Joint pain during pregnancy is very normal. The joint pain mostly affects joints such as knees, hips, wrists, fingers and elbows and the pain may be accompanied by stiffness and soreness. There is a myriad of reasons why one would experience joint pain as discussed below.
Common causes of joint pain during pregnancy:
Once you become expectant, the body starts producing a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone's sole purpose is to help your pelvic bones and rib cage loosen to give room for the expanding uterus.
Another reason is due to overall gain in weight. The weight adds pressure to your bones and this in turn causes pain and also makes the bones more susceptible to injury.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is another reason for experiencing joint pain. During pregnancy, the body produces and retains a lot of fluids. These fluids may put pressure on the bones causing pain.
There are a number of over the counter medications available to treat joint pain but it is important to note that pregnant women are strongly advised not to take any forms of medication during pregnancy. This is because the medication can find its way to the uterus and cause a miscarriage or birth defects. The medication might also have side effects that might affect the mother's health. It is therefore advisable to look for natural alternatives to treat the pain.
The following are safe and natural ways that can be used to treat join pain during pregnancy.
Ginger contains photochemical that can reduce joint inflammation and swelling. Ginger extracts can be taken in small doses for instance sprinkling a pinch of ginger powder in your food. Ginger is also recommended for providing a relief for morning sickness.
This is a perfectly safe method to treat join pain during pregnancy. It is a Chinese approach that involves insertion of needles in different locations of your skin.
Moderate to mild exercise is another great alternative. Exercise makes your joints more flexible and less prone to pain. Examples of safe exercise during pregnancy are: Brisk walks, stationary cycling, prenatal yoga, and swimming. Aside from relieving joint pain, regular exercise can make your delivery much easier.
Cold and hot compresses
Switch between hot and cold compresses every three days. For instance, apply a cold compress to the affected area for 3 days. For the next 3 days, apply heat on the same area. This will be effective in relieving the pain during pregnancy.
Sleeping on your side
This allows kidneys to effectively excrete sodium and water that are retained by the body during pregnancy. Retention of water and sodium is a major cause of joint pain during pregnancy. It is also advisable to avoid taking food with a lot of sodium like canned foods and potato chips as this will only aggravate the problem.
It is important to note that not everyone experiences joint pain during pregnancy. The joint pain could be a symptom associated with other diseases like hyperthyroidism. It is therefore very important to mention the joint pain to your doctor to rule out the disease. This is because some hospitals do not always screen for other diseases during pregnancy unless prompted by the patient. If the disease is present, it is very important to catch it in the early stages and this will enable you to have a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.