnancy Pillow:
Using a full-body pregnancy pillow helps. You may experience hip pain when sleeping because of the poor posture or lack of support in the pelvic area. You can escape from this by using a pregnancy pillow. It adjusts to your body shape and offers excellent support to your belly, back and legs.
If the pillow is not enough, you can use a recliner, especially in the later stages of pregnancy to have control on your body position.
2. Sleeping On Your Side:
In the final trimester, especially when you are getting closer to labor, you should sleep on your side, keeping your knees and legs bent. You can use pillows to support the abdomen and upper leg to find comfort. If sleeping on your side aggravates your hip pain, place a blanket or a pillow to your lower back and sleep against it. It will alleviate the pressure on your hip.
3. Heat Therapy:
When nothing else works, have a warm water bath or apply a hot water bottle on your hip. With advice and consultation from your doctor, you can also get a massage with warm oil to get relief from hip pain. The massage should be very gentle, and your bath water should be warm (not hot).
4. Rest Whenever Possible:
Standing on your feet all day long can aggravate your hip pain. Ensure that you take rest or sit down as much as you can during the day. Try to be in a position that gives you the most needed relief, rest and relaxation. Sitting and sleeping with legs raised and a proper back support will give you relief from hip pain.
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