Pregnancy causes many changes in the body – Physical, chemical as well as emotional. These changes are generally influenced by sudden and dramatic increase in hormone levels, especially Oestrogen, Progesterone and Relaxin. Physical changes due to weight-gain can put a considerable strain on your musculo-skeletal system. The increase in weight along with the hormone named Relaxin, puts enormous stress on our joints, ligaments and other tissues of the body. In addition, repetitive daily activities and being in one position for too long can further aggravate pain.
If Relaxin is the reason our ligaments become laxed, then why does our body secrete it during pregnancy? Relaxin prepares the pelvic floor muscles and the pelvic ring for child birth. It allows the ligaments around the pelvis to relax. But along with pelvic ligaments, it also acts on the ligaments throughout the body, thus increasing general flexibility. Although increased in flexibility sounds promising, ligaments are responsible for stabilising our joints, therefore lax ligaments also mean relatively unstable joints.
Common Aches & Pains related to Pregnancy
A. SI Joint Pain
Sacroiliac Joint Pain occurs on one side of your low back where the dimples appear. This is where the sacrum and the ilium (bone of the pelvis) meet. Relaxin hormone weakens ligaments so the birth canal widens for delivery. Often, the ligaments become too loose and overstretched. This leads to an unstable pelvis which may feel “wobbly”. The tissues often become pinched in the joint which can create sharp or deep pain. The joint may throb for hours due to swollen, irritated tissues. Read more : SI Joint Pain in Pregnancy
B. Sciatica Pain
Sciatica is leg pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a tense buttock muscle. It often occurs in conjunction with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
C. Back pain
Back pain in pregnancy has many possible causes. It usually is caused by strain on the back muscles. In mid pregnancy, when uterus becomes heavier, it changes center of gravity. Most women begin to lean backward in the later months of pregnancy – making their back muscles work harder. Weakness of the abdominal muscles can also cause back pain. The abdominal muscles normally support the spine and play an important role in the health of the back. Relaxing over stretches these muscles and can also make one more prone to injury while exercising. Read more : Back Pain
Dealing with these Aches & Pains
Most of the common discomforts and aches & pains associated with pregnancy can be dealt easily by 3 simple non-medicinal ways:
- Good Posture : Read more : Posture in Pregnancy
- Improved Body Mechanics : Read More :Exericse during Pregnancy
- Antenatal Fitness : Read More : FabMoms, Prenatal Care Program
You can join ReLivaTM FabMoms program and learn to deal with these aches & pains in an easy and fun way. Our Experts can design a customized one-on-one Antenatal Fitness plan for your requirement and supervise you on your way to be a FAB Mom or you may join a more fun setting for antenatal fitness in Group Therapy.
SI Joint / Pelvic Pain – Do’s & Don’ts
Sacroiliitis, Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Benefits of exercise during Pregnancy
Posture in Pregnancy: Do’s & Don’ts
Happy & Fit Pregnancy ; Back to Shape afterwards
SI Pain & Pregnancy Tips
Infographic on Why Exercise while Pregnant