Hip Pain During Pregnancy Sleeping
It is common to experience hip pain if pregnant, especially while sleeping. This hip pain is particularly common during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. As the baby grows, the body undergoes significant changes to accommodate it. Sometimes, the body structures around the hip may bear the brunt of these major body adjustments.
Other common causes of hip pain in pregnancy include hormonal changes, changes in posture, weight gain, etc. When left untreated, severe hip pain can significantly disrupt sleep or make it difficult to sleep at night, which is very important for you and your unborn child. It can also make walking difficult, lead to exhaustion, and affect your overall well-being.
Therefore, this article will explore the causes and various treatment options we offer at Concept of Movement Physiotherapy to relieve severe hip pain.
What Are the Causes Of Hip Pain While Sleeping During Pregnancy?
You may experience hip pain amplified while sleeping at night during pregnancy for several reasons. Some of the causes of hip pain include:
During pregnancy, there is a fluctuation in hormones which leads to oversecretion or undersecretion. One such hormone is Relaxin, which is produced more in the ovaries and placenta during pregnancy. Naturally, Relaxin helps to relax and soften the ligaments in the body. This prepares the pelvis for childbirth by allowing it to expand to accommodate the growing baby.
Although relaxin plays a crucial delivery in preserving pregnancy and ensuring safe childbirth, it may also contribute to hip pain. That’s because the hormone does not only affect the ligaments in the pelvis area but also those of the hips. When relaxin softens the ligaments of the hips, it may destabilize and misalign the hip joints. This causes discomfort and pain that may become worse when you are sleeping.
Furthermore, hormonal fluctuations may lead to fluid retention, known as edema. Increased fluid accumulation in the hips can cause swelling and added pressure on the hip joints. This contributes to pain and discomfort that may be heightened when asleep.
Weight gain is natural, and it is an expected part of pregnancy. It is essential for a healthy pregnancy as it prepares the body to support the growth and development of the baby. However, weight gain can also contribute to hip pain, particularly during sleep.
As the pregnancy progress, the size and weight of the baby lead to an increased load on the hips. The added weight places pressure on the hip joints and surrounding structures. This may lead to discomfort and pain, making walking or even sleeping hurt.
During pregnancy, the body undergoes significant postural change due to a change in the center of gravity. There may be an increase in the curvature of the lower back, known as lumbar lordosis. This change in posture is a natural response to balance the increased weight in the front of the body. However, it may lead to extra stress on the hip joints and associated muscles. This causes strain, pain, and discomfort, which may be heightened during sleep.
Sciatica is the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve (the longest nerve in the body) that runs down to the legs from the lower body through the hips. During pregnancy, the uterus expands, exerting pressure on the sciatic nerve. The increased pressure on the sciatic nerve may compress the nerve, leading to irritation and inflammation.
The pain associated with sciatica is distinct and can be easily distinguished. The pain radiates from the lower back through the hips and down the back of the leg. This pain may vary in intensity, ranging from a mild ache to a sharp burning sensation. Other symptoms of sciatica include muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, etc.
Pressure on Blood Vessels and Nerves
In pregnancy, the growing baby's weight can exert pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the pelvic region. This pressure may restrict the flow of blood and cause nerve impingement. This results in hip pain, tingling, or numbness, making it hurt to walk or difficult to sleep.
How to prevent hip pain during pregnancy
While most pregnancy changes are inevitable, hip pain can be minimized to the bare minimum or even prevented. To ensure that you get good sleep following are tips to keep you healthy and minimize/prevent hip pain during pregnancy:
- Maintain a healthy weight: The strain on your hips will be greatly reduced if you keep weight gain to the bare minimum. This can be achieved by consuming a balanced and nutritious diet and engaging in regular physical activities suitable for pregnancy.
- Exercise regularly: It is important to stay active when pregnant. Regular participation in low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, stationary cycling, stretching, prenatal yoga, etc, can strengthen your hip muscles and improve overall well-being.
