In addition to pregnancy related low back pain, pubic joint pain and sciatica, hip pain can also be extremely debilitating and annoying during pregnancy. There a two main areas in the hip that tend to become aggravated during pregnancy. Lets chat about them both!
Sides Of The Hips:
Midwives, OBs and other healthcare providers suggest not sleeping on your back following your first trimester. Around this time you are also beginning to get a baby bump and will not be able to sleep on your stomach either. That leaves your right or left sides. In addition to the pain that you may experience that is related to the changing biomechanics in your pelvis (information on this can be found HERE and HERE), the increased pressure on your lateral hip can cause discomfort. If the muscles in the lateral hip are already irritated, lying on them for extended periods of time it just going to continue to make the pain and discomfort worse.
Consider using a variety of pillows for comfort. Good options include side sleeping with a few pillows to support your bump and top leg or lying on your back with pillows under one hip and shoulder.
Front Of The Hip:
Anterior hip pain seems to be less frequent than many other pregnancy complaints. As your bump continues to grow it will be pulling your center of gravity forward. This tends to accentuate the lumbar lordosis and an increased anterior pelvic tilt. Biomechanically this puts stress on muscles crossing the front of the hip - the hip flexors (psoas, illiacus, rectus femoris). This stress and stretch can then manifest of muscular tightness and achy pain in the hip, groin or leg.
Consider foam rolling your quads to help with the discomfort. Unfortunately, while pregnant iliopsoas is difficult to treat effectively.
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