Knee pain is one of the most common discomforts during pregnancy. It occurs whenever the joints have to support more weight than before, in response to normal physical changes affecting the woman’s body during this period.
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The knee joint is a movable part in which the bones meet. Bones are fixed by ligaments and moved by muscles and tendons. Discomfort in one of these areas is considered as knee pain.
It is quite difficult to tolerate such discomfort. Even if it is one of the rare but common pregnancy pains, it is important to find the reason for its occurrence, as it can also be a sign of certain disorders.
Some causes of Knee Pain During Pregnancy
Knee pain may simply be physiological due to changes in the woman’s body during pregnancy, or may also be pathological due to ligament injuries and/or knee soft tissue.
In the last trimester, as pregnancy progresses, Relaxin hormones are released to further stretch pelvic ligaments and tendons in anticipation of childbirth.
However, Relaxin also affects other ligaments and tendons in the woman’s body, like those around the knees, softening their joints and causing pain.
Weight gain is one of the most common factors leading to knee pain during pregnancy. The baby’s growth, especially during the third trimester, will put additional pressure on the mother’s knees.
This can affect the cartilage protection and ligaments around the joints and can result in walking, bending, and running difficulties over time, as long as nothing is done to fix it.
In addition, with poor nutrition, a calcium deficit on the bones can also lead to knee pain during pregnancy. When the baby’s growth is active, especially in the second trimester, more vitamins and minerals are absorbed.
If the pain persists, consult your doctor for examination and analysis in order to rule out some other pathologies.
What Can You Do To Manage knee pain during pregnancy
Knee pain management does not differ from usual practices when it comes to other common pregnancy pains. With these simple strategies, you should be able to manage and minimize your pain.
Use A Knee Brace
It is advisable to wear a special knee brace that exerts stable pressure on the knee joint. The brace will help compensate the shifting center of gravity by stabilizing the kneecap, which results in less pain.
Wear comfortable shoes
Wear comfortable shoes that don’t stretch the knee or bend the spine. The use of high-heels is not recommended for all pregnant women. You may want to choose footwear with adequate padding in your last trimester to give your knees a break.
Apply Hot And Cold Compresses
Try hot and cold compresses to ease painful joints. Use a cold compress for 30 minutes, two or three times a day to reduce inflammation. You can also alternate hot and cold packs for 15 minutes to reactivate circulation and alleviate the pain.
Pregnant women should get enough rest to give knee joints a break. Put your feet up as much as possible to free your knees from any weight. This can help to relieve knee pain, and also to prevent it from developing.
Pay attention to weight gain
Pay attention to weight gain to avoid sudden transitions due to excessive use of salty foods. A woman who had a normal weight before pregnancy should gain 25 to 35 pounds after becoming pregnant. And overweight women may need to gain only 15 to 25 pounds.
To avoid knee pain during pregnancy, choose a complete and balanced diet that includes more calcium: milk, cheese, eggs, fatty fish, liver, etc.
Consult your doctor to find out if it is advisable to take complex vitamins during pregnancy.