Hip Pain During Pregnancy
Relaxin – The extra weight placed on weight-bearing joints and the release of a pregnancy hormone called relaxin are the primary reasons many women experience hip pain during their second and third trimesters. Secreted within the ovary by a gland called the corpus luteum, relaxin is released after a woman ovulates in preparation for a potential pregnancy.
If the woman does not become pregnant, relaxin levels drop until the next time a woman ovulates. However, if pregnancy occurs, relaxin levels begin rising. During the first trimester, relaxin is essential for placenta growth and preventing premature contractions as the fetus develops. Around the first half of the ninth month of pregnancy, relaxin changes how it functions to help relax pelvic ligaments before the baby drops and the mother gives birth.
Relaxin further “relaxes” connective tissues within the hip joints. Although this sounds like it would be a good thing, it’s not when you are pregnant! Along with the increased flexibility of joints comes the overcompensation of muscles and connective tissues that struggle to adapt to all this extra movement.
- 1 When should I worry about hip pain during pregnancy?
- 2 How can I stop my hips from hurting at night during pregnancy?
- 3 When do hips widen during pregnancy?
- 4 Why is hip pain so bad at night?
- 5 Why is my hip so painful at night?
- 6 Do hips stay wider after childbirth?
- 7 Is it safe to sleep on my right side while pregnant?
- 8 What does it mean when it hurts to walk while pregnant?
Why do my hips hurt so bad while pregnant?
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We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness. Hip pain is common during pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Hormonal changes, weight gain, and changes in posture can all contribute. Warm compresses and other strategies can help manage it. Share on Pinterest It is common for pregnant women to experience hip pain during the second and third trimesters. Pregnancy often goes hand in hand with various aches and pains. Hip pain during pregnancy is a common occurrence. The findings of a 2018 study suggest that about 32% of pregnant women report hip pain at some point during the pregnancy.
- According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), hormones that the body produces during pregnancy relax the joints, which make them more mobile and prone to injury.
- The hips are prone to pain due to the role that they play in supporting the body and movement.
- Standing for long periods, doing certain exercises, and sitting or lying down in particular positions can aggravate the hips during pregnancy.
The main underlying causes of hip pain during pregnancy include:
the release of a hormone called relaxinweight gainchanges in posture
Although hip pain can occur during any trimester, it is most likely to develop in the second and third trimesters. Relaxin is a hormone that causes changes to various parts of the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system comprises bones, ligaments, and other connective tissues.
dysfunction of the sacroiliac joints, which are weight-bearing joints in the hipspain in the round ligaments, the thick fibers on either side of the abdomen that run from the pubic regionsymphysis pubis dysfunction, which is pain and reduced mobility due to the separation of the pelvic bones
A natural effect of pregnancy is weight gain. A woman starting at a healthy weight can expect to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. As pregnant women gain weight, it can place additional stress on the hips. As the majority of pregnancy-related weight gain tends to occur in the midsection, the body’s center of gravity can start to shift.
- This change can lead to poor postural alignment, which can put additional strain on the hips.
- Hip pain during pregnancy is normal, and women do not need to talk to their doctor unless the pain has become so severe that it interferes with their daily routine.
- It is best to talk to a doctor if the pain is recurring or constant.
Preterm labor may cause additional pain in the hips, or it might lead to lower back pain. It is also a good idea for a woman to talk to her doctor if she experiences any sharp pain during pregnancy. There are several potential ways to treat hip pain during pregnancy.
When should I worry about hip pain during pregnancy?
If your hip pain is accompanied by pressure or soreness in the pelvic area that radiates towards the thighs before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is important to seek out your health care provider. This can be a sign of preterm labor.
What week does hip pain start in pregnancy?
First, Second, Third Trimester – No two pregnancies are identical, but most hip pain usually starts during the second trimester and gets worse in the third trimester. The growing baby places increasing stress on the body due to its weight and shifting movements, coupled with the hormone-induced changes in the body.
- There can be hip pain pregnancy first trimester.
- It is more likely a woman will experience back pain first during the first trimester if she experiences any pain.
- In fact, back pain may be an early symptom of pregnancy.
- The pain may change in severity, type, and constancy as the baby continues to put on weight.
