Pregnancy is a mixed bag. The joy of a baby has no equal in our materialistic world. Nonetheless, there is another undeniable fact. The pain and discomfort brought on by pregnancy. Every pregnant woman experiences some kind of pain the most common of which is backaches. This article sheds light on the 5 aches and pains of pregnancy.
Lower Back Pain:
It is rare to find a woman who does not complain of back pain during pregnancy. Lower back aches start in the second trimester and continue until the end. The pain is concentrated in the lower back and travels to the buttocks and pelvis. An expanding belly changes body posture and puts pressure on the back. Hormonal changes are another cause for back pain during pregnancy. The body releases a hormone Relaxin to loosen the ligaments and joints to accommodate the growing fetus.
Heat compresses offer relief from back pain. The water used (in case of a warm dip) or heat supplied should not be very hot as a sudden change in body temperature is undesirable. Try to maintain healthy weight during the nine months of childbearing. Rethink your footwear options. Avoid high heels and flip-flops. Wear footwear that offers good arch support.
Headaches are another common pregnancy symptom. The factors responsible for pregnancy headaches are hormonal imbalances, insufficient water intake, inadequate sleep, poor posture or stress. Headaches range from migraines lasting several days to a dull pain at both the temples.
Application of hot and cold compresses relieves tension headaches. Yoga and meditation are other solutions. Yoga helps de-stress the mind and improves blood circulation. Follow a proper wake and sleep routine. Eat healthy and drink plenty of water.
Women also experience painful cramps in the calves. Leg cramps are common in the second and third trimesters. They are caused because of the pressure from your growing uterus and pounds you add during pregnancy. To add, excess blood and water courses through the veins. Veins packed to their capacity cause cramps or muscle contraction in the legs.
Use a heating pad or a hot water bottle to relieve leg cramps. Stretch and gently exercise your legs before you go to bed. Flex the ankles and exercise the toes while in a sitting or sleeping position. A gentle foot massage is an effective way to deal with leg cramps. Walking helps too.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Many pregnant women wonder how to interpret numbness, tingling and burning sensations in the palms and fingers of their hand. This is the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It starts in the lower digits and travels up the arm. Carpal tunnel is ligaments in a bracelet like ligament in the wrist; it encircles the wrist. The median nerve connecting the forearm and the hand runs through this ligament. Fluid retention and swelling puts pressure on the nerve resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive movements such as typing or knitting can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Use a wrist brace. Exercise the wrist often. Get a cushioned wrist rest if you use the computer often. Reduce intake of salt to prevent fluid retention.
Like carpal tunnel syndrome is for the hands, sciatica is for the legs. The sciatica nerve moves from the back and passes through pelvis and hips down to the legs. During pregnancy the sciatica nerve is compressed by the expanding uterus. The pain travels from the lower back, down the hip into the butt and leg.
There are special exercises to relieve the problem of sciatica. Heat is another relief measure. The doctor may suggest using a girdle.