Hello PainRelief4life readers ! I am happy to announce that next week I will be 28 weeks pregnant. This is a milestone for my husband and I because we had some really bad luck in the past with our pregnancies. To say that we are beyond excited is an understatement.
However, I would be not be completely honest with you with I didn't share that this time around there have been some unexpected aches and pains- things i did not have with my other experiences, but I am not complaining too loudly.
- Low Back Pain
- Upper Back Pain
- Knee Pain
- Foot Pain and Achiness
- Charlie Horses in my legs
- Numbness and Tingling in my legs and Feet
Sure I can say that I have gone from my usual 130 lbs to 152 lbs, but whose checking, expect my OB office? Pregnancy throws off so many things in your body and I can understand that it puts a lot of added stress to ones body. Also hormones that are normally not at high levels also make a difference to ligaments in your body.
So where do these aches, pain, numbness, tingling really come from? Well, as the pregnancy progresses the uterus keep growing and sometimes can put added pressure onto nerves that innervate the lower legs. This can cause the numbness and tingling sensation that sometimes feels like there are ants crawling up and down your legs and toes.
What about the back pain? For myself the pain has been in my upper back and the lower back. One the reasons is that my posture is very "off". The mere act of carrying a baby creates a sway back when I walk. I cannot help it. Doing this over and over again puts added stress on the spinal system and that means real aches and pains. Back pain can also be caused by loosening of the ligaments.
Finally the knee pain, ankle pain and the foot pain. Just recently I got out of bed and complained to my husband that my right knee was aching. Again my body is not used to 150 lbs on my frame. The added weight puts more stress on knee joints and ankle joints. I have also noted swelling and particular pain points in my feet. Again, another byproduct of the added weight.
So what can be done alleviate all of these pains. The list seems kind of long of all the discomforts I am experiencing !
- Get adjusted regularly by a chiropractor. They have techniques, and special tables to accomodate big pregnant woman in their offices ! The chiropractic adjustment can ease pressure off of nerves, and put you into proper alignment. Lots of pain relief with this age old treatment.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Flat shoes, not heels.
- Watch your weight. The more weight one gains during pregnancy the more pressure is put on the body. Also keep in mind, the harder it will be come off once you deliver the baby
- Takes breaks. Don't be afraid of putting your feet up and just relaxing on the couch or sitting on a chair. Don't stand for long periods of time. This extra standing just puts more pressure on knee joints and ankle joints.
- Sleep on your side at night and keep a flat soft pillow in between your knees. This takes pressure off of the lower back and pelvis area. It actually feels really good to sleep like this. Another great idea is to sleep with a body pillow at night. These long pillows are made especially for pregnancy and can help you get a very comfortable sleep.
- When sitting use a lower back support. This makes a huge difference. A back support will support your lower and upper back and keep you from slouching. This improvement in posture will put less pressure on your spinal column and nervous system
- Drink a lot of water.
- Use a hot and cold pack for therapy- a warm heating pack can help relax the muscles of the back and feels so wonderful too. A cold pack can help lower back ligament pain.Get a cold pack that covers your low back and mid back well. I have found that keeping this in the freezer ready to go is the key for pain relief.
- Don't be afraid to stretch a little before going to bed. This will help ease the muscle cramps and lessen the "charlie horses" that occur at weird times at night. For me drinking more water has helped with these pesky leg cramps that are a 10/10 on the pain scale. Mind you, it means more trips to the bathroom- but I would do that any day than experience a leg cramp in the middle of the night. Also watch your diet. Eating things high in potassium such as bananas can help leg cramps.
Source: Aches and Pains During Pregnancy
Additional Reading Resources:
- Treatment of neck pain for the pregnant mom
- Body Pillow Designed Especially for Pregnancy and More Comfortable positioning and sleep
- A Neck Pillow to keep you aligned when you sleep on your side
- Natural Neck Pain Relief without Surgery
- Hot and Cold Therapy for Pain Relief