Stretches for Round Ligament Pain

Many expecting mothers suffer from round ligament pain. With the increasing girth of abdomen in later stages of pregnancy, pressure effects and aches and pains are very common. The round ligament pain is experienced as a sharp pain on one side of lower abdomen. It can be on either side and sometimes is felt on both sides. There are special stretches that provide some relief for round ligament pain. Before doing any exercise or stretches during pregnancy, do check with your health care provider if these are suitable for you.

Stretches for Round Ligament Pain

1.      Pelvic Rock

pelvic rock

To perform this stretch, get in the hand and knees position. Now tighten your abdominal muscles, and raise your lower back. Let your head hang loosely. Hold the position for five seconds then get back to the starting position. You can repeat this several times.

2.      Pelvic Tilt

pelvic tilt

Pelvic tilt is one of the very effective stretches for round ligament pain relief. To perform this, you have to lie down on the floor with your back straight, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles. Hold your breath in and push the small of your back on the floor using the abdominal muscles. Hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly exhale and resume the starting position.

3.      Gentle Stretching

gentle stretching

Round ligaments provide support to the uterus. These extend from the uterus to the groin and can get irritated during pregnancy due to increase in the size and weight of the uterus. This can lead to pain which usually gets better with stretching the back and abdominal muscles.

To do this, get on your hands and knees and put your head on the floor while lifting the backside if your body upwards. This gentle stretching can be very helpful to ease the round ligament pain.

4.      Learn About Yoga During Pregnancy

There are certain yoga poses which are very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of pregnancy. The cat cow pose and the savasana pose are great stretches for round ligament pain.

  • To do the cat cow pose, get on to all fours and keep your hands flat on the floor. Take a deep breath in and arch your back upwards. Let your head hang down. Then exhale and move your belly towards the floor. Do several repeats.
  • For the savasana pose lie down in a fetal position with your head supported by your arm. Keep a pillow between your legs and if you are pregnant lie on your left side.

5.      Side Reach Stretch

side reach stretch

To perform the side reach stretch, stand or sit on the floor comfortably. Then stretch your right arm towards the left side and slightly bend your body to the left side. Hold for a couple of seconds and resume the resting position. Repeat for five to ten times on both sides.

6.      Hip Hiker Exercise

There are many stretches for round ligament pain relief and if you are having a lot of this pain, you can do the hip kicker exercise many times a day.

  • To perform the hip hiker exercise stand next to a counter top or a piece of furniture which you can hold. Keep the painful side facing away from it and keep one hand on it for support.
  • Lift the other leg and keep your foot in air then move the hip bone outwards too.
  • Hold this for twenty or thirty seconds and resume the resting position. You can repeat it several times a day.

7.      Knee Lifts

Stand infront of a wall and put your hands on the wall for support. Keep the knee facing outwards and lift the leg. This will release pressure from the round ligament. Hold the leg in air for 20 to 30 seconds. Do on the other side as well.

Other Remedies to Relieve the Pain

The practice of doing stretches for round ligament pain is well tried and tested. There are some other ways to relieve the pain as well.

1. Lie Down on Your Side

Round ligament pain can be felt on either side. Most of the times, it is felt on the right side. If you have pain on the right side, try to lie down on your left side. This will ease the discomfort.

2. Try to Move Slowly

Make sure that you do not move abruptly. Changing positions and postures very quickly can put pressure on the round ligament and the pain can get worse. Whenever you want to sit up from a lying down position or are standing up after sitting for a long time, move slowly to avoid spasm of round ligament.

3. Keep the Painful Area Warm

Heat is a very effective way to relax muscles and ligaments. It is not safe to use a heating pad during pregnancy but you can do certain things to relieve the round ligament pain.

  • Have a nice and relaxing warm bath. This will sooth the aching muscles and will relieve any pain and cramps.
  • Put a warm compress on both sides of your pelvis. Make sure it is not too hot.
  • Sitting in a warm pool can also be very relaxing but avoid sitting in hot tubs and Jacuzzis if you are pregnant.

4. Get Some Massage

Massage is a very effective way to relax the aching body parts. If you have round ligament pain gently rub the painful area. If the pain is severe, contact a trained professional for a massage. It is very important to select the rightly trained professional for massage during pregnancy.

5. Use a Maternity Belt

A maternity belt supports the growing tummy and can prevent many problems such as backache and round ligament pain. If you have sciatica or hip pain you can wear this belt under your clothes for support and pain relief.

When to Worry

Round ligament pain is not very severe and the duration is usually short. Doing stretches for round ligament pain is an effective way to get rid of this pain. If you experience any of the following symptoms contact your doctor immediately.

  • Excruciating or severe pain
  • Fever, chills or rigors
  • Pain lasting for more than few minutes
  • Pain while passing urine
  • Difficulty in walking

Lower abdominal pain during pregnancy is fairly common and most of the times it gets better by itself. Serious health issues that can lead to severe pain in abdomen during pregnancy are

  • Appendicitis
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Liver, kidney or stomach problems
  • Pre-term labor

If you have severe pain in abdomen contact your doctor immediately for evaluation and correct diagnosis.

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