Publication date October 31, 2023

Hip Pain during Pregnancy? Here is what to do

Are you experiencing hip pain during pregnancy? You are not alone! According to Healthline around 32% of women experience some kind of hip pain during their pregnancy. 

This hip pain is usually focused on the side or the back of the hip, or in the general pelvic girdle area. You may feel hip pain dull or sharp, and come on gradually or suddenly.

Women say that this hip pain can begin at any point during pregnancy, but most commonly it occurs in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, as your fetus grows and your body prepares for the birth. 

But, there are many steps that you can take to prevent the pain, such as doing some easy exercises and adjusting posture. 

On that note, here in this guide, we will look into how to relieve pain in the hips during pregnancy, including the most common causes. 

What causes hip pain during pregnancy?

Every pregnant woman experiences pain in different ways, they may experience a constant ache, sharp bolts of pain, or both.  

There are various causes of hip pain or general soreness during pregnancy. The common causes are described below:

  • The most common cause of hip pain is the increasing weight of the baby in the uterus. Which leads to changes in body posture that stress the back, hip, and leg joints. 
  • Heavier uterus places extra pressure on the lower back.
  • Increased pressure on the sciatic nerve leads to hip pain, leg pain, or tingling in the area from the hips to thighs (sciatica)
  • Round ligaments connect the front part of the uterus to the groin and stretch and relax muscles. These movements cause sudden stretching and contacting leading to brief shots of pain in the hip area and abdomen. 
  • Poor posture or changes in posture while walking, sleeping, or standing.

Depending on the nerves impacted, sometimes pain will radiate into the buttocks and thighs and even down the leg.

How to Treat Hip Pain During Pregnancy 

Hip pain during pregnancy can make it difficult to do even simple activities such as walking, sitting, and sleeping. 

Just by taking a few simple steps your pregnancy hip pain relief and pain relief in other joints is possible. The following are some of the suggestions:

1. Stretches & Exercises

Many doctors recommend that pregnant women should continue exercising throughout their pregnancy. 

You can even start with simple exercises such as walking, yoga, and other light to moderate exercises. Exercise and hip stretches will help you prevent extra weight gain, which puts additional pressure on the hips. 

Stretches for hip pain during pregnancy

Source: PregActive

You can also join prenatal yoga classes. There are many yoga poses that help with hip stretches during pregnancy and other areas of the body that may be sore due to pregnancy aches. 

study examined the importance of prenatal yoga on a woman’s well-being and the prevention of common pregnancy complaints. The study revealed that modified yoga routines are completely safe and effective during pregnancy.

Here are a few of the poses that the researchers added in the study’s yoga sessions that may help reduce hip pain:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Cat Pose
  • Table
  • Squat with Kegel
  • One Leg Forward Bend

But keep in mind that before you start any pregnancy hip pain stretches and exercises, you should talk to your doctor. Because they will be able to suggest activities according to your level of fitness. 

2. Warm compresses

A warm compress can be one of the effective ways to help you relieve hip pain during pregnancy. You can also make one by dampening a towel with warm water.

There are other options as well, you can buy a heating pad online or at your local pharmacy to apply heat to the hips. 

However, as a pregnant woman, you should avoid placing the hot compress directly against the belly. 

3. Pelvic belt

A pelvic belt is another helpful way to reduce hip pain during pregnancy. It is a supportive device in the form of a belt that women can use to help support their hips during pregnancy. 

Pelvic belt

Source: Babygo

According to one study, wearing a pelvic belt had a positive effect on the woman’s body during pregnancy and could help treat hip pain.

You can find a pelvic belt online or in a specialty pregnancy store.

4. Sleep position

How you sleep during pregnancy impacts so many things. If you sleep on your side while pregnant, it is suggested to place a pillow between your legs.

In the market, there are specially designed pillows available for pregnant women that offer extra support. 

While a daily-use pillow provides some support, pregnancy pillows are usually the full length of the body. So you can carefully arrange yourself on the pillow to relieve a wider variety of aches and pains.

5. Medical intervention

If you are experiencing continuous or intense pain in your hips during pregnancy, you should directly talk to your doctor. 

Your doctor will examine you and the fetus to check for signs of premature labor and other possible complications. 

In a few cases, doctors also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medication to help treat hip pain or other areas of the body. You should follow your doctor’s instructions on taking medications precisely. 

The Final Thoughts 

In short, experiencing hip pain during pregnancy is a common occurrence due to changes in hormones and weight distribution. 

By following the above-mentioned treatments, you can reduce hip pain even at home. 

Also, before you take any medications, even OTC ones, it is critical to speak with your doctor about your hip pain. Your doctor can offer advice on taking any medication or starting an exercise and yoga class.

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