Managing round ligament pain during pregnancy

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Round ligament pain is a severe discomfort or jabbing sensation usually experienced in the groin area in one or both sides. It can be experienced during the 2nd trimester which is normal during pregnancy.

Women have a pair of ligaments found in the pelvis called the round ligaments. These ligaments hold the uterus in proper place. When the uterus becomes bigger due to the growth of the baby, the ligaments expand to adjust to the growth. Prior to pregnancy, the uterus is approximately the size of a pear while the round ligaments are tapered and dense. Upon delivery, the uterus can grow large and. The round ligaments become long and taut.

round-ligament-pain
Lingering soreness, pain can be felt on either side, but more common on the right side and spreads to the groin.

Symptoms of round ligament pain

  • The round ligament can pull the nerve fibers and other structures in the pelvis which cause a sharp pain that feels like a muscle spasm.
  • Lingering soreness, pain can be felt on either side, but more common on the right side and spreads to the groin
  • Pain when turning over in bed
  • Pain when getting in and out of a car
  • Performing exercises or getting up from a chair.
  • Pain with fever or chills, pain during urination and bleeding requires immediate treatment.
  • Conditions such as appendicitis, abnormal growth in the abdominal area, pain in the ovaries or cysts and cramps due to slow digestion from pregnancy can be a symptoms of round ligament pain.

Treatment

  • Usually pain is felt on the right side and trying to rest on the left side can lessen the discomfort.
  • Move slowly to prevent spasms of the round ligament such as sitting up from a lying position and standing up after long hours of sitting.
  • Take a warm bath to relax and soothe aching muscles and lessen pain and cramps.
  • Apply a warm compress on both sides of the pelvis. Make sure it is not too hot to prevent burns. Another alternative is sitting in a warm pool.
  • Massage the affected area to relax the aching parts of the body.
  • Wear a maternty belt to support the growing tummy and minimize back pain and round ligament pain. Wear the belt under clothes for relief of pain
  • Provide the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication to reduce the pain
  • Perform regular exercises to keep the muscles of the stomach strong. Perform gentle stretching exercises or prenatal yoga.
  • Before coughing, sneezing or laughing, bend and flex the hips to prevent pulling on the ligaments.

Tips

  • Place a pillow under the belly when sleeping to relieve pressure on the ligaments and place a pillow between the knees to add comfort and lessen physical stress.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time to prevent placing extra pressure on already stretched ligaments.

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