For example, during the second trimester, it may become painful to walk or certain positions trigger pain. For some women, the hormone relaxin begins to increase and soften ligaments and tendons. However, the hip pain during pregnancy second trimester could be due to any of the causes of joint pain listed.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, round ligament pain occurs most often during the second trimester. Hip pain during the pregnancy in the third trimester is usually when the pain is at its worst. The baby has put on significant weight, and the pregnancy hormones are produced in their largest amount.
Towards the end of the third trimester, the baby drops lower to prepare for birth. This puts more pressure on the hips, pelvis and lower back.
How can I stop my hips from hurting at night during pregnancy?
If your pain is in one hip, try to sleep on the opposite side for part of the night to offload the painful hip as much as possible. Put a pillow between your knees to prevent the painful leg from crossing over and falling forward. Use a pregnancy pillow to support your bump when lying on your side.
When do hips widen during pregnancy?
Why Your Hips Expand During Pregnancy – You won’t just wake up one morning and have grown wider hips. It’s a process. Your hips will start expanding around weeks 10 to 12 of pregnancy when relaxin, a protein that loosens the ligament fibers in the body to accommodate a baby, begins to increase.
“Women’s hips are already wider than men’s to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal,” says Dr. Tran. “During pregnancy, hormones the joints and ligaments around the birth canal to make the passage larger and more flexible. This natural process contributes to the overall widening of the hips.” Your pelvis slowly expands to facilitate a baby’s passage through the vagina during childbirth.
“The main left and right hip bones join at their lower end at the ‘pubic symphysis,’ a (usually) immobile joint made mostly of collagen,” Dr. Tran explains. ” widening allows increased mobility of the pubic symphysis, more and more each week. This allows the gap between the left and right hip bones to become wider.”
Does bad hip pain mean labor?
Sidra Medicine True labor is painful regular contractions that cause the cervix to dilate (open). The way a contraction feels is different for each woman and might feel different from one pregnancy to the next. Labor contractions cause discomfort or an ache in your back and lower belly (abdomen), along with pressure in the hip bones (pelvis).
What is the best position to sleep in when pregnant with hip pain?
It’s best to keep active, as long as you don’t do anything that will make the pain worse. You may need to change how you do certain things so that you’re not putting extra pressure on your hips. This could mean sitting down to do things that you would normally do standing up, such as getting dressed or doing the ironing.
Try to spend time resting on a birth ball or on your hands or knees. This takes the weight off your hips. Pregnancy hormones naturally relax your ligaments – the tough tissues that support your joints. That’s because having lax ligaments in your pelvis makes it easier for your baby to be born, As well as this, you naturally change your posture and the way you walk as your baby grows.
The downside of all these changes is the type of pain you’re feeling. It’s called pelvic girdle pain (PGP), and it’s common in pregnancy. However, it certainly isn’t something you have to accept as normal. See your doctor or midwife and ask to be referred to a women’s health physiotherapist if your hip pain is affecting your daily life.
How can I relieve pelvic pain? Pelvic pain in pregnancy is common, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Learn how to get relief. More pregnancy videos PGP doesn’t just cause pain in your hips. You may also feel it in your back, groin, and legs. Usually, it’s a simple case of your physiotherapist assessing your condition and working out a treatment plan for you.
She may supply you with a tummy-support belt. She can give you hands-on therapy – such as massage, acupuncture, gentle manipulation and joint mobilisation – and suggest exercises to practise at home to strengthen your muscles and keep your pelvis stable.
Sleep on your side with legs bent and a pillow between your knees supporting the whole length of your leg. This position will support the joints around your pelvis and hips. If this doesn’t help, experiment with pillows and cushions until you find something that suits you. Sleeping on your side in the third trimester is also best for your baby, as it reduces the risk of stillbirth.Place a pillow under your bump to stop you rolling forward.Before your bump gets too big, try to “turn under” when turning in bed or turn over with your knees together and your buttocks squeezed.Put an extra layer of padding, such as a folded sleeping bag or quilt, above or below your hip joint, whichever best relieves your pain.Place a warmed wheat bag next to your hips.
Read our longer article about pelvic pain,
What types of pregnancy cause hip pain?
