Spring Back from Joint Pain During Pregnancy
Despite the fact that some discomforts during your pregnancy are natural, that does not mean you need to grin and bear them all. Your body is going to undergo many changes. Some of these can have a serious impact on the health of your joints.
While an increase in joint pain can be normal due to the body’s transformation throughout your pregnancy, it is also a clear indicator that there is additional strain. In order to understand how to combat that strain, you should consider the common causes.
- Sleep Position – While prolonged sleeping on your side can have benefits for your baby, it can also cause stiffness and strain on your joints in the morning.
- Water Retention – Normal water retention does serve a purpose, but swelling in the joints can also reduce circulation causing discomfort and pain.
- Weight Gain – Extra weight naturally increases the pressures put on your body which can irritate already achy joints.
- Hormones – Relaxin is a hormone produced by the ovary. It can cause tendons and muscles to relax in preparation for the birth of your child. This can add strain to joints as everything shifts.
- History of Arthritis – If you have already been diagnosed with arthritis the symptoms can worsen during pregnancy.
These common changes can exacerbate your normal aches and pains. While any joint pain during your pregnancy should be discussed with your physician first, including treatment, there are some easy steps you can take to find relief and safeguard yourself against injury.
Who doesn’t enjoy a massage even on a normal day? This relaxing activity can have beneficial results when it comes to easing joint pain. The pressure applied during a massage to muscle groups can help to reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and assist with lymphatic functions. Massage therapy can also stimulate soft tissues helping to reduce the accumulation of fluids, which cause swelling in the joints and assist in improving the expulsion of tissue wastes transferred by the lymphatic system of your body.
Introducing this type of therapy into your prenatal care can assist in reducing levels of anxiety, as well as decreasing norepinephrine and cortisol, which are hormones commonly associated with stress. It can also include the potential to boost serotonin and dopamine levels, which are hormones often associated with euphoria and happiness.
Regular exercise during your pregnancy can have far-reaching benefits, especially when it comes to preparing your body for the challenge of labor. It can strengthen muscles and help build the necessary endurance to assist when you need it most.
As mentioned, exercise can help to improve posture, decreasing the additional stress on joints due to added body weight and effects of water retention. This additional strengthening of muscles, ligaments, and tendons can be achieved using low-impact aerobics. Activities such as swimming, walking, dancing, or even jogging can provide you with the proper cardio to get your heart pumping, keep you limber, and help manage weight gain.
Childbirth can be taxing on your body. Exercising regularly during your pregnancy can make a significant difference during labor. Make sure to consult a physician before starting any exercise program.
Joint pain due to imbalances from water retention, muscle tension resulting from sleeping position, symptoms of arthritis and weight gain can all be reduced by combining orthotic aids such as compression braces, custom insoles and appropriate footwear to adjust for edema. The support provided by these should also help to counteract some effects of the increase of the hormone relaxin.
This is especially true as it relates to knee pain, which can be a common side effect of the imbalances mentioned above. The best compression knee braces should fit securely providing necessary support to the knee joint and helping to increase blood flow while reducing inflammation and swelling. This can help preserve the integrity of your knees so when your little one finally learns to walk and eventually run you can keep up for years to come.