Updated: Jul 14
Pregnant women, are you struggling with joint pain during pregnancy? These five tips can help you find relief fast!
Pregnancy is a time of significant transformation for your body, and when you're expecting, this may result in pregnancy joint pain. While it's normal to experience some discomfort during pregnancy, severe joint pain can make everyday activities difficult. If you're looking for relief, read on for five tips that can help.
How To Relieve Joint Pain With Pregnancy
1. Sleep Positioning
When it comes to pregnancy joint discomfort, changing your sleep position is one of the most efficient methods to get relief. In a study on back pain and sleeping position, researchers discovered that sleeping on your side is beneficial.[*] Sleeping on your left side is most often recommended, as it helps to increase circulation and takes the pressure off your liver and spine. You may also try using pregnancy pillows or placing a cushion between your knees or below your stomach to support your body and decrease discomfort.[*]
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Most Versatile Pregnancy Pillow: Bamibi Multifunctional Pregnancy Pillow
2. Proper Footwear
Wearing the wrong shoes can exacerbate joint pain during pregnancy – so it's important to make sure you're wearing footwear that's supportive and comfortable.[*] If possible, invest in shoes that are designed to provide extra stability. And, avoid high heels or shoes with a lot of toe gripping, as these can put additional strain on your joints.
If you want to discover more natural ways to relieve pain, learn about the 5 stress relief pressure points.
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Best shoes for walking: Skechers GOWalk
Best running shoes: HOKA Bondi 7
Best shoes for swollen feet: TOMS Alpargata
Best supportive shoes: Vionic Walker
Another wonderful technique to reduce joint discomfort during pregnancy is exercise. Low-impact workouts, like swimming or walking, can help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. However, you should always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Staying active is good for your overall health and mental wellness, but it's important to listen to your body and not overdo it.[*]
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4. Activity Modification and Abdominal Bracing With Lifting
Another way to treat joint pain is to modify your activities. This may mean changing the way you do certain tasks or avoiding activities that put too much strain on your joints.[*] If you suffer from recurring pain in your hands and back, consider switching to a rolling hamper instead of carrying your laundry basket. Or, if you constantly have discomfort in your hips, you should avoid crossing your legs.
In pregnancy, as the baby grows and the uterus expands, there is an increased demand on the abdominal muscles. These muscles work overtime to support the pregnancy and weight gain while working to keep the spine in alignment. As a result, pregnancy can often lead to weak or loosened abdominal muscles, which can contribute to joint pain.[*]
Practicing abdominal bracing with lifting can help to support your spine and take some of the strain off of your joints. When picking anything up, whether it's a toddler, laundry, or even a grocery bag, you must engage your core muscles. To do this, first, take a deep breath in and tighten your abdominal muscles. As you exhale, slowly lift the object, keeping your abdominal muscles engaged the entire time. Be sure to use proper lifting techniques by keeping the object close to your body and avoiding any sudden or jerky motions.
Related: How To Stop Back Pain in Pregnancy
5. Pelvic Support and Postural Position
Pelvic support belts are another joint pain relief option that can be helpful for severe sacroiliac (SI) joint pain that can be a result of weight gain in pregnancy. These belts provide support to the hips and pelvis, which can help to take some of the strain off of your weight bearing joints.[*]
Paying attention to your posture – both when pregnant and not – can help to prevent joint pain symptoms. Pregnancy can cause changes in a person's posture.[*] As the baby grows and the stomach expands, it puts a strain on the spine and can lead to poor posture. To help prevent this, be conscious of your posture throughout the day and avoid slouching. When sitting, put your feet up on a stool or ottoman and use a pregnancy pillow to support your back. And when standing, keep your shoulders back and with a slight pelvic tilt backwards.
*The Kindred Bravely Hands-Free Pumping Bra can help with positioning and posture as you bond with your baby.
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Final Thoughts About Pregnancy Joint Pain
There are several ways to find relief from joint pain, whether it be mild joint pain or severe joint pain. By following the tips above, you can help ease your discomfort and get back to enjoying your pregnancy. Check out our pregnancy symptom tracker to help monitor your symptoms and track your progress.
Stay tuned to our blog for more women's health, wellness, and self-care tips like these.