You’re likely more than halfway through your pregnancy and feeling the common discomforts that come with pregnancy, such as “pelvic pain pregnancy” and “hip pain pregnancy”. After 20 weeks, most expecting mothers feel some kind of discomfort. You’re here if you have started experiencing pregnancy joint pain, lower back pain, or other aches during pregnancy.
UpSpring has put together a list of great tips and tricks that will help you relieve and find solutions to your pelvic or hip pain in the second and third trimesters. You may be asking yourself why it hurts to lie on your side or back during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Your body releases a hormone called relaxin during the last two trimesters.
This allows your ligaments and tendons to become looser. Relaxin allows your pelvis and pelvis space to allow for the birth of your baby. These ligaments are also responsible for holding the sacroiliac joint together and connecting your spine to your pelvis. These ligaments can become loose and cause problems. Nerves can also be pinched or irritated if they aren’t in alignment.
Are there other causes of postpartum hip pain?
Other than labral tears, there may be other causes for postpartum hip pain.
- Pregnancy-associated osteoporosis. This is when your bones weaken and are more likely to fracture. Although rare, PLO can increase the chance of fractures in your hip (femoral) or surrounding bones.
- Sacral stress fractures. These fractures occur when your sacrum (the bone between the hips) is broken. They are usually easy to treat and ignore.
- Piriformis syndrome. This is a rare form of sciatica in hip region. A pinched sciatic nerve can cause sharp pain. The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back through your hips and buttocks down to your legs. The piriformis, a small muscle located in your buttocks, is what you call the piriformis. Piriformis syndrome can occur during pregnancy if this muscle spasms, putting pressure on your sciatic nerve.
- Infection. Although rare, infections of hips (such as osteomyelitis), can also occur.
The Prevalence of and Impact on Postpartum Hip Pain
Postpartum hip pain (also known as pelvic pain) is not something that is often discussed, but it is very common among postpartum mothers.
According to one study, 8% percent of women with disabling hip problems after having children. If it included women with more severe but still serious hip problems, this number could be even higher.
Every week, I get emails from women complaining about hip pain. It wakes them up in the morning and restricts their ability to do household chores and activity. Many women feel that their pain is ignored by their family members, employers, and medical professionals . Hip pain is a major reason why many women have a lower quality of life.
Postpartum Hip Pain
The muscles around the pelvis become out of balance during pregnancy, causing hip pain after delivery. The result is areas of tension, tightness, and instability of the pelvis (a.k.a. excessive movement of the pelvis.
Anatomy and Role of the Pelvis
The gateway between your upper body and lower body, the pelvis plays an important role in every step. It is also linked to and affected by many muscles, including:
- The core/abs,
- The pelvic floor
- back muscles,
- The psoas
- Inner and outer hip muscles
- and the glute muscles.
This is a lot of muscle! All of the muscles that connect to the pelvis should be balanced in ideal conditions.
- They are all working hard.
- None of them are underworking.
The pelvis is kept stable by the balance of muscles. It also prevents it moving too much during exercise, running, and walking. A stable pelvis is good for the body. The spine is at risk if there is too much movement in the pelvis.
Common hip pain during and after pregnancy Issues
Do any of these sound familiar?
- You feel tight in your muscles but your pelvis seems too mobile and unstable?
- It always feels like you need to stretch, but your muscles are tightened up right after?
- There is pain
- Deep within the pelvis
- In the butt
- Along the side of your leg
- Do you want to place your lower back on either one or both?
These are signs that your hip muscles are not working properly. The body needs a stable pelvis, as I said above. If the core and glutes become weaker, the hip flexors and pelvic floor, inner and outer thighs, and back muscles become tighter and more active.
The body does its best to protect the spine and stabilize the pelvis. The problem is that these muscles don’t support the pelvis as well the core and glutes. You start to feel it. So why is hip pain common after pregnancy?
Pregnancy caused muscle weakness, which decreased pelvis stability.
Your body has also recruited other muscles (which are very hard at work!) to stabilize your pelvis. This causes instability and hip pain. It’s normal! It’s predictable!
What can happen to the pelvic bones after childbirth?
You have made it through labor, delivery and now your bundle of joy has arrived. Why are you still experiencing pain? Women may feel pain in the pelvis even after giving birth. This could be due to a problem with your pelvic bones.
What’s the pelvis?
