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WHAT HAPPENS TO MY JOINTS IN PREGNANCY



During pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain, and changes in posture can affect your joints in various ways. Here are some common effects:


  1. Relaxin hormone: Your body produces higher levels of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy, which helps to relax the ligaments in your pelvis to prepare for childbirth. However, relaxin can also affect other joints in your body, leading to increased joint laxity or looseness. This increased flexibility can sometimes make joints feel less stable and more prone to injury, particularly in weight-bearing joints like the knees and ankles.

  2. Increased pressure on joints: As your baby grows, your uterus expands, placing additional pressure on your joints, particularly those in your pelvis, hips, and lower back. This increased pressure can exacerbate existing joint issues or lead to discomfort and pain in these areas.

  3. Changes in posture: As your pregnancy progresses and your center of gravity shifts, you may adopt different postures to accommodate your changing body. These postural changes can place additional stress on certain joints, such as the spine, hips, and knees, leading to discomfort or musculoskeletal issues.

  4. Edema: Many pregnant women experience swelling, or edema, particularly in the hands, feet, and ankles. This swelling can put pressure on the joints and exacerbate any existing joint pain or discomfort.

  5. Weight gain: Pregnancy often leads to weight gain, which can put increased stress on your joints, especially weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, and ankles. This added weight can contribute to joint pain and discomfort, particularly if you're carrying excess weight or have a pre-existing joint condition.

  6. Carpal tunnel syndrome: Some pregnant women may experience carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition characterized by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hands and fingers. This occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed at the wrist due to swelling and fluid retention. Carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to joint pain and discomfort in the wrists and hands.


It's essential to stay active during pregnancy to help support your joints, maintain flexibility and muscle strength, and alleviate discomfort. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, prenatal yoga, and stationary cycling are generally safe and can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain. However, if you experience severe or persistent joint pain, swelling, or other symptoms, it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider for proper evaluation and management. They can provide personalized advice and recommend appropriate treatments or interventions to help alleviate your symptoms and support your joint health during pregnancy.



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