There are many aches and pains during pregnancy and hip pain is of them. Specifically, hip pain when moving around during the day or while sleeping.
Hip pain during the first trimester can be a result of our bodies adjusting to the increase in hormones. These hormones are necessary to relax our ligaments as our bodies prepare for carrying and delivering a baby. In the second trimester, pain from the round ligament (a ligament which runs from the sides of the uterus to the pubic bone on each side) is common and may cause hip, groin and/or abdominal pain. In the third trimester the body is preparing the body for labor, therefore soreness and pain are expected, especially on the side that the baby is resting. Lastly, as we gain weight throughout pregnancy, more pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve and can refer pain to your hips and legs.
Though these bodily changes are necessary and some can be debilitating, it doesn’t mean that you MUST suffer. At any stage, I can help you cope with these changes through exercises and/or strategies to lessen the pain. Exercises to strengthen the core and leg muscles are beneficial. Learning how to use proper body mechanics while pregnant is also important. This also allows the joints to be in a supported position to prevent discomfort. Modifications to sleeping positions may also help lessen hip pain, especially since side lying is the preferred position after 3-4 months.
Pregnancy brings on many aches and pains that are normal but can also be concerning. If you have sharp, stabbing abdominal pains or severe cramping, you should always consult your provider. Even if you are unsure, a phone call to report your symptoms can be reassuring. Come in for a free screen or an evaluation if you or your doctor feel you have pains that could benefit from physical therapy.
By Effie Koustas, MPT