Common causes of lateral hip pain during pregnancy – The most common cause of hip pain during pregnancy is from prolonged pressure to the hip area, which can occur from laying on your side. Other causes include but are not limited to;
Hip and pelvis instability (which can occur due to hormonal changes and your ligaments loosening to prepare you for childbirth) Commencing vigorous exercise Repetitive movement that your body is not accustomed to (e.g. increasing walking, running, gym too quickly) Direct trauma such as a fall onto your side
As women, we are more prone to lateral hip pain (GTPS) due to the structure of our hips and pelvis. We tend to have broader hips and a narrower stance, which puts extra stress on the tendons and bursae.
What does pregnancy hip pain feel like?
What Can Hip and Pelvic Pain Feel Like During Pregnancy? – It might help to know where the pelvis and hips are located in relation to one other: The pelvis, which is a large bone structure at the base of your spine, sits at the lower part of your torso.
The hips are the joints on either side of the pelvis that connect each thigh to the pelvis. If you feel pain in the pelvic or hip area, it can sometimes be tricky to pinpoint exactly where and what is sore. Pain in the pelvis or hip may even feel like back pain, particularly if it’s radiating, and many women have back pain at some point during pregnancy,
Plus, women experience pain in different ways: Some feel sharp, sudden discomfort, while others get a dull, constant ache. For you, it may even be a bit of each at different times throughout your pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be able to make an accurate diagnosis.
Pelvic pain during pregnancy is not uncommon. It can be dull or sharp, constant or infrequent, mild or severe. You might even feel it radiate to your lower back, buttocks, or thighs. You might experience pelvic pain only during certain movements, for example if it hurts to walk. Or you might feel it in certain positions, for example when you lie down to sleep,
Make sure to tell your doctor about any pain that disrupts your daily life, that gets worse over time, or that feels severe; let your doctor know if you also feel light-headed, or if you have vaginal bleeding or a fever as well as pain.
Why is hip pain so bad at night?
Learn about four common causes and when to see a doctor. By Linda Rath | Aug.8, 2022 Lots of things can keep you tossing and turning at night. Hip pain shouldn’t be one of them. Yet more than one-third of U.S. adults report that hip, knee or foot pain keeps them awake.
- Nighttime-Only Hip Pain If you have hip pain only at night, odds are the culprit is your sleep position or mattress.
- Side sleepers are particularly prone to hip pain due to pressure on the hip joint.
- The opposite hip – the one you’re not lying on – might hurt, too, if it strains forward.
- The best solution? Sleep on your back.
If changing your sleep position is hard, try putting a pillow between your knees or slightly behind your back to relieve pressure and keep your hips aligned. A mattress topper or more supportive mattress might also help. Common Causes of Hip Pain Dozens of conditions and injuries can make your hips hurt.
- With many, the pain is constant, though you may be more aware of it at night.
- Some of the more common include: 1.
- The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) can cause pain in your groin, thigh or glutes.
- It’s usually worse in the morning or after long periods of sitting.
- Although associated with older adults, OA isn’t an inevitable part of aging, and it can affect adults of almost any age.
Physical activity is key to helping relieve pain and improve mobility at any age. Acupuncture and massage have also been shown to help. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) recommends a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) as the first treatment for OA.
- Try applying it right before bed.
- Minimize taking oral NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen if you’re over 65 because they increase the risks of heart attack, stroke and intestinal bleeding.2. Bursitis.
- Bursa are small, fluid-filled sacs scattered throughout the body that help reduce friction between soft tissue and bone.
Bursitis is inflammation of one of these sacs. There are two in your hip – one on the hip bone’s bony point (called the greater trochanter) and one on the inside of the hip, called iliopsoas bursa. Either can become inflamed, although trochanteric bursitis is more common.
Overuse, from activities such as running, stair climbing or cycling Rheumatoid arthritis or arthritis in your low back A hip injury Hip surgery or a hip implant
For an overuse injury, cut back on intense exercise for a week or so and apply cold packs off and on for the first 72 hours. In most other cases, exercise or physical therapy is important to strengthen the muscles around your hip joint. Hot packs are recommended for longer-term relief.
