Has Anyone Ever Experienced Knee Pain After Pregnancy?
October 10, 2010
East Springfield, PA
I realize this may be a bit of an odd experience, but I cannot figure out why I have knee pain. I never had any problems with my knees before or during pregnancy. I exercised before and during the early part of my pregnancy and did not have any pain, even when doing exercises like lunges.
Since my delivery, however, I have noticed extreme pain when I kneel or even bend my leg too quickly. While it is a bit difficult to describe, it feels like there is a tight band going across my kneecap which is stretched too tightly when I bend my knee. Also, when I kneel, the pain is so intense that it feels like I am kneeling on broken glass. It is the level of pain that takes my breath away. However, my knees are not sore to the touch, nor is it a constant pain. It only occurs when kneeling or bending too quickly.
I cannot put my finger on anything that I am doing differently. My husband pointed out the possibility that perhaps while I was delivering my son (I had a natural delivery) my knees may have been strained while I was pushing. I would think that even if that were the case, they would have improved by now. One knee does seem worse than the other, though.
While I do not exercise as much as I used to before my pregnancy, I am still active and bike at least 5 miles between 5 and 7 days a week. I have not lost all my pregnancy weight yet, but I don't know if that alone could explain the pain. Also, I am in my mid-thirties, so I realize it could also be my age but I've never had any problems before.
I have to wonder if my pregnancy had anything to do with this, just because it started after I was pregnant. Has anyone else ever had this, and if so, what can be done to alleviate or reduce the pain? I would be most grateful for any help. Thank you.
Thank you for all the great information. I happened to take the simplest approach to just take it easy, i.e. avoiding kneeling and stretching. It has since improved but I find that I still move more slowly when it comes to my knees.
did you get new shoes? I had pain in my knees and after a while I finally figured out it was when I wore a certain pair of sneakers. Lots of knee pain can come from your feet. This may or may not be your answer, but thought I'd mention it. Turns out those shoes were not "level" nor both the same, so they threw ever body alignment out when I wore them. I threw away perfectly good shoes, but it was not worth it, and it all went away when I were good shoes.
I would definitely suggest physical therapy. I recently had some physical therapy for knee pain and the therapist was really able to give me some specific instructions and exercises to do at home. It might be hard to get there with a newborn but you sound like an active person and you do not want this to get worse!
I also think you may need physical therapy. It sounds like you have a tight iliotibial band. This happened to me before my pregnancies, bnut your symptoms sound the same. PT helped me with stretches and strength exercises that fixed the problem.
I also experienced knee pain after pregnancy (as did one of my friends). However, my pain was not as intense as yours, mine was more like a painful aching. I figured out that mine was due to spending so much time in my recliner with my feet up when I was breastfeeding. Having the leg thing raised was keeping my knees in a locked position for long periods of time. Once I stopped putting my legs up as often the kneed pain went away.
I don't know if yours could be a similar issue (b/c of the intensity of your pain) but I would suggest trying to get a little more mobile for now & if it doesn't go away with in a month, then I would go to your doctor about it.
It is possible that you strained your knees during delivery and it has not healed yet. I would recommend you schedule an apt with an orthopedist that specializes in knees. Depending on the exam results, I would think an MRI would be the next step (that will show the cartiledge and ligaments of your knees). An x-ray will only show the bones and it would be very unlikely that you have arthritis at such a young age. I would not wait another month before seeking treatment. The longer your knees go without treatment, the more damange you may be doing. You should also use ice on your knees, kneeing a paper towel between your skin and the ice. You can use gel pack, but my favorite recommendation to my patients is a bag of frozen peas or corn. Leave ice on fo 20 minutes, wait one hour and repeat. You can do this 3 times a day or more.
Sounds like maybe you went back to exercise too soon after pregnancy. Your body releases hormones when you are pregnant to loosen your joints to make pregnancy and delivery easier. After you have the baby it may takes weeks/months for those levels to go back to normal. It is not unusual for women to hurt themselves by over doing it during or after pregnancy because of this. Even too much stretching can cause problems since the joints are so loose.
I had this happen to me. I started working out too soon and ended up with bursitis in my hip. Hurt pretty bad for a few months but now it only flares up every once in awhile. I saw an orthopedist. You might want to see a doctor. Or if you don't have insurance, lay off the workouts for awhile and see if it helps. Foam rollers are great for the IT Band if it's that as one mom suggested but I can't explain how to use it here. PM me if you'd like to know what to do.