The Most Common Orthopedic Problems During Pregnancy

July 11, 2019 10:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When a woman is pregnant, she is encouraged by her doctor to schedule regular prenatal appointments for checkups and tests as needed. In addition to visiting their OB/GYN, expectant mothers should also work with an orthopedic specialist. This type of care focuses on dealing with the stress a woman’s body goes through during the months before she gives birth, which is largely due to the added weight of the baby and the position the fetus rocks into on its own schedule.

However, physical conditions related to stress may have a lot to do with a mother’s weight and health prior to becoming pregnant. These physiological changes can worsen an existing bone or joint problem, or cause new issues to develop, leading to both physical and emotional discomfort. Below, an orthopedic doctor in Las Vegas, NV explains the most common orthopedic problems seen during pregnancy.

Lower back pain

Topping the list of orthopedic conditions in pregnant women is significant lower back pain. In fact, more than half of all expectant mothers report some level of pain in their lower back. This is caused by the weight of the growing baby and the uneven distribution of weight of the baby and internal organs. Lower back pain causes muscle fatigue that can lead to the development of minor to severe muscle spasms. To alleviate the pain in later pregnancy, try strengthening exercises during the first and second trimesters.

Plantar fasciitis

A pregnant woman’s feet carry her weight and her baby’s weight, so it should come as no surprise that she may fall victim to plantar fasciitis (the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toe). This condition can cause a stabbing pain in the heel and tends to happen with rapid weight gain during pregnancy. An orthopedic doctor may suggest at-home treatments, including cold packs, orthopedic shoe inserts, foot messages and night splints.

Carpal tunnel

Anyone can come down with carpal tunnel syndrome, but pregnant women are particularly susceptible. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition identified by a pinched median nerve in the wrist. Typical symptoms include pain, tingling and numbness in the hands and fingers, and these can be exacerbated by fluid retention during pregnancy. The third trimester seems to be when carpal tunnel is the worst, and gaining too much weight can put further stress on the nerve. Even though this condition is likely to improve after delivery, for now, try ice compressions and wearing wrist splints at night.

Transient osteoporosis

Transient osteoporosis of the hip is a condition associated with late-term pregnancy, identified by the sudden onset of pain in the front of the thigh, side of the hip, groin or butt. In this case, pregnancy is causing temporary bone loss that can significantly weaken the hip joint. The exact cause of transient osteoporosis is not known, but hormones, the obstruction of blood vessels around the hip and weight-bearing stress are considered contributing factors.

If you would like to speak with a licensed orthopedic doctor in Las Vegas, NV for help with orthopedic issues stemming from pregnancy, look no further than Bernard Ong, M.D. Call our office today to schedule an appointment!

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