Healthy Blog

What Happens to My Ligaments During Pregnancy? Physiotherapy & Pregnancy Support

Monday, December 07, 2015

During pregnancy it’s quite common to feel uncomfortable pressure and pain in the pelvis.  This is completely normal and happens because your uterus is expanding and pressing down on your pelvis. 

As the pregnancy progresses your baby will grow and move deeper into the pelvic area causing a firm pushing sensation from inside.

Ligaments stretch

The second major cause of pain and pressure is caused by your ligaments stretching to accommodate your growing baby.  The ligaments become thinner as they stretch and can cause a sharp, repeated pain on the side of your pelvis that sometimes extends down the thighs.

Furthermore, the sciatic nerve sometimes gets compressed or pinched which causes a sensation of pain or numbness in this area.

Natural pain relief

However, don’t worry – physiotherapy offers safe, natural ways to relieve pain caused by pelvic pressure during pregnancy.  You don’t have to suffer those pains in silence, because a physio can use techniques like heat treatment, relaxing pelvic massage, gentle stretching and advice on correct posture.

In addition, there are special knee lift exercises for pregnant women – with you holding firmly onto the back of a chair to maintain your balance and avoid the risk of a fall - that help your ligaments as they continue to change through your pregnancy.

Posture correction

Pelvic rocking and hip squeezing may also give you some pain relief.  However, you should not do any exercise unless it has been specifically prescribed by your physiotherapist and practised under supervision.

As your pregnancy continues your centre of gravity changes and a physiotherapist can show you how to improve your posture whilst standing, sitting or lying down.  This may be all you need to allow your baby to move slightly and relieve the painful pressure on your pelvis.

Tailored plan

When you consult a physiotherapist she’ll spend time talking to you about your medical history, fitness and any other factors affecting your current state of health.  This is important because it allows the physio to make an informed assessment and design a supervised treatment plan that is perfectly tailored to your requirements.

Always consult your midwife or doctor immediately if you experience severe or frequent pain or pressure.