Pregnancy is an exciting time, filled with a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. For some women, pregnancy is also filled with a variety of symptoms from the physical and hormonal changes occurring in the body. Some of these problems specifically affect the mother’s musculoskeletal system.
Let’s discuss some of the most common orthopedic problems you may experience during your pregnancy.
Sciatica refers to an inflamed sciatic nerve in the lower back. It causes weakness, numbness, tingling, or pain that may travel from the lower back, to the buttocks, and even down the legs. This condition only affects one side of your body at a time, typically. If you experience pain, it may range from a dull ache to an intense burning sensation. Some people experience a feeling similar to an electric shock.
In your first trimester, hormonal changes may cause sciatica. When it happens during the third trimester, it stems from the unborn baby pressing on the sciatic nerve – the nerve that runs from your lower back down your legs.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can develop during pregnancy, even if you don’t have sciatica. It can develop during any period of your pregnancy but is most common during the third trimester. It’s caused by a change in your center of gravity and the rapid weight gain that occurs during pregnancy. Lower back pain can develop during the first trimester, as well. When this happens, it tends to occur due to hormonal changes and stress. Keep in mind that if you have poor posture, it can contribute to back pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
On the thumb side of your hand, you have tendons and bone that make up a passageway known as the carpal tunnel. The median nerve runs through this tunnel. When there’s compression on the nerve in this area, you develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition causes weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand. It could also affect your ring, middle, and index fingers, along with the thumb.
When you’re pregnant, you tend to retain fluid, because of the increase in blood that’s circulating through your body. Commonly, you retain fluid in your hands, which can place pressure on the median nerve, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome.
You have a band of tissue that stretches from the heel of the foot to the toes. It’s known as the plantar fascia. When it becomes inflamed, it is known as a condition called plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the heel of the foot. Symptoms tend to be worse after physical activities and immediately after extended periods of rest.
Plantar fasciitis is prevalent during pregnancy because of the additional weight that your feet have to bear.
Although you want to stay active during your pregnancy, the weight gain puts additional stress on the lower half of your body. As a result, you may suffer from knee pain during pregnancy.
Additionally, your body produces a lot of relaxin and progesterone when you’re pregnant. These hormones play a role in relaxing your muscles and ligaments to prepare your body for delivery. However, they also affect muscles, ligaments, and joints in other areas of the body, including the knees. This can contribute to knee pain.
Choose Our Orthopedic Doctor in Watertown, NY for Your Pregnancy-Related Orthopedic Problems
While you should be excited about your little one’s arrival, the back pain and other unpleasant symptoms that are a part of pregnancy are not fun to deal with. Fortunately, at North Country Orthopaedic Group, you can see an orthopedic doctor who can find solutions for your orthopedic problems that are safe for you and your developing baby.
If you have orthopedic problems during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to contact us at North Country Orthopaedic Group, serving Watertown and nearby areas. You may call us at (315) 782-1650, or fill out our online appointment form.