It is common for women to experience aching arms and legs during early pregnancy. This is due to the body’s natural preparation for childbirth, and the increased production of hormones that cause the body to relax. While some discomfort is normal during this time, it is important to pay attention to the level and duration of pain. A woman should contact her doctor if the aching arms and legs become severe and persistent. This article will provide information on the common causes of aching arms and legs during early pregnancy, and provide tips on how to ease the discomfort while still keeping the mother and baby safe. We will also discuss potential medical complications that are associated with this symptom and when it should be addressed with a healthcare provider. Finally, we will look at ways to seek relief from the pain, including lifestyle modifications and medication options.
Is it normal to have body aches in early pregnancy?
Yes. Due to hormonal changes, you might experience early pregnancy body aches and muscle pains all over, especially toward the end of the first trimester.
The two most common complaints are lower back pain and pelvic pain (technically known as pelvic girdle pain). Although these aches and pains can appear at any time during pregnancy, they tend to become more prevalent around week 14 (the beginning of the second trimester).
As your uterus grows bigger in the early stages of pregnancy, you might also experience mild uterine cramping that feels like period pains. Additionally, you might experience stomach pains brought on by gas or constipation, both of which are typical during pregnancy. Digestive issues begin early in pregnancy and are also connected to hormonal changes.
Pregnant women should lie down, unwind, and then apply heat or cold to the sore muscles and achy body parts. An ice pack can reduce swelling and ease back and muscle pain.
You can use a hot water bottle, an electric heating pad, or a microwave-safe pad with flax or buckwheat to provide heat. Do not expose your abdomen to heat for more than ten minutes. You don’t want to increase your body temperature too much because this could harm your baby as it develops.
Staying active is one of the best ways to stop and treat body aches during pregnancy. Exercise relieves a variety of common pregnancy complaints, including back pain, constipation, and gas. This may seem counterintuitive. Exercise that is safe for pregnant women improves posture, strengthens and stretches muscles, controls pregnancy weight gain, and supports circulation.
Use proper form when lifting heavier objects, sit down when getting dressed, sit in a supportive chair, and try to avoid standing for extended periods of time if you can to reduce back and pelvic pain specifically.
If none of these suggestions work, consult your doctor before taking a pregnancy-safe painkiller (typically acetaminophen). You can also request a recommendation for a physical therapist from your obstetrician or midwife. As your pregnancy progresses, working with a physical therapist can help you manage your pain and build up your strength.
What causes body aches in pregnancy?
In order to prepare your body for birth, hormones relax your ligaments and joints throughout your pregnancy, which could cause body aches and pains.
You will gain weight as the pregnancy goes on, especially after the second trimester, which increases the pressure on your joints. Additionally, as your belly expands, it shifts your center of gravity forward and weakens the abdominal muscles that support your back and spine. It’s very common to experience lower back pain, as well as pain in your pelvis, groin, legs, and buttocks, as your body adapts to these changes.
Furthermore, starting in the second trimester, you might experience what is known as “round ligament pain”: a momentary, stabbing pain or a persistent dull ache in your lower abdomen or groin. This generally unharmful condition develops when the “round ligaments,” which attach your expanding uterus to your abdominal wall, are pulled or stretched.
Having a baby and carrying a uterus both put pressure on your sciatic nerve, which can cause sciatica, which causes sharp pain to travel from your buttocks down the back of your leg.
When to See a Doctor: Abnormal Pregnancy Aches and Pains
While many of the body aches and pains you’ll experience during pregnancy are completely normal, there are a few signs that could indicate a more serious condition. For instance, you may want to visit your doctor if you experience upper abdominal pain or shoulder pain along with headaches to rule out preeclampsia. Or, if you experience severe pelvic or abdominal pain during your first trimester along with vaginal bleeding, it may be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy. If youâre in doubt, consult your practitioner for further advice.
Although aches and pains may occur at any time during your pregnancy, possibly more than once, they are typically perfectly normal and will disappear after the birth of your child. Your journey with your unborn child begins with pregnancy, which will have its ups and downs but will ultimately be worthwhile.
Can early pregnancy cause achy arms?
Do your arms and legs ache when pregnancy?
Can early pregnancy cause achy legs?
Are body aches normal in early pregnancy?