The pelvic area (or pelvis), is the ring of bones that runs from your spine to your pelvic region. It stabilizes your lower abdomen and protects the organs below it. The pelvic region is also home to nerves and blood vessels.
The pelvis contains:
- Hip bones
- The tailbone (coccyx).
- The triangular bone (sacrum), at the base of the spine.
Sometimes giving life can cause bone damage in ways that are described below. Pelvic bone problems can be painful. They usually resolve on their own.
Your tailbone is located at the bottom of your spine . Your baby’s movements through the birth canal can cause damage to your tailbone or cause it to move at an inappropriate angle. This is more likely if your doctor gives your baby forceps. It can be severe and last several weeks. It can hurt when you stand up, sit down, go to the bathroom, or have sex.
- Heat or cold? A heating pad or an ice pack may help you feel better.
- Use pillows. A pillow with a hole or notch under your tailbone may be more comfortable.
- Try to sit differently. You might find it helpful to lean forward while you are sitting. This could help to reduce pressure.
- Get medicine. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, can ease pain and inflammation. You might be prescribed an anesthetic, or a steroid shot if your condition is severe. You could get long-term relief with either one.
- Visit physical therapy. Learn how to relax your pelvis by deep breathing and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles.
- Consider having surgery. The doctor might recommend that you have your tailbone removed if your pain persists. This is often an option last resort and is not common.
Pelvic Girdle Pain
Your baby’s head pressing on your pelvic bones in a certain manner during childbirth can cause a gap between the two front bones of your pelvis. These bones are connected by connective tissue, called ligaments. These bones can stretch more easily in pregnancy. This can cause pelvic girdle discomfort. It may be called a separated Pubic Symphysis, or postpartum symphysis Diastasis by your doctor. When the ligament is stretched and the bones break apart, there may be swelling or even bleeding.
This gap can be very painful. The pain can last anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks. You may feel pain when you walk and may experience difficulty walking. It is possible to feel pain when you stand or sit for long periods of time.
Your pelvic pain should be reported to your doctor so that they can help you and offer suggestions for making you feel more at ease as you heal. You bones might not be able to return to their original positions. They will move closer together, and the pain will disappear.
- Get medicine. Your doctor may recommend that you take NSAIDs such as acetaminophen and naproxen for pain relief. They may be only necessary for a short time.
- You may need support. Your doctor might ask you to wear a brace or girdle that wraps around your hips, pulls your pelvic bones together, and/or sling. This will help you feel better quicker.
- Lay down. A doctor may recommend bed rest if the pain is severe or difficult to manage. This is not a long-term solution.
- Get up and move, but not too hard. The doctor will tell you to walk as soon as possible. Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s time for you to stop pushing too hard if your pelvic area is hurting.
- Get a physical therapist. They can help you strengthen your muscles and relieve your pain.
Sometimes, surgery may be necessary to fix a separated pubic synphysis.
These are some tips to help with hip pain during and after pregnancy
1. Placing a body pillow between your knees, and under your belly is a good idea. The pain in your hips will begin to subside after about a week. Your spine is now in good alignment. It also relieves the pulling effect of your growing belly on your hips and back ligaments.
2. Targeted exercises and physical therapy. A tilted or rotated pelvis can lead to pelvic pain in some women. An anatomical problem can be identified by a physical therapist who will create a therapy program that will help you. Are you experiencing a rotated pelvis or a rounded pelvis? Many women suffer from severe hip pain that makes almost every movement painful. You can also get help from a good physical therapist to restore your pelvis at home, which will reduce discomfort and pain in the hips during pregnancy.
3. As you walk, make sure to clench the hips and glute muscles of your leg. For example, when you have your right foot forward, press your right cheek against the ground. Although it may seem silly, this simple exercise will strengthen your hip joints. You should be able to see a difference after a few days of walking this way a couple of times per day.
4. A chiropractic adjustment. A chiropractor can help moms keep their baby moving and in the right place during pregnancy.
5. Sciatic nerve pain is more common in pregnant women. It causes greater pain to the left side. Hip pain can be eased by taking a warm bath or heating a pad. A cold ice pack may also be helpful, according to some women.
6. You can lay on an air mattress. Although it may sound absurd, an air mattress can help relieve pain in the hips and pelvis during pregnancy. The best part is that you can get one at Target for less money than expensive pregnancy pillows.
7. For nighttime sleep, a wedge-shaped pillow with an under-the belly is a good choice. For the best support, place a pillow between your knees and that covers your entire inseam.