Hot and cold packs can help bursitis pain that’s worse at night. If you take NSAIDs, use them at the lowest dose for as little time as possible.3. Gluteal tendinopathy. Tendons are thick bands of tissue that connect muscles to bone. Gluteal tendinopathy affects the tendons that connect your glutes and your hip bone.
Overuse, repetitive stress and medications like corticosteroids and the antibiotic ciprofloxacin ( Cipro ) can lead to these tendons disintegrating or rupturing. (These conditions have historically been known as “tendinitis,” but because most tendon injuries don’t involve inflammation, they are now more properly called “tendinosis.”) Treatment for gluteal tendinopathy has changed, too.
Doctors once recommended rest and corticosteroid injections. But anti-inflammatory treatments like steroids and NSAIDs may slow healing, so “eccentric exercise,” usually with a physical therapist is recommended. Eccentric exercise is when you slow the lowering part of a movement, such as a glute bridge with a slow drop to the floor.
Home remedies include stretching, sleeping with a pillow between your knees, hot packs and shedding excess weight. Tendon injuries can take three to six months to heal. Studies have shown platelet-rich plasma injections may ease pain, and a procedure called tenotomy removes damaged tendon tissues.4.
Hip flexor strain. This includes any almost any injury to the hip flexor muscles that connect the femur, or thigh bone, to your lower back, hips and groin. Overuse or overstretching of these muscles can lead to pain, swelling, weakness and reduced mobility. Your doctor may recommend icing and elevating the affected leg initially.
You’ll need to modify, but not eliminate, your exercise routine, too. Physical therapy can help strengthen and stabilize the hip flexors. Keeping the hips flexible and open with hip and buttock exercises helps prevent these injuries. For better sleep, take a warm bath, then stretch right before bed.
- When To See a Doctor Many hip problems aren’t serious, but they can be aggravating and take a long time to heal.
- Warm baths, massage, hot and cold packs and strategically placed pillows can help relieve pain at night.
- During the day, stretching and low-impact exercises like swimming, walking and tai chi are important for healing and may also improve your sleep.
It’s impossible to prevent all injuries, but staying active, flexible and fit can help. Check with your doctor if:
Your pain doesn’t get better You’re so uncomfortable you can’t sleep Redness and swelling persist in spite of home remedies
Why is my hip so painful at night?
Hip pain at night (sleeping): causes and symptoms 07 April 2022 Written by Chronic (long-term) at night affects around one in five people aged over 65 and is more common in women, particularly those aged 40–60 years. It can disturb your sleep and/or make it difficult to fall asleep.
When hip pain affects the outer side of your hip, it is called lateral hip pain. There are many different causes of hip pain, including overuse during the day when exercising, the position that you sleep in, moving in bed and your joints swelling at night. A variety of conditions can cause hip pain when sleeping.
The most common causes are,, sciatic-piriformis syndrome and, Other causes include injury to your muscles or soft tissues, pregnancy, the position you sleep in and your bed or pillows. Sometimes hip pain is caused by pain from elsewhere, such as your lower back, radiating down to your hips — this is called referred pain.
Hip pain can feel different depending on the underlying cause. If hip pain is caused by an injury that is largely healed, you may have lingering pain that feels like, Severe arthritis can cause hip pain that feels as if someone is grabbing your hips. Hip pain can also feel achy or like burning. If you often wake up with hip pain, the cause may be the position you sleep in or a mattress that is too soft or too hard.
If you sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side. If you sleep on one side, try sleeping on the other side and place a pillow between your legs to keep your hips aligned. A mattress that isn’t the correct firmness for your body can cause pressure points that make your hips sore.
Try out a softer or firmer mattress. Your hip joints contain small fluid-filled sacs called bursae that act as cushions to help your joints move smoothly. Overuse of your hip joint, such as through playing certain sports, running or often lifting heavy items, can cause your bursae to become inflamed — this is called bursitis.
Bursitis symptoms include:
- Pain after sitting for long periods of time
- Pain along the outer side of your hip and upper thigh
- Pain or stiffness on movement
- Pain that worsens when walking long distances, squatting or climbing up and down the stairs
- Pain that worsens at night when you lie down on the affected hip
- Sharp pain and tenderness that develops into an ache
Hip bursitis doesn’t cause pain when standing. With rest and treatment, bursitis usually gets better after a few days or weeks. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of affecting the hip. However, psoriatic arthritis, and septic arthritis can also cause hip pain.
