Swollen Feet and Aching Back: How to Handle Pregnancy Pains
The body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, and a lot of them are very painful. The hormonal and weight changes take most of the blame in these areas, but that doesn’t mean they have to win. Fortunately, many natural remedies and solutions exist to help stave off some of these pregnancy-related pains. The following list offers four natural ways to combat the pain and discomfort that sometimes comes with being pregnant.
The Mayo Clinic recommends an assortment of activities for women who suffer from back pain related to pregnancy. Pregnant women should watch their posture. They should also be mindful of the shoes they wear – low heels, please – and how they lift things. The way you stand and the way your feet are positioned have a strong influence over your posture and spinal alignment. When you’re walking on your toes or lacking arch support, your spine takes on increased strain. As the body takes on more weight in a short amount of time, however, even perfect posture may not be able to prevent back aches. As the back and shoulder muscles work harder to support the weight gain, and stress settles in, knots often form that should be removed by professional massage. There are also special exercises and stretches that can strengthen those muscles to prepare against the weight they’ll be taking on, reducing the strain they suffer.
As with pregnancy-related back pain, the joint paint that women experience in their knees and other bones get some relief from regular massages and exercise. Hormonal changes and weight increase often lead to toxins becoming trapped in the joints. Those toxins, combined with the strain of swift weight gain, can make joints become swollen, leading to further problems as the nerves can become pinched in those areas. Regular stretches, massages, and well-coordinated exercise can really help the lymphatic system flush out those toxins and reduce inflammation. Getting a healthy, well-rounded diet will also help the immune and lymphatic systems, keep inflammation down, and reduce overall aches and pains in the body.
Handling Foot Pain
Hormones and weight gain also tend to create swelling in the feet. As the feet are made to carry greater weight, it’s important that they have proper arch support, cushioning soles, and strong support about the ankles. To handle the additional pressure on the woman’s feet, according to Town Center Orthopedic Associates, P.C., physical therapists can work with patients on balance training, corrective exercise regimens, and walking and running mechanics. This is especially helpful as your center of balance shifts a great deal during pregnancy, forcing your body to walk and stand differently to compensate.
It should probably come as no surprise that some of the remedies that alleviate the other symptoms on this list also help with pregnancy-related headaches. Pregnancy headaches can be caused by eating the wrong foods or being around odors that trigger headaches. Stress plays a role in these hormonal headaches, too. In order to alleviate headaches, rather than loading up on pain killers, it can be helpful to use ice to reduce the inflammation about the temples, use breathing exercises to lower heart rates, and practice certain forms of yoga to help promote a steady flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and body. Keep track of your triggers and avoid strong smells, situations of prolonged stress, and inflammatory foods like refined sugars and gluten.
Pregnancy causes some significant changes in the body and not a small dose of pain. Many pregnant women report feeling back, foot, and joint pain as well as headaches and other pregnancy-related issues. The key to most of these issues lies in some simple remedies. Massage and exercise can help alleviate the pain. Wearing low-heeled shoes usually helps as well. Finally, eating right and getting the correct amount of sleep can stave off many of the issues associated with the hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy. If natural remedies don’t solve the problem, it is important to consult with a maternity doctor to identify the problem and treat it in ways that are healthy for you and your baby.
Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.