The body of a woman begins to produce the hormone relaxin towards the end of pregnancy. Its action is aimed at relaxing muscles and ligaments. This leads to pain in the hip joint and thigh. A woman feels a sharp or dull pain on the inside or outside of the thigh and sometimes directed towards the pelvis.
Increased flexibility and relaxation of the ligaments are essential for a successful delivery. This helps the pelvic bones to open wider, making it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal.
When Does Hip Pain Start in Pregnancy?
Painful symptoms in the hip appear in the middle of the third trimester. The pelvic bones are maximally prepared for childbirth during this period. Pain in the hip area may increase at the time of the greatest relaxation of the ligaments and muscles at the end of the third trimester. Unpleasant sensations coincide with sharp movements. Sometimes they can overtake during the rest period.
EXACT WEEKS IT MAY HAPPEN
A pregnant woman first feels a sharp pain in her thigh in the 35th week. This pain may occur along with pelvic pain from 36 to 40 weeks.
Muscles, ligaments, and joints are maximally relaxed. The process of preparing for childbirth has begun. It is necessary to consult a doctor if hip pain occurs before the 35th week.
When will it end?
Pain in the hip and hip joint may not be constant. They come on suddenly and go away after a period of rest. Sometimes a woman stops complaining of hip pain after the 35th week of pregnancy. It depends on the activity of the pregnant woman, her physical fitness, and sensitivity level.
How Does Hip Pain Feel during pregnancy?
Pregnant women describe hip pain as a sudden burning sensation in the muscles that then turns into pain. Standing and walking becomes unbearable. The movement of the hips causes acute pain. Sometimes it is accompanied by a feeling of numbness and paralysis of movement. The pain can be sharp or mild.
Acute pain is expressed by sharpness, suddenness, the extensiveness of the lesion, and duration. Unpleasant sensations are greatly enhanced by movement. Muscles do not calm down after rest. There remains a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic region, passing into the thigh.
Random pain on careless movement. It is short-term, mild, and not intense. Such pain in the thigh goes away after rest. Its occurrence does not prevent movement.
Hip pain during pregnancy should not be accompanied by other negative symptoms.
Preventive measures for hip pain are aimed at improving the condition of the connective tissue, muscles, and ligaments in the hip joint. It is necessary to deal with existing problems before pregnancy. This will reduce the risk of possible injuries and pain during gestation. Let’s take a closer look at ways to prevent hip pain:
Treatment of arthrosis
This disease is very common in women. It is not advisable to plan a pregnancy with such a health problem. Take a course of treatment and restore the health of the hip joint. So you will weaken the manifestation of pain in the thigh during the period of gestation and the development of complications.
Overweight women are at risk for hip pain. The load on muscles and joints doubles during pregnancy. The chances of experiencing severe pain in the pelvis and hips are much higher if you are overweight. Do not gain extra pounds before conception. Lose weight with a moderate diet, a calorie deficit, and increased activity.
The presence of injuries to the hip joints enhances the manifestation of pain during the gestation period. Be careful when playing sports, especially skiing. Do not strain your muscles beyond normal. Take breaks between classes to avoid crepitus. Try to go through a rehabilitation course if there was an injury and only then think about conception.
Why Hip Pain Occurs in Pregnancy?
Pain in the thigh during pregnancy appears due to a strong relaxation of the muscles and ligaments or softening of the connective tissue. This occurs under the influence of increased synthesis of the hormone relaxin. It is produced in the last weeks of pregnancy to ensure the process of childbirth.
The cause of pain in the pelvis and hips can be a strong pressure of the uterus on the sciatic nerve. It is pinched and the pain spreads to the thigh and pelvis. It can be intermittent, sharp, aching, and short-term.
Sometimes pain in the hip is provoked by a strong divergence of the pelvic bones. They prepare for childbirth making room for the movement of the child. Pain in the thighs may appear due to limited postures during sleep. A woman sleeps only on one of the sides, which heavily loads the hips.
Methods of dealing with pain that has already appeared depend on the degree of its manifestation. Sometimes you need to take medications that are not contraindicated during pregnancy. There are also several more conservative remedies. Even non-pharmaceutical products should be used under medical supervision. Learn more about hip pain relief options:
Moderate physical activity reduces the manifestation of pain in the hip area. Physiotherapy during pregnancy includes a set of simple, non-traumatic exercises that need to be performed regularly. These can be leg swings, cycling movements, pelvic lifts in a prone position, or a squatting position with an outstretched leg.
Pillow for pregnant women
The use of a pillow reduces the load on the hip joint. Take a comfortable position on your side with a pillow spread out so that it is between your thighs when you go to bed. Choose models with an elongated ergonomic shape for greater comfort. Using a pillow will help you sleep better and relieve pain in your pelvis and hips.
Medicines can only be used if the pain is very severe and prolonged. Only a doctor can prescribe a specific drug. Pain medication should be allowed for pregnancy. The decision to use a drug for pain should only come after unsuccessful attempts to use conservative methods.
WHEN TO CONTACT A DOCTOR?
Consult your doctor if the symptom occurs after the 37th week of pregnancy and is accompanied by severe pressing pain in the pelvic area. This happens at the beginning of the birth process. Normally, there should be no contractions, abdominal cramps, or high pressure with pain in the thigh.
It is worth contacting a doctor if hip pain occurs in a situation of probable injury. Especially if this pain does not subside and intensifies.
What Not to Do
Do not keep moving when you are already experiencing hip pain. This will only increase the symptoms and may harm the joints or muscles. Try to relax and lie down on the side of the non-painful thigh. Do not rush to take painkillers. Perhaps the pain will soon subside on its own. Excess medications are not recommended during pregnancy. What not to do for hip pain:
Sitting for a long time
The posture is especially bad when you cross your legs. Pain in this position will increase even more due to impaired blood flow and additional stress on the joints and muscles.
Use hot compresses
The use of heating pads or hot compresses is not recommended. This may relieve the pain, but it will disrupt the blood flow, which is already increased in the pelvic area.
Lift and carry weights
The additional load on the musculoskeletal system will increase the manifestation of pain. Feelings will intensify and last.