- Hip osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your hip joint to wear out over time, causing the bones in your hip joint to rub together, which leads to inflammation, pain and stiffness.
- It is a chronic, degenerative condition.
- However, treatment can reduce or prevent further joint damage.
- Hip rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition ie your immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues in your hip joint.
It is also a chronic condition. As with osteoarthritis, treatment can reduce or prevent further damage. Symptoms of hip arthritis, include:
- A clicking, grinding or popping sound when you move your hip ( )
- Pain in your buttocks, groin, knee or thigh
- Pain that disturbs your sleep
- Pain that worsens with rainy weather and is worse in the morning or after sitting or resting
- Pain when bending, getting up from a chair or walking
- Your hip locking or sticking
Tendons attach your muscles to your bones and help hold your joints together. Hip tendonitis occurs when the tendons become swollen and damaged. This may occur due to overuse injuries, often sitting with your legs crossed or often standing with your weight on one hip. Hip tendonitis symptoms include:
- A dull, deep ache in your groin that worsens when climbing stairs
- Hip pain at night
- Pain in your buttocks if your hamstring tendon is also swollen and damaged
Sciatic-piriformis syndrome occurs when your sciatic nerve is compressed, causing numbness, pain and tingling from your lower back to your buttocks and sometimes down to your leg and foot. At night, you may feel a burning sensation in your calf or a throbbing pain in your foot, which wakes you up.
Pregnancy applies extra pressure on your hips and spine, which increases the further along your pregnancy you progress. This can cause lower back and hip pain. Hip pain can also be caused by your ligaments and muscles loosening up in preparation for childbirth. To help prevent hip pain and, wear supportive shoes during the day and if you’ve been sitting or lying down for long periods, get up to stretch your muscles.
At night, sleep on your side instead of your back — you can place a rolled-up blanket behind your back to lean on or use a pregnancy pillow. You can also place a pillow in between your legs to help keep your hips aligned. A less common cause of hip pain during pregnancy is a,
- This occurs when the ring of cartilage that lines the rim of your hip joint socket (the labrum) and holds the head of your thigh bone in place, tears.
- Some labral tears will get better on their own with rest, however, more severe tears may need,
- Another less common cause of hip pain during pregnancy is a hernia, where part of one of your organs or internal tissue pushes through a weakness in the surrounding tissue.
In pregnancy, this is usually caused by the increasing pressure in your abdomen as your baby grows. Weak muscles in your buttocks (gluteal muscles) can strain the front of your hip as it tries to compensate for this weakness. This squeezes the tendons that attach your gluteal muscles to your hip bones and pelvis, and irritates your greater trochanteric bursa that sits between the bony lump on your thigh bone (greater trochanter) and the muscles and tendons that cover it.
The resulting hip pain and tenderness, which is often worse at night, is called greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS). Strenuous exercise (eg dancing, football, running) can cause overuse injuries that result in hip pain. Damage to any of the tissues in your hip joint can occur, causing bursitis, tendinopathy, iliotibial band syndrome or other injuries.
A sudden change in the duration, frequency or intensity of your exercise can also cause a hip injury and consequently hip pain.
Do hips stay wider after childbirth?
Your Hips Get Wider – You know those glorious hips that widened to let your baby squeeze out into the world? They may never go back to the way they were (even if you had a C-section). Same goes for your rib cage, which also had to open up to make room for your growing child.
- For most women, these enlarged bones go back to their original place by about 18 weeks postpartum, but some women keep the extra girth permanently.
- My hips stayed permanently wider which was great for me because I had no shape before,” said a Reddit user,
- I was built like a teenaged boy, lol.” “My hips? Wider yes and not back to normal,” said another mom,
“But I have embraced it and now have a more hourglass figure with larger bust, slim waist and wide hips.” “I hope my hips get wider during pregnancy. Wide hips are beauty beautiful,” said another. Related: 10 Things I Didn’t Know about Pregnancy, Until I Was Pregnant
Do wide hips mean easier birth?
