Pregnancy may be a transformative period in a woman’s life, but it can also put a great deal of stress on a woman’s body. From morning sickness and heartburn to cravings and joint pain- there’s a lot to handle at the same time.
A lot of women experience joint pain during pregnancy, particularly pain in the knee joint, and due to several possible reasons. Are you too, troubled by knee joint pain during pregnancy? Well then, read on to discover 7 easy actionable tips to handle it better.
Low Impact Exercises
Probably the biggest mistake most women make during pregnancy is that they totally avoid exercise. Engaging in low impact exercises during pregnancy has many benefits- it keeps weight in check, helps you stay active and fit, improves joint health and stability and prevents knee joint pain as well.
Slow walking, low leg raises and pool exercises turn out to be excellent options for women who are pregnant. If you have an existing condition that has affected your knee joints (such as arthritis), light exercises in the swimming pool can be the best option for you, since exercising in the water tends to reduce stress exerted on your knee and other leg joints. Make sure you exercise under the guidance of a professional trainer, and avoid engaging in high intensity workouts or strenuous physical activity.
Yoga and other forms of meditation exercises are also extremely effective ways to combat knee pain, and many other forms of joint pain during pregnancy. Performing simple deep breathing exercises on a daily basis can help you stay focused, concentrate better, improve the flow of oxygen into your body, strengthen your internal organs, and yes, also relieve joint pain, particularly joint pain associated with arthritis.
Take out a few minutes everyday to simply lie down and take deep, slow breaths, and if possible, also try mindfulness meditation. Many studies have confirmed that meditation is indeed, an extremely effective tool to deal with different forms of physical and psychological illnesses, including chronic pain.
Weight management is another important factor to be considered when it comes to handling knee joint pain during pregnancy. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can exert a lot of stress on the knee joints, which can in turn, cause knee pain. Follow your doctor’s advice about the ideal calorie intake everyday, and stick to a natural diet to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy. Also make sure you engage in some light physical activity everyday to stay active and energetic during your pregnancy period.
If you’re exercising, but still experiencing pain, focus on your footwear. It is important to wear the correct shoes during exercising- ideally, your shoes should provide adequate cushioning and must also have arch support which can help absorb the shock on your knees. During the last trimester of your pregnancy, stick to comfy sneakers or slip-ons and avoid high heeled shoes that make you feel cramped and uncomfortable.
Knee braces are basically elastic, donut-shaped braces that work by supporting the ligaments and tendons around the knee, and thereby help relieve knee pain. You’ll have the option to choose from basic to advanced level knee braces depending on the cause behind your pain. You can also find knee pillows and knee wraps online- all designed with the same idea in mind- providing support to the knee area and helping calm down knee pain.
Ointments and Creams
The use of certain pain relieving ointments and creams meant for topical application can also prove to be effective in targeting knee joint pain during pregnancy, but the effectiveness of these creams last for only a short period of time. It is best to avoid the use of painkillers during pregnancy, but if you must, always have a quick talk with your general practitioner first to make sure you’re on the right dosage and opting for painkillers that are safe for use during pregnancy.
There are several other simple approaches that could be helpful in dealing with knee joint pain in particular.
- Apply a warm compress to your knee- it acts as a natural pain reliever for moderate form of joint pain.
- Use pillows and cushions to support your body during sleep, especially if you’re experiencing joint pain during the later trimesters of pregnancy due to lack of comfort during sleep.
- Avoid sitting or standing for too long- give your legs some movement often- get up for a short walk around the house every hour or couple of hours- sitting in a single position for too long can also lead to knee pain.
- Have a talk with your doctor about using supplements– certain herbal extracts and supplements can help calm down joint pain effectively, but it is best to discuss with your healthcare provider before consuming them during pregnancy.