It’s no surprise that women need extra care during pregnancy. However, did you know that many women deal with orthopedic problems during pregnancy? For this reason, it’s important for women to add an orthopedic physician to their care team during pregnancy to ensure they have a comfortable and pain-free pregnancy.
Carrying a baby is an added weight on a woman’s body. A growing belly can shift a woman’s center of gravity, and if a woman has existing joint problems, being pregnant can exacerbate their orthopedic conditions.
Let’s talk about the three most common orthopedic problems that affect pregnant women.
Lower Back Pain
Back pain is very common in pregnant women, even in the earliest stages of pregnancy. Lower back pain is caused by the added weight of the baby and the uneven distribution of the additional weight. Moreover, ligaments tend to relax during pregnancy to prepare for labor, which means the joints in your lower extremities take on the strain, causing more pressure on the lower back.
Physical therapy exercises that strengthen the back muscles can reduce lower back pain. Practicing good posture also helps ease the strain on your lower back and pelvic muscles. An orthopedic physician can guide you on both of these solutions for lower back pain.
All women gain weight during pregnancy due to their growing belly. The added weight can inflame the plantar fascia, which is the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is caused by sudden weight gain during pregnancy. The condition causes a sharp and stabbing pain in the heel, which is usually worse in the mornings.
To relieve plantar fasciitis, orthopedic physicians recommend rest, icing the heel of the foot, manual therapy, and using orthopedic shoe inserts. Strengthening exercises for the plantar fascia also help relieve pain. If you have a demanding job, you may need pain relievers to help you get through the pain on busy days. Orthopedic physicians can recommend safe and effective medications that will not harm you or your baby.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Another common orthopedic problem seen in pregnancy in carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include swelling, soreness, numbness, and a burning sensation in the hands and fingers. Repetitive motions, such as typing, can exacerbate the issue. However, in the case of pregnancy, it is often due to fluid retention in the extremities, which puts pressure on your body’s nerves, including the median nerve located in the forearm and wrist.
To relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, orthopedic physicians recommend stretching exercises, wearing a wrist brace, and refraining from repetitive motions that can worsen symptoms.
Treatment for Pregnancy-Related Orthopedic Problems in Little Rock, Arkansas
If you are experiencing orthopedic issues during pregnancy, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Hefley can help. Visit us today to get effective treatment, so you can enjoy this wonderful time in your life.
To make an appointment, please call us at (800) 336-2412. You can also request an appointment online. We look forwarding to serving you in our Little Rock and North Little Rock clinics.