Pregnancy can be a wonderful and joyful time; starting or expanding your family, bringing new life into the world, finally answering your parents’ pleas for grandchildren … but for the expectant mother, those 40 weeks can also bring discomfort, aches, and tender joints.
At Action Rehab, we are happy to offer tailored treatment plans to pregnant women, doing our part to help make their pregnancy journey a little easier and a little more pain-free. In this blog, we discuss our top tips for relieving frustrating joint pain.
Why am I getting joint pain?
During pregnancy, there are many reasons why your joints – particularly those in your fingers, hands, wrists, knees, and ankles – could be aching. As your baby grows and you put on more weight, the rapid weight gain and swelling (a result of fluid flooding the joints) puts extra strain on your joints. This is particularly true for pregnant women who exercise excessively during this period of time (you should always speak with your doctor, a qualified personal trainer, or healthcare professional about what kinds of exercise are best during pregnancy).
You might experience the following hand and wrist conditions during pregnancy:
- De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis – the inflammation of the tendon sheath in your wrist.
- Trigger Finger – the thickening of a tendon in your finger or thumb that ‘catches’ when you move your thumb.
- Carpal Tunnel – as a result of swelling that compresses nerves in your wrist. You may experience significant pins and needles, numbness, and weakness in that hand.
How can I relieve the aches?
There are a few ways you can relieve these aches at home.
- Get plenty of rest
There’s no surprise that your doctor will likely recommend that you get rest – and plenty of it. Take care of your body by allowing it to get some R&R when it needs it.
- Take a pregnancy-safe painkiller
It’s important that you check with your doctor or a qualified pharmacist before you take any medications whilst pregnant. Thankfully, there are many pregnancy-safe painkillers on the market. Your healthcare professional will be able to recommend the correct one for you.
- See your doctor or physio
If the pain is becoming unbearable, or you suspect you’ve got an injury in your joints, you should book in to see your doctor or qualified physiotherapist. At Action Rehab, we work with pregnant women across Melbourne to help ease joint pain in their upper limbs. Make an appointment with us today.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
All of us would attest to feeling aches and pangs in our joints every now and again, especially such hard working areas of the body as our shoulders. From carrying heavy bags, picking up our children, and even exercising – our upper arms are responsible for lugging around a lot of weight. That’s why shoulder pain is so common.
At Action Rehab, we offer treatment and care to patients experiencing pain in their upper limbs. In this blog we explain the common causes of shoulder pain.
Injuries or sprains
When it comes to injuries or sprains, the pain can either be felt instantaneously or the symptoms can creep up several hours or days later. Following exercise or strenuous activity, it’s pretty normal to feel tension in your shoulders, beck, and upper back; attributed to movements that have activated the muscles in those areas. Often gentle stretching and time will help your shoulders feel better, however, if the pain is sharp or unbearable or lasts longer than a few days then you should make an appointment with your physio to determine if more serious damage (such as tears or dislocation) has occurred.
Over time, or due to injury, the cartilage that covers the end of our bones begins to wear down, causing friction as bone rubs against bone. Your physio may encourage you to try different stretches or techniques to help make movement throughout the shoulders smoother.
This inflammation could occur in the shoulder capsule, resulting in synovitis or frozen shoulder. It could also be caused by a bursa – a small fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between bones, muscles, or tendons – which can become inflamed with repetitive movements.
This type of pain is misleading, as it may not be stemming from the shoulder itself. It’s common for referred pain in the shoulder to actually be traced back to other conditions in linked areas of the body, such as the neck, the abdomen, or the heart and lungs. This is why it’s important to visit your healthcare professional if symptoms persist.
Final thoughts on managing joint pain during pregnancy
Just because shoulder pain is common, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth getting checked out by a healthcare professional. Make an appointment with your physiotherapist, or visit your general practitioner to understand the cause of the problem, and work out the best treatment plant to alleviate your pain – and help you build up strength in those muscles to help prevent it from happening again.
For more information, speak to the Action Rehab team today!