Hip pain during pregnancy
“Is it normal for your hips to hurt during pregnancy?”
“Why do my hips hurt when I lie on my side?”
“How can I relieve hip pain during pregnancy?”
“How can I stop my hips from hurting at night during pregnancy?”
Is it normal for your hips to hurt during pregnancy?
Yes, hip pain is a very common complaint during pregnancy. This can occur for a range of reasons, but the good news is that there’s many strategies that can help.
Why do my hips hurt when I lie on my side during pregnancy?
There can be several reasons why your hips hurt when lying on your side during pregnancy.
Hip pain as you move less in the night
As it becomes harder to move and roll over, you’ll change your position less often during the night. Also you’ll be unable to sleep on your back or front after about 16 weeks gestation, which means lying on your side is the most common position you’ll be in. This results in pressure on each hip for longer periods of time during each night.
Hip pain due to additional weight
As baby grows, the weight on your hip increases, which can contribute to sore hips feeling more uncomfortable.
Hip pain due to fatigue from walking around all day
Carrying the additional weight of baby around all day makes the muscles in your hips work harder. By the end of the day, these muscles can be tired and sore from working harder than they’re used to. This can make hips feel more sensitive by the time you lie down in bed at the end of the day
How can I relieve hip pain during pregnancy?
The best first step is to be assessed by a Physiotherapist who is knowledgeable in treating pregnancy-related concerns.
There can be many reasons why you develop hip pain during pregnancy, so it’s best to understand the main factors that need to be addressed.
It may be due to muscle weakness or tightness, poor posture habits or wearing shoes that don’t provide enough support for your changing body.
Common strategies we use to help relieve hip pain during pregnancy
Stretches for hip pain
For your hip muscles, lower back and legs, to relieve tightness and soreness. Make sure you follow instructions provided by your Physiotherapist to avoid straining or stretching too far
Even weight bearing to help reduce hip pain
When standing still, make sure you keep equal weight on both feet. This helps to avoid loading one hip.
The additional weight of the baby and uterus can be tiring to carry around. It can also lead to a ‘sway back’ or arched lower back standing position. When standing, check in with your position to ensure you’re standing tall, and gentle hugging your baby to your spine using your tummy muscles. This will help keep your back and hips in a better supported position. When you get too tired to ‘stand tall’, then it’s time to sit down for a break.
Support belts or clothing
Supportive belts around your pelvis, or tubigrip/belly band can help provide support. Make sure you seek individual advice for the best option to suit you. We stock tubigrip and SRC Pregnancy Shorts which can both be great options.
Carrying additional weight of the baby means we often need to build strength. This helps us comfortably cope with the additional weight during pregnancy. Our Pregnancy Classes are a perfect way to focus on strengthening that will assist your body during pregnancy, and reduce soreness too.
Pacing and regular rest
If your body is sore after a normal day, it might be a sign that you need to add some extra rests into your day. This might mean sitting or lying down several times during the day for 5-10 minutes. Breaking activities up into shorter blocks can help reduce hip pain too.
Supportive footwear can make a huge difference. It’ll help you stand better for longer, and your muscles won’t have to work quite so hard.
How can I stop my hips from hurting at night during pregnancy?
Try out some of these adjustments to reduce hip pain at night during pregnancy:
- Lie on your side, knees bent, pillow between your knees
- Put a pillow behind your back and lie halfway between lying on your back and lying on your side (**avoid lying on your back after 16 weeks pregnant. This half propped to your side position is generally ok)
- Spend some time stretching your hips before bed
- Apply heat to your hips with a heat pack or hot water bottle (**avoid any heat near your tummy, and make sure you don’t get too hot)
Can Physiotherapy help hip pain during pregnancy?
The answer to this question is YES. A Physiotherapy assessment is the best starting point for hip pain during pregnancy, as your Physiotherapist can assess your hip and give you a good understanding of what to do to feel better.
What will a Physio do for hip pain during pregnancy?
After being assessed by your Physiotherapist, they will then commence treatment and provide a plan to reduce pain and improve your function. This may include massage, mobilisations, education, dry needing or providing a support belt. Your Physio will also teach you exercises that will specifically improve the strength and movement in your hip, to help reduce the pain long term.
What is the best way to relieve hip pain?
Book in to see one of our experienced Physiotherapists to be fully assessed, and find out what you need to do to get rid of your hip pain.