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Hip Pain During Pregnancy And Treatment for it

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hip pain during pregnancy

Table of Contents

Hip Pain In Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of life for most mothers. During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, pregnant women experience pain and aches in the hip and pelvic area which is known as hip pain during pregnancy and pelvic pain. Hip pain in pregnancy is very common among pregnant women.

In this article below, we shall discuss what is hip pain in pregnancy, what are the causes of hip pain during pregnancy, when to visit a doctor for hip pain in pregnancy, how to prevent hip pain in pregnancy, and what are the different exercises and remedies that can provide hip pain pregnancy relief to women.

What is Hip Pain During Pregnancy?

Hip pain during pregnancy is a common symptom that most women experience. The pain may be limited to the side or rear of the hip(that might exaggerate on sitting for a prolonged time or holding in a particular posture), or it could be felt across the pelvic girdle. The pain might be mild or severe, and it could start slowly or quickly. Hip discomfort may develop at any time during pregnancy, but it’s more common in the second and third trimesters as your baby grows and your body prepares for delivery.

What Is Pelvic Pain And Pelvic Girdle Pain?

Some women develop pelvic pain during pregnancy and this pain is known as pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). Pelvic girdle pain is a series of unpleasant symptoms produced by stiffness in the pelvic joints or unequal movement of the joints in the back or the front of the pelvis.

What Is The Cause of Hip Pain During Pregnancy

There are a lot of factors for why women can experience hip pain in pregnancy. Mentioned below are the most common causes of hip pain in pregnancy.

1. Hormone Relaxin

Relaxin is a hormone that increases during pregnancy. The hormone relaxin relaxes the tissues which connect the bones in the body. This can cause pelvic pain, particularly back pain and hip pain.

2. Increase In Weight; Hip Pain In Pregnancy Early

Since both pregnant women and the baby gain weight during pregnancy, this increase in weight adds pressure on the bones and joints of women. An uncontrolled increase in weight is known to cause hip pain and discomfort.

During a singleton pregnancy, doctors recommend women to gain between 11 and 40 pounds total. Women in good shape before pregnancy should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Usually, doctors advise a weight gain plan to women, based on the actual weight of women during the start of pregnancy.

Women should follow their doctor’s weight-gain recommendations during pregnancy, and they should never try to reduce weight during pregnancy until and unless their doctor officially recommends it and supervises it.

Obesity, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, high BMI aggregate that and not to forget underlying protein energy malnutrition 

3. Bad Posture

With weight increase and the redistribution of weight around the stomach, your posture may shift. Additionally, if your baby is moving to one side more than the other, it might result in aches pains, and discomfort.

Another posture issue that might cause hip pain is carrying heavy objects without the correct posture. To maintain an excellent posture, start wearing supportive shoes during pregnancy. Reduce the number of heavy objects you lift or carry whenever feasible.

Avoid sitting for long periods unless your doctor advises you to. Rather than putting more pressure on your joints and muscles while sitting, you should stand up and walk around. Take pauses when walking to avoid adopting bad posture as a result of exhaustion.

4. Sleep Position

If you sleep on your sides, this position can cause hip pain by adding weight to your joints. However, due to the limited number of sleeping positions accessible during pregnancy, side sleeping may be the most comfortable choice.

If the side sleep posture is hurting your hips, try sleeping with a pillow between your knees to help align your legs. A regular pillow will probably be sufficient, but pregnancy pillows such as the Snoogle pillow, which provides total-body support, are especially beneficial providing a good sleep posture and sleep position for pregnant women. 

5. Transient Osteoporosis

A demineralization of your hip bones, sometimes known as transitory osteoporosis, might cause some hip discomfort. This problem usually appears in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and is linked to calcium and potassium levels.

You may feel pain and discomfort in your hips or pelvis. To obtain an accurate diagnosis you will need to undergo an MRI scan. Transient osteoporosis usually improves within a few months of delivery. However, in exceptional situations, hip fractures might take longer to recover (dietary calcium intake and adding proper supplements are preventive measures). 

6. Sciatica

Increased pressure on the sciatic nerve is another cause of hip pain in pregnancy. Your body’s two sciatic nerves go from your lower back to your feet. When the nerves in the buttocks, hips, and thighs are compressed by an enlarged uterus, discomfort, numbness, or tingling can occur. Sciatica is the medical term for this condition.

 As you move closer to your due date, the position of the baby in your uterus will shift. This will most likely reduce your discomfort. Although sciatica is prevalent during pregnancy, you should still tell your doctor if you have it since there are other, less common, but potentially dangerous causes of sciatica.

