During your pregnancy as you know a lot of changes happen in your body and some of these changes can cause discomfort and pain. So what Aches and Pains are normal and what needs further investigation? Well read on to find out.
Lower Back Pain
The most common cause for complaint in pregnancy is lower back pain.
Between 50% and 70% of pregnant women suffer from this at some stage in their pregnancy so if you are experiencing lower back pain you are not alone.
Firstly back ache or discomfort is normal in pregnancy.
When you become pregnant your centre of gravity shifts to allow you to carry your little/heavy bundle of joy. This means that you will naturally lean back more and your pelvis is pushed forward and all this can cause discomfort on your lower back.
Also the Hormones of pregnancy encourage your ligaments to relax.
Advice for lower back pain
- If the pain is severe, ask to be referred to a Physiotherapist.
- Try to make sure you are conscious of your posture and that it is correct in all working and resting positions.
- Make sure work surface and work stations are the correct height to prevent you from stooping.
- Don’t wear high heels!
- If possible avoid lifting, but if necessary use correct lifting techniques.
- Sit in a supportive chair with a cushion or folded towel behind your lower back for support.
- Avoid exercises like sit-ups.
- Get out of bed by bending your knees, rolling onto your side and using your arm strength to push yourself up into sitting position.
- Avoid doing too much and have frequent rests (My favourite bit of advice).
This is another common complaint of pregnancy, but again don’t worry it is normal.
Hormones relaxing your joints i.e. Knees and ankles, the extra weight of the baby and a shift in your centre of gravity all contribute to aching tender legs.
Add to this some swelling on your ankles and calves and honestly how do ladies cope.
Well here are some tips to relieve aching pins
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods.
- When resting, raise your legs up with pillows this will help relieve swelling.
- Regular gentle exercise will help prevent and relieve aching legs.
If you are worried about the level of swelling you are experiencing seek advice from your GP or Midwife.
Cramps usually occur at night or in the early morning and 50% of pregnant women said they experienced them.
Leg cramps are also very common as you progress through your pregnancy and seem to happen more frequently after 24 weeks. Cramps usually occur at night or in the early morning and 50% of pregnant women said they experienced them. The interesting thing about leg cramps is that the exact cause is unknown. Some experts believe it’s caused by lack of exercise and others believe it is caused by changes in calcium and magnesium levels. Unfortunately none of these experts could find a cure for leg cramps!
So here are some tips to help avoid and relieve them…
- Night cramps may be reduced by gentle leg exercises before bedtime
- When the cramps happen raise your leg by 20-25cm and point your toes to your nose.
- Try massaging the area when the cramp occurs.
Rib pain or ‘Stitch’ is often experienced by expectant mums. It is caused by your ever growing bump! Your ribs flare out slightly when you’re pregnant to make more room for your baby, this rib flaring causes your muscles to stretch and this can then result in a stitch
Very normal and nothing to worry about.
To relieve the stitch clasp your hands together and stretch your arms above your head. Side bending slightly away from the pain with your hands over your head can also help! Please be careful that you don’t over bend as you may lose your balance.
SPD – Symphysis Pubis Dsyfunction
SPD occurs when the ligaments at the front of your pelvis relax a little too much. The result is that the bones at the front of your pelvis rub against each other causing discomfort and pain every time you move, this as you can imagine can be quite distressing.
If you experience these symptoms you need to contact your Midwife/Doctor so you can be checked out and referred to a Physiotherapist if needed.
As you can see most Aches and pains experienced are all part and parcel of your pregnancy journey, if you are worried though please do speak to your GP or Midwife to put your mind at ease.