Contraction strength – You may have weak uterine contractions, the tightening and relaxing of the muscles in your uterus, and while uncomfortable, they help push out your baby. When your contractions aren’t strong, it might take longer to deliver. But while different factors can influence birth, understand that women of all sizes and shapes have the ability to birth babies of all sizes and shapes.
Don’t worry if you don’t have what would be considered childbearing hips. Having larger, wider hips isn’t always an indicator of whether you’ll have an easy birth experience. Childbirth is a complex experience no matter the size or shape of your pelvis. Until you’re at the point where you’re ready to deliver, there’s no way to know how easy (or how difficult) your birth will be.
Either way, once delivery is underway, seek comfort knowing you’ll soon meet your little bundle of joy!
Do you put weight on your hips when pregnant?
Gaining weight in buttocks during pregnancy – The hips and buttocks are the number one place where women store most of their fat. Whenever there is weight gain it tends to go ‘straight to the hips’. This also occurs with pregnancy weight gain. Pregnant women aren’t just growing a baby inside their bodies.
Is it safe to sleep on my right side while pregnant?
Background – Many physicians advise pregnant women to sleep on their left side. Previous studies have linked back and right-side sleeping with a higher risk of stillbirth, reduced fetal growth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia, a life-threatening high blood pressure disorder that affects the mother.
Researchers have hypothesized that, with these sleep positions, the increasing weight of the uterus during pregnancy could compress the aorta (the central artery conveying blood to the upper and lower abdomen) and the inferior vena cava (the central vein returning blood from the lower abdomen to the heart).
The authors of the current study note that many of these earlier studies included a small number of women. Moreover, most asked women about their sleeping positions after the stillbirth or other complication. This raises the possibility of recall bias—that women who had a complication may unintentionally overemphasize a sleep position because they thought it could be responsible for the complication.
What does it mean when it hurts to walk while pregnant?
This information is for you if you are pregnant and want to know what might be causing the pain in your pelvic girdle joints during pregnancy and what you can do about it. If you are a partner, relative or friend of someone with pelvic girdle pain (PGP), you may also find it helpful.
- What pelvic girdle pain is and what causes it
- Symptoms of PGP
- What to do to help symptoms
- Treatment options and choices around birth
- What to expect after birth
You can see a full glossary of all medical terms, The pelvic girdle is a ring of bones around your body at the base of your spine. PGP is pain in the front and/or the back of your pelvis that can also affect other areas such as the hips or thighs. It can affect the sacroiliac joints at the back and/or the symphysis pubis joint at the front. PGP is common, affecting 1 in 5 pregnant women, and can affect your mobility and quality of life. Pain when you are walking, climbing stairs and turning over in bed are common symptoms of PGP. However, early diagnosis and treatment can relieve your pain.
- Treatment is safe at any stage during or after pregnancy.
- The three joints in the pelvis work together and normally move slightly.
- PGP is usually caused by the joints moving unevenly, which can lead to the pelvic girdle becoming less stable and therefore painful.
- As your baby grows in the womb, the extra weight and the change in the way you sit or stand will put more strain on your pelvis.
You are more likely to have PGP if you have had a back problem or have injured your pelvis in the past or have hypermobility syndrome, a condition in which your joints stretch more than normal. No. Although PGP can be very painful for you, it will not harm your baby.
- pain in the pubic region, lower back, hips, groin, thighs or knees
- clicking or grinding in the pelvic area
- pain made worse by movement, for example:
- walking on uneven surfaces/rough ground or for long distances
- moving your knees apart, like getting in and out of the car
- standing on one leg, like climbing the stairs, dressing or getting in or out of the bath
- rolling over in bed
- during sexual intercourse.
Tell your midwife or doctor about your pain. You should be offered an appointment with a physiotherapist who will make an assessment to diagnose PGP. This will involve looking at your posture and your back and hip movements and ruling out other causes of pelvic pain. The following simple measures may help:
- keeping active but also getting plenty of rest
- standing tall with your bump and bottom tucked in a little
- changing your position frequently – try not to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time
- sitting to get dressed and undressed
- putting equal weight on each leg when you stand
- trying to keep your legs together when getting in and out of the car
- lying on the less painful side while sleeping
- keeping your knees together when turning over in bed
- using a pillow under your bump and between your legs for extra support in bed.