When To Visit A Doctor For Hip Pain In Pregnancy; Hip Pain Pregnancy Early

It’s critical to visit your doctor if your hip pain is accompanied by pressure or pain in the pelvic area that extends to the thighs before the 37th week of pregnancy. This could be a sign of the beginning of early labor.

Other signs of early labor, in addition to pelvic pressure, include:

  • You may feel muscle cramps and pain in the abdomen, particularly in the lower abdomen
  • When you shift positions, the lower back pain spreads to the front and sides of your body with no relief.
  • Unexpected contractions that occur every 10 minutes or more
  • Vaginal discharge that is clear, or pink, or brown

How To Prevent Hip Pain In Pregnancy?

The following are some of the best tips you can follow to prevent hip pain during pregnancy.

  • Maintain good health and try to increase the level of activity during your pregnancy. Walking, cycling and swimming are all low-impact exercises that can help you avoid hip pain.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. To maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, you need to consume about 300 additional calories per day.
  • Avoid standing for long periods
  • Keep good posture, while sitting and standing.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Take prenatal massages with a qualified massage therapist or a physical therapist to keep your muscles loose.
  • Make use of a maternity support belt to support your hip joints and ligaments.
  • Take a warm bath.

Exercises And Remedies To Provide Pain Relief; Hip Pain Pregnancy Relief

The following are some of the exercises and remedies which you can follow and practice at home to relieve hip pain.

1. Yoga

  • Cow Pose

This pose is known to strengthen your lower back and pelvis. This pelvic tilt exercise works on your back, abdominal muscles, and arms. The steps to do get into cow pose position are –

  • Go on all fours and position yourself with your knees hip-distance apart, hips over knees, and shoulders over wrists.
  • Slowly lower your belly to the mat while bending your spine.
  • Go back to the normal position and repeat.
  • Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a stretching exercise for the hips and the back. This pose can relieve pelvic pain and lower back pain. The steps to get into a child’s pose are-

  • Kneel on both your knees with a slight distance in between them. Then sit on your heels and bend forward by lowering your forehead to the floor.
  • Keep your arms along the body with palms facing upward.
  • Gently bring your chest towards the thighs and hold for at least five deep breaths.
  • Now, while exhaling, slowly release your butt on your heels, uncurling the spine.

2. OTC Pain Relievers

Apart from exercise such as yoga, over-the-counter (OTC), pain relievers can give you relief for hip pain in pregnancy. Take medical advice on which pain reliever will be the best option along with the daily dosage requirement.

3. Take A Warm Bath

A warm water bath is always a better option when compared to taking a cold water bath for hip pain. This is because hot water and warmness help in blood flow to the hips and provide pain relief. Warm water also decreases joint pain and muscle pains.

Hip Pain During Pregnancy Final Thoughts

Hip pain is a relatively frequent pregnancy symptom, particularly as the delivery date is approaching. Pregnancy-related hip discomfort is likely to decrease soon after birth. If you have discomfort, visit your health care provider or seek a physiotherapist or chiropractor to give expert therapy. You may also practice the above-mentioned yoga positions and try other remedies mentioned above to relieve hip pain.

Hip Pain During Pregnancy FAQs

1) How to relieve hip pain during pregnancy?

Practice good posture while sitting, standing, and lifting or carrying heavy items.

2) Is hip pain common during pregnancy?

Hip discomfort is common during pregnancy, and women should not consult their doctor unless the pain is severe enough to interfere with their regular activities.

3) Does a pregnancy pillow help to relieve hip pain while sleeping?

Yes, a pregnancy pillow can provide relief to your hip pain while sleeping.

4) Is a heating pad good for hip pain?

A heating pad is good for hip pain during pregnancy because it helps to relieve pain and stiffness in the hips and joints.

5) Which is the fastest way to get relief from pregnancy hip pain?

A warm water bath or a hot shower is the best way to get relief from pregnancy hip pain. However, a hot water bath provides only a temporary relief to hip pain and it is not a permanent solution.
Dr. Mitali Rathod

Dr. Mitali Rathod

Hi! I'm Dr. Mitali Rathod, and I have a deep passion for all things related to menstruation, hormones, pregnancy, and reproductive health. I enjoy simplifying these complex topics on social media to empower women with a better understanding of their bodies. My mission is to assist women in comprehending the intricacies of periods and reproductive health through a holistic and sustainable approach.

Over the past eight years and counting, I've been dedicated to helping women achieve their best possible health. This journey has included the safe delivery of over 3000 babies, both through vaginal and C-section procedures.

I take pride in my contributions to some of Ahmedabad's and Gandhinagar's best government hospitals, such as V.S. General Hospital, S.C.L. General Hospital, and Civil Hospital of Gandhinagar. My commitment to women's health and well-being continues to grow, and I look forward to making a positive impact on even more lives in the future.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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