Joint Pain During Pregnancy

Updated on December 28, 2008
K.G. asks from Katy, TX
9 answers

I am 11 weeks pregnant, and I have been experiencing pain in several of my joints recently. This has all started since the pregnancy. My ankles, knees, elbows, and hips have been hurting off and on for a few weeks now. The pain is not severe, but it is very noticable. Could it be the hormones or another pregnancy related issue that is causing the joint pain? Has anyone else experienced joint pain during pregnancy. I have not gained any weight, yet, so it is not due to weight gain.

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answers from Austin on

Sounds to me like the normal pains of pregnancy. Isn't it nice what we get to go through? What saved me from going nuts from the aches and pains was exercise, my giant U shaped pillow, and my chiropractor. I'm a tennis player so I got regular exercise at a moderate level which helped me feel better almost every time I went out there to the courts. The pillow, thanks to my dear hubby who brought it home one day, was better than any hook shaped pregnancy pillow. It allowed me to sleep in so many other positions, even my back because I could cross the bottom of it and move the "legs" of the pillow around so I wasn't putting pressure where I shouldn't. Got me off those uncomfortable hips. I also had 2 twin sized memory foam pads folded up under me to make the bed super squishy. The last thing that saved me was my chiropractor. Pregnancy does all sorts of great things to knock your joints and bones out of whack. Just make sure if you go to one, that they are experienced in pregnancy chiropractics. It is perfectly safe to do and it can make you feel so much better. Especially later on when you start getting even more ouchy. If you want the name of mine let me know and I'll pass it on. He does first time visits for free so that's a nice bonus. I trust him and even trust him with my daughter now, not that she needs much in the way of chiropractics but if I'm there he looks at her too. He's the grandfatherly type who makes you feel relaxed and you can tell he knows what he's doing.

Good luck to you! I know it's hard to enjoy pregnancy when it's so rough. Just concentrate on the end result!




answers from Austin on

I am a senior midwife student. When you are pregnant your body begins to release relaxin which causes your joints to become loose. The pelvis is made up of many joints which relax and this helps the pelvis to widen so the baby can be born. Also, have you considered midwifery care for your pregnancy? Studies have shown that birth outside of the hospital is safer and healthier for low risk pregnancies. Also, midwives have far better outcomes than OB's do. If you have any questions please let me know.




answers from San Antonio on

If you can, try to start getting massage on a regular basis. I did with my second pregnancy and noticed a huge difference from my first. It helps with the joint pain, aids circulation which will help with swelling, and as you grow larger will help with all the other pains! Most spas nowadays offer pregnancy massage and have therapists that are specially trained in that area. Run it by your ob first, but most ob/gyns recommend it nowadays. Good Luck!



answers from Austin on

This happened to me early on in both of my pregnancies, too. From about month two on through birth with my first baby, and it's been from month three on so far with my second (I am at twenty weeks now). It's hormones. Relaxin is released (ideally later on in pregnancy, but you and I are "lucky" ones) to soften your pelvic bones to make delivery easier. Unfortunately, hormones don't target specific body parts very well. I have found that with the hip pain, anyway, doing about a half-hour of light exercise (even just walking) helps the muscles kind of relax into their new position (part of the pain, for me anyway, was the muscles trying to hold everything in their old position, but the old position is no good right now, so your muscles need a little help adjusting). This might help your knees, as the muscles around your knees and the muscles around your hips are heavily interconnected - though honestly, I'm not sure about that, as my knees were never too much of a problem for me, but then I walked all the time, too. Also, you might want to go ahead and consider buying shoes that are super supportive, and a half size bigger than what you're wearing now. There are lots of tendons and ligaments in your feet that will start to "relax" soon, too.

Other than that, Tylenol and a nice soak in a warm bath.

You'll feel better, like magic, a couple of days after the baby is born.

Hang in there, and congrats on the pregnancy!



answers from Houston on

Dear K. -

I did not experience joint pain during pregnancy, but about 2 years ago was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It started in my left shoulder, then woke up one morning and most all my joints were involved, especially my knees and hands. You need to have your doctor run tests for rheumatoid arthritis. If it comes back positive, contact me and I'll give you some very helpful info. You need to know what you're up against as soon as possible. Check both sides of your family tree to see if there were any known autoimmune illnesses such as RA or Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Wishing you the best ! S. K



answers from Austin on

oh K., I am so sorry to hear that your joint pain has started so early in your pregnancy. Sorry to say that joint paint is a very common, and not very talked about part of pregnancy. I suffered from very severe and dibilitating carpal tunnel syndrome during my last trimester. I was told that the only thing to do is have the baby. I did take regular doses of tylenol and it helped a little. i would talk to your obgyn and see if they have other recommendations. good luck.



answers from El Paso on

It could be from your ligaments loosening and getting ready for the baby. I know with my second and third my joints were much more noticeably hurting earlier in the pregnancy. My doctor recommended soaking in a warm bath and massage to help.

Hope this helps



answers from Houston on

Congratulations, you're pregnant!!!!! Rest when you can, soak in the warm tub all you can, pamper, pamper, pamper.
Your body is changing to carry a full load inside. Give yourself a break when you can. If it gets severe get medical advice before taking any medications!!



answers from Austin on

Joint pain occurs, because the structure of your joints is changing to make way or the baby. Have you tried coral calcium, glucosemine, knox gelitain, or shark cartilidge. These products you can find at the health food store, and are good for joint strengthening.

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