You should avoid anything that may make your symptoms worse, such as:
- lifting anything heavy, for example heavy shopping
- going up and down the stairs too often
- stooping, bending or twisting to lift or carry a toddler or baby on one hip
- sitting on the floor, sitting twisted, or sitting or standing for long periods
- standing on one leg or crossing your legs.
Your physiotherapist will suggest the right treatment for you. This may include:
- advice on avoiding movements that may be aggravating the pain. You will be given advice on the best positions for movement and rest and how to pace your activities to lessen your pain.
- exercises that should help relieve your pain and allow you to move around more easily. They should also strengthen your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to improve your balance and posture and make your spine more stable.
- manual therapy (hands-on treatment) to the muscles and joints by a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor who specialises in PGP in pregnancy. They will give you hands-on treatment to gently mobilise or move the joints to get them back into position, and help them move normally again. This should not be painful.
- warm baths, or heat or ice packs
- a support belt or crutches.
For most women, early diagnosis and treatment should stop symptoms from getting worse, relieve your pain and help you continue with your normal everyday activities. It is therefore very important that you are referred for treatment early. PGP is not something you just have to ‘put up with’ until your baby is born.
- regular pain relief. Paracetamol is safe in pregnancy and may help if taken in regular doses. If you need stronger pain relief, your doctor will discuss this with you.
- aids such as crutches or a wheelchair for you to use on a short-term basis. Your physiotherapist will be able to advise you about this. Equipment such as bath boards, shower chairs, bed levers and raised toilet seats may be available.
- changes to your lifestyle such as getting help with regular household jobs or doing the shopping.
- if you work, talking to your employer about ways to help manage your pain. You shouldn’t be sitting for too long or lifting heavy weights. You may want to consider shortening your hours or stopping work earlier than you had planned if your symptoms are severe.
If you are in extreme pain or have very limited mobility, you may be offered admission to the antenatal ward where you will receive regular physiotherapy and pain relief. Being admitted to hospital every now and then may help you to manage your pain. Yes.
Most women with pelvic pain in pregnancy can have a normal vaginal birth. Make sure the team looking after you in labour know you have PGP. They will ensure your legs are supported, help you to change position and help you to move around. You may find a birthing pool helps to take the weight off your joints and allows you to move more easily.
All types of pain relief are possible, including an epidural. A caesarean section will not normally be needed for PGP. There is no evidence that a caesarean section helps women with PGP and it may actually slow down your recovery. Going into labour naturally is better for you and your baby.
- Most women with PGP do not need to have labour started off.
- Being induced carries risks to you and your baby, particularly if this is before your due date.
- Your midwife or obstetrician will talk to you about the risks and your options.
- PGP usually improves after birth although around 1 in 10 women will have ongoing pain.
If this is the case, it is important that you continue to receive treatment and take regular pain relief. If you have been given aids to help you get around, keep using them until the pain settles down. If you have had severe PGP, you should take extra care when you move about.
Ask for a room where you are near to toilet facilities, or an en-suite room if available. Aim to become gradually more mobile. You should continue treatment and take painkillers until your symptoms are better. If your pain persists, seek advice from your GP, who may refer you to another specialist to exclude other causes such as hip problems or hypermobility syndrome.
If you have had PGP, you are more likely to have it in a future pregnancy. Making sure that you are as fit and healthy as possible before you get pregnant again may help or even prevent it recurring. Strengthening abdominal and pelvic floor muscles makes it less likely that you will get PGP in the next pregnancy.
- If you get it again, treating it early should control or relieve your symptoms.
- Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing blood clots in the veins of their legs compared with women who are not pregnant.
- If you have very limited mobility, the risk of developing blood clots is increased.
- You will be advised to wear special stockings (graduated elastic compression stockings) and may need to have injections of heparin to reduce your risk of blood clots.
For more information, see RCOG patient information Reducing the Risk of Venous Thrombosis in Pregnancy and after Birth, Shared Decision Making If you are asked to make a choice, you may have lots of questions that you want to ask. You may also want to talk over your options with your family or friends.