How to Deal with Knee Pain in Early Pregnancy

Your body will undergo so many changes during pregnancy. You experience these physical and emotional changes due to an imbalance of hormones. Due to these changes, it is quite common to have muscle and joint pain. Many people experience knee pain in early pregnancy mainly because of increased body weight. If you already have joint pain, expect it to become worse during pregnancy. In fact, it may feel as if your joints have become loose. Let's find out what you can do about the whole situation.

Reasons for Knee Pain in Pregnancy

Knee pain in early pregnancy hits most women, but it can be significant or relatively insignificant at times.

  • In some cases, your knee pain is actually the result of an injury and not the effect of your changing body. When that is the case, your knee pain can be quite significant and cause serious discomfort. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have started experiencing knee pain after a strain, fall, or injury.
  • Considering how soft your joints become in pregnancy, a minor injury can cause serious problems. However, your knee pain is not always the result of an injury to the joint – any injury to the ligament can make you feel uncomfortable. Any injury to the soft tissue or ligaments of the knee can cause a dull pain, but it can become sharp when you move in a way that exacerbates the injury.
  • Sometimes, your knee pain is not the result of any serious injury, but is the result of you walking or standing for a majority of the day. Since your bodyweight will go up during pregnancy, standing or walking for extended hours is going to leave you with aching knees, legs, and feet.

Hormonal Changes May Also Be the Cause

While knee pain in early pregnancy is usually the result of increased bodyweight, you may experience the same in your third trimester due to hormonal changes. Your body releases certain hormones that loosen up the pelvic tendons and ligaments to prepare you for childbirth. However, the effects of these hormones are not limited to your pelvic region, but you may also notice them in tendons and ligaments around your knees. This makes it difficult for the kneecap to track right, causing you to deal with some pain.

Home Remedies That Help to Manage the Pain

It is normal to experience some knee pain during pregnancy, and you usually do not need to do anything to change things. However, if your knee pain is quite significant and is affecting the quality of your life, you may want to try some home remedies to make your condition more manageable.

1. Exercise

You should stay active throughout the pregnancy and even perform low-impact exercise regularly. Swimming or moderate walking can do the trick. These exercises strengthen your quads and support your knees at the same time. Stronger quads will compensate for the loose tendons and ligaments in the knees and prevent knee pain.

2. Get Off Your Feet

You should give your feet some rest when you start gaining body weight quickly. You should prop your feet up whenever you can to help ease your knee pain. If you start doing it in early pregnancy, you may not have to deal with knee pain at all.

3. Get Appropriate Shoes

You should go for well-cushioned shoes only and ensure that they provide you with ample arch support. These shoes will help absorb shock to your knees and avoid knee pain in early pregnancy.

4. Keep Your Bodyweight Under Control

Gaining too much weight too quickly is not only bad for your knees and joints, but it can also affect the health of your baby. You should put on 25-35 pounds during pregnancy if you had a normal weight before pregnancy. If you are overweight before the start of your pregnancy, do not put more than 15-25 pounds through pregnancy.

5. Make Use of a Knee Brace

You can wear a knee brace, which comes with a doughnut-hole in the middle to provide some support to your loose tendons and ligaments around the knee. Regular use may help control your knee pain.

6. Other Tips to Help

  • Try hot and cold therapy. First, take a hot bath or apply a heating pad to your aching joints. Then, take an ice pack and apply it to your joint. This hot and cold therapy not only reduces pain but it also helps reduce swelling around the joint.
  • Try massage therapy. Many women benefit from massage therapy during pregnancy. Expert massage therapists use techniques to relieve joint pain and treat stiffness. They also help improve range of motion.
  • Pay attention to your diet. You should have a balanced diet and ensure that you increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. You can take omega-3 supplements to relieve joint stiffness and pain.
  • Take plenty of rest. It is important to stay active during pregnancy, but you also need to take plenty of rest, especially when you already have knee or ankle pain. 
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