How to Relieve Hip Pain During Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a transformation. The various hormonal and physical changes taking place in your body can lead to lower back, pelvic, and hip pain. Hip pain can be particularly bothersome during pregnancy, as it can interfere with your ability to sit and move comfortably, sleep through the night, and stand for prolonged periods of time. Pregnancy hip pain can be caused by a number of factors, including postural changes, temporary osteoporosis, and your sleeping position. In this guide, we take you through how to relieve hip pain during pregnancy and explain how chiropractic care can help.
Hip Pain and Pregnancy
Hip pain during pregnancy is very common. In fact, around 20% of women experience hip pain during pregnancy. Discomfort can start during your first trimester, but it’s more likely to develop during the second and third trimesters as your bump grows.
There are a few reasons for this:
As your baby grows, your body weight becomes skewed towards the front of the body. This shifts your centre of gravity out of alignment, which means the curvature of your lower spine increases. Your abdominal muscles strain to compensate as a result, which puts extra strain on your hips.
In some cases, bad posture is the cause of hip pain during pregnancy. The weight gain mentioned above can lead to changes to your posture, which can exacerbate your hip pain.
When your belly grows, your hips and pelvis may move out of the centre alignment of your body. The position of your baby can also have an impact here — if your baby is sitting off to one side, you may experience pain in your hip.
Hip pain can also develop during pregnancy if you’re carrying heavy items on one shoulder, as this positioning skews your posture to one side.
When you sleep on your side — which is often necessary during the later stages of pregnancy — your hip joint is put under pressure.
Try to sleep with a pillow between your legs when lying on your side, or sleep on your back if you can.
You may be experiencing hip pain due to temporary osteoporosis. This condition can develop during pregnancy due to fluctuating levels of calcium and potassium in the body. Temporary osteoporosis will usually arise in the second or third trimester.
The condition often clears up after your baby is born, but if you have hip fractures, these may require a little extra recovery time.
We all have a hormone in our bodies that relaxes the connective tissue between our bones. This hormone is aptly called ‘relaxin’. When you’re pregnant, the levels of relaxin in the body increase, which can result in back and hip pain.
Can a Chiropractor Help with Hip Pain During Pregnancy?
The good news is that visiting the chiropractor during your pregnancy can help to provide some relief from bothersome hip pain.
A chiropractor will be able to realign your spine and balance your pelvis. This will give you relief in your hips, as these areas are all interconnected.
Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
When you visit a chiropractor during pregnancy, the techniques used on your body will be modified to ensure your treatment is safe for you and your baby-to-be. Pregnancy pillows and custom made tables will be used to make you feel more comfortable.
Chiropractors can help to relieve your hip pain during pregnancy by using non-invasive, medication-free treatment techniques. These involve:
- The Webster Technique: This technique involves re-aligning the pelvis to reduce soft tissue tension, allowing space for the baby to develop while minimising lower back and hip pain.
- Gentle Adjustments: Your chiropractor will use their hands to adjust your spine and joints to provide pain relief, better alignment, and improved mobility.
- Stretches and Exercises: During your sessions and under the guidance of your chiropractor, you will complete a number of exercises to release the pressure on your hips. Your chiropractor will also take you through exercises and stretches you can do at home in between sessions.
- Soft Tissue Massages: These massages are designed to stimulate blood flow through the muscles and alleviate tension.
These treatments all help to keep the spine, hips, and pelvis properly aligned and relieve pressure from these areas. Pregnant patients often also notice increased mobility and improved sleep quality when undergoing chiropractic treatment.
How to Relieve Hip Pain During Pregnancy
There are a number of things you can to do prevent hip pain during pregnancy.
Regular, low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and yoga are a great way to alleviate hip pain. These exercises will help you maintain core strength, which can help to take some pressure off your hips.
Choose the Right Shoes
It’s also important to wear supportive footwear with adequate arch support when you’re exercising or ducking out to run errands. Ensure you’re allowing ample time for rest if you do feel the pain coming on.
Take Note of Your Posture
Keep an eye on your posture while you’re pregnant. Practice rolling your shoulders up and back while you’re walking, sitting, or carrying heavy items, and avoid arching your back. Engaging your core can help with this. Head to our dedicated blog for more tips on how to improve your posture.
Keep These to a Minimum
Avoid heavy lifting, standing for prolonged periods, crossing your legs, bending down to retrieve items, or vacuuming. All of these activities put extra pressure on your hips and pelvic region.
Check Your Sleeping Position
Try to be conscious of the way you are sleeping. Ideally, you’ll lie on your back to keep your body aligned and stacked correctly. However, if you’re most comfortable on your side, keep a pillow in between your knees. This position takes the pressure off of your growing uterus and its blood vessels, enabling better blood flow.
We’re Here to Help
Our expert chiropractors can show you how to relieve hip pain during pregnancy. Each patient will undergo a case history and assessment, and your chiropractor will then create a treatment plan tailored to your needs and concerns.