Hip pain is very common in pregnant women all over the world. This pain mainly occurs during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. There are many effective ways to get relief from hip pain during pregnancy. Using a pregnancy pillow, applying ice pack on your hip joints, wearing a pregnancy belt, resting as much as possible and improving your posture while sleeping successfully reduces the hip pain. Also exercising, taking a prenatal massage, swimming, taking a warm bath, realigning your pelvic bone and making sure to sleep on the right mattress work wonders for hip pain.
What causes hip pain during pregnancy?
Relaxin is a hormone that is released in the first trimester of pregnancy and is necessary for smooth delivery. This hormone is however released in large amounts in the third trimester which further relaxes the pelvic joints and muscles and also encourages them to become more stretchable and flexible. This helps in preparing the birth canal for an easy birth by helping the ligaments between pelvic bones to loosen and increase in flexibility.
Round ligament pain
The pain is felt in lower belly or groin and is very common during pregnancy. However, the pain is absolutely harmless and may only last for a few seconds. This also helps in providing support to the baby as the two round ligaments on either side of the uterus stretch and get thick. The pain may be caused by activities that make the ligament tight, for instance sneezing, coughing etc.
Generally, women over the age of 40 are affected by osteoporosis but it may also affect the younger ones in the second and third trimester. You should consult a doctor if you feel the pain increases while performing usual activities.
When the uterus grows, the two sciatica nerves in the body are enforced under a lot of pressure. This increased pressure may also lead to hip cramps that can get severe during pregnancy. Numbness, pain and tingling sensation are some of the common signs of sciatica.
Read More: Home Remedies For Back Pain During Pregnancy
The many ways to successfully relieve hip pain during pregnancy are as follows:
11 Ways to Relieve Hip Pain During Pregnancy
Using a pregnancy pillow
During pregnancy, your body needs to have a strong outside support for your lower back and abdomen. A correct posture while sleeping is also extremely important. A pregnancy pillow is useful to give your body that required support. It adjusts to the shape of your body and gives firm support to your lower back and takes away the pressure from your hips. This helps in reducing the hip pain during pregnancy. You must always use a pregnancy pillow whenever you are sitting or lying down.
Read More: 15 Must Know Pregnancy Pillow Benefits
Exercising to relieve hip pain during pregnancy
Doing yoga and even Pilates during pregnancy helps if you experience hip pain. These exercises are safer and easier than any other form of exercise. Joining a pregnancy yoga class is the best way as the instructors there can show you how to stretch in the correct way to relieve the hip pain. Some stretching exercises are also useful to reduce pain as these exercises strengthen both the abdominal and back muscles. However, you must always consult your physician before doing any kind of exercise.
Read More: 7 Must Know Prenatal Yoga Poses
Applying ice pack
Ice packs applied to the sore area will give you immediate relief from the hip pain during pregnancy. Applying an ice pack many times throughout the day will keep the hip pain at bay. Ice soothes the aching joints and provides immense relief. Always keep an ice pack nearby ready to use whenever you feel pain.
Wearing a pregnancy belt
Girdles or pregnancy belts are very useful to relieve hip joint pain and back pain. These belts stabilize the hip and offers support to the mid and lower back. They also relieve the pressure and thus reduce the pain. There are many brands of pregnancy belts found in stores. You should consult a doctor on which type of pregnancy belt will be suitable for you.
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Standing on your feet for a long time increases the risk of hip pain. It puts too much pressure on the lower back .Try to sit or lie down as much as possible during the advanced stage of pregnancy. Sitting somewhere with a back support will give you the much needed relief from pain. Even when you are lying down you can use a blanket or a pillow to put underneath your lower back. This will help in reducing the pain.
Heat also alleviates hip pain during pregnancy. Apply a hot water bottle or take a warm water bath whenever you feel pain. Care must be taken that the water is not too hot and just warm. Sometimes even a massage with warm oil helps in reducing the soreness. However, consult your doctor on this.
Taking a prenatal massage
Prenatal massages are a great way to lessen the aches of your body, including hip pain during pregnancy. This kind of massage helps to relax and loosen the muscles of your body and also reduce your stress. You should always schedule an appointment with a trained masseuse who will know your exact sore spots and provide the much needed relief.