- Practice good posture: Proper posture can help support your hips and reduce strain.
- Sleep in a supportive position: Your position may contribute to the intensity of the pain in your hips. Find the best comfortable sleeping position to prevent or minimize the intensity of hip pain.
- Seek professional support: Before and during pregnancy in Barrie, ON, you can seek professional support to help prevent or minimize hip pain. Professionals at the Concept of Movement Physiotherapy can provide you with exercises and techniques to alleviate hip pain and improve overall comfort.
Other preventive measures that you can use to avoid or reduce hip pain during pregnancy include wearing flat and supportive shoes, avoiding certain activities, use of proper body mechanics, use of pregnancy support belts, regular prenatal massage, etc.
Treatment Options for Hip Pain while sleeping, during pregnancy
While prevention of hip pain is the most ideal option, sometimes, it cannot be completely avoided. If it hurts to walk or you find it difficult to sleep at night, several treatment options are available to help manage and alleviate hip pain during pregnancy. Some options include:
Sometimes, your doctor may recommend medications to manage hip pain during pregnancy. It is important to consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication for hip pain during pregnancy. This is because of the potential risks that certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may have on pregnancy.
Your doctor may prescribe medications considered safe for the short term and under close medical supervision. Such medications may include acetaminophen, opioids, corticosteroid injections, etc. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe topical analgesics, such as creams, gels, or patches, that can be applied directly to the skin to relieve pain. Always remember that every medication taken during pregnancy should be at the prescription of a healthcare professional.
Some valuable pieces of equipment can help alleviate hip pain and provide additional stability. These devices are designed to alleviate strain, provide stability, and improve overall comfort during pregnancy. These devices include maternity support belts, pregnancy pillows, supportive footwear, orthotic inserts, compression garments, seat cushions and back supports, supportive braces, etc.
These devices provide support, relieve pressure, maintain proper alignment, reduce strain, improve posture, improve blood circulation, and, most importantly, relieve hip pain and discomfort.
Heat or Cold Therapy
This is a non-invasive and cost-effective treatment method for managing hip pain during pregnancy. This mode of therapy works by altering the temperature of the affected, reducing inflammation, and providing temporary relief. Heat therapy involves the application of warmth to the affected area with the aid of heating pads, warm compresses, hot water bottles, etc. Cold therapy involves the application of cold to the affected area through the use of ice packs and cold compresses.
Heat or Cold therapy provides comfort and relieves pain by improving blood circulation, relaxing the muscles, improving flexibility, reducing inflammation, numbing sensation, and decreasing nerve conduction. Consult a health provider before initiating this therapy to decide if it is best for you.
Physiotherapy in Barrie, ON, is a beneficial treatment method that can be used to manage hip pain during pregnancy. Physiotherapy aims to improve physical function, mobility, and overall well-being; therefore, it can be crucial in managing hip pain during pregnancy.
Before treatment commences, a physiotherapist will thoroughly assess the specific causes and contributing factors of your hip pain during pregnancy. The physiotherapist will develop an individualized treatment plan based on the assessment results that meet your needs and goals.
The treatment plan may include exercise prescriptions, manual therapy, postural education and correction, pelvic floor exercises, etc. Physiotherapy effectively manages hip pain during pregnancy, prevents future issues, and aids postpartum rehabilitation.
Other treatment options that can be used to manage hip pain during pregnancy include chiropractic care, water therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.
Hip pain that becomes heightened while sleeping is a common challenge faced during pregnancy. This is caused by several factors that you may not directly have control over. However, understanding the underlying causes of your hip pain and taking appropriate measures, it is possible to find relief and improve your sleep quality. Before your pregnancy matures, you can take conscious steps to prevent hip pain. If you still experience hip pain during pregnancy, you can seek physiotherapy services at Concept of Movement Physiotherapy for effective pain relief.