Read More: 11 Benefits of Prenatal Massages Therapy
In your third trimester, your doctor may warn you from standing or walking for a longer span of time, as it may increase your pain. Swimming is a great exercise for you at this time. Swimming relieves the pressure on the hip and other joints, reduces the tightness of the muscles and keeps the blood flowing. Swimming is a great pain reliever during pregnancy.
In the advanced stage of your pregnancy, you should always take care to sleep on your side and keep the knees and legs bent in the correct posture. Pregnancy pillows will help in supporting your abdomen, your upper leg and your hip. In this way, your hip pain will lessen to a great extent as the pillow will reduce the pressure on your hips which actually causes the pain. Also be careful not to sleep with your legs crossed as this will put more pressure on your hips and increase the pain.
Keep your legs parallel while sleeping as this will reduce the chance of any pain or discomfort you might feel at night.
Realigning the pelvic bone
When you feel hip pain, you can try lying on your back and keep a pillow between your knees and squeeze hard. This method forces your pelvic bones to the right alignment and alleviates your pain. It is a very useful method to lessen the disturbing pain and get some relief.
Choosing a correct mattress to sleep on during pregnancy is very important. The right firmness of the mattress will help in alleviating your aches. But too much firmness or softness of the mattress will worsen your pain. You can add another layer of foam rubber padding in your mattress, if it is too firm, below or above your hip joint according to your comfort.
Read More: Can Sleep Disorder Lead to Preterm Delivery?
Yoga Postures to relieve hip pain:
Apart from working for your hip, this will also help in strengthening your lower back and abdominals.
- Lie on your back, bent your knees and then, keep your feet flat on the floor. You have to keep your arms straight along the side of your body.
- Now breathe in and try to curl your pelvis along with which you have to gently press your lower back against the floor. Then, lift your hips and back off the floor, gently.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then exhale while you gently try to roll your spine back on the floor by keeping a vertebra at a time.
- You must ensure that your spine is neutral and your lower back is a little above the floor. Do this at least 10 times.
This one will help in stretching the muscles that go along your front hip and may have got tightened up during pregnancy.
- Keep your knee on the floor and step another foot forward such that it forms a right angle between your hip and front knee.
- Now breathe out and try to lean forward as you put weight in your front leg. You will feel the stretch in your front hip and thigh.
- Be in the same position for 30 seconds. Repeat this on both the legs.
Bound angle pose
This pose will help to stretch your thighs, back and neck.
- Sit on the yoga mat. Bend your knees such that you bring the soles of your feet in front of you.
- Hold you toes with your hands and try to bring your feet closer to your pelvis.
- Breathe in and try to sit up on your sitting bones. Remember, you do not have to sit on your tailbones.
- Then slowly breathe out, try to press your knees to the floor and start to bend at the hips by keeping your spine straight.
- Drop your chin and release all the stress in your neck as you get far.
- Make sure you do not overstretch.
Preventing hip pain during pregnancy:
- The first foremost measure to prevent hip pain is practicing exercises that help to strengthen the back muscles and abdominal muscles, as this will reduce the hip pain during pregnancy.
- Apply warm compresses to the sore area to help reduce the pain. You may also take a warm bath.
- Gently massage the area that may help to ease the pain and alleviate soreness.
- Keep your legs and knees bent and sleep on either of your side.
- You may also use a pillow. This will help to support your abdomen and upper leg and make you feel comfortable while sleeping.
- In case, the condition worsens when lying on the side, try to place a small soft pillow on your back. Also, try to sleep leaning against the pillow as it will help to reduce the hip pressure.
When to See a Doctor for Hip Pain During Pregnancy ?
During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of change and pains and aches are very common at this time. Hip pain is also a very common syndrome during the second and third trimester. It usually can be controlled and cured by a lot of methods. However, if you feel pressure in your pelvic region and the pain goes down to your thighs, especially before the 37th week of pregnancy, you must consult your doctor as it can be an indication of premature labor.
In case you notice any signs or symptoms of preterm labor, it is important to seek immediate medical help. If you notice hip pain and soreness or pain in the pelvic area that seems to be radiating towards the thigh before the 37th week, you should consult your doctor. Some other signs of preterm labor can be:
- Abdominal cramps
- Discomfort in the lower abdomen
- Unusual and frequent contractions
- Pink, brown or clear discharge
· Lower back pain moving to the front or sides on changing positions.