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How can I Manage Joint Pain in Pregnancy?

Managing joint pain in pregnancy can be difficult, but by working with your doctor, you can come up with a solution that will work for you. If you have a chronic condition like arthritis, you may be able to find a medication that is acceptable for use during pregnancy. For occasional pain, you can take an over the counter medication. You can also help prevent and alleviate pain by avoiding activities which make it worse.

Many alternative therapies are suitable for managing joint pain in pregnancy. These can include chiropractic care, acupuncture, and acupressure. Patients have seen dramatic pain reduction with these therapies, although different patients experience different results. Although usually safe, you should check with your doctor or midwife to ensure that you are eligible to receive these treatments. Women with certain complications may need to avoid them.

If you have a long-term condition, you may be able to use medication to manage to joint pain in pregnancy. Your doctor may try to get you to avoid medications, if possible, during the first trimester to avoid risks to the unborn baby. Some medications may be safe, however, and if you cannot manage without them, speak with your doctor about your treatment options. For occasional or temporary pain, you may generally use the over the counter medication acetaminophen.

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You can also manage joint pain in pregnancy by avoiding activities which can trigger symptoms. Be sure to avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time, and stretch often to relieve tension. If you will be working during your pregnancy, your employer may need to make special accommodations so you can avoid situations which aggravate symptoms. Exercise can help strengthen bones and lessen pain over time, but be sure not to overdo it. If you are at risk for pre-term delivery, you may be told to avoid certain activities.

Using heat and ice packs may also help lessen pain and stiffness. You can also try taking a warm bath or shower or getting a massage. Be sure to not to stay in a hot bath for more than a few minutes, and avoid hot tubs altogether since they can raise your basal body temperature and cause complications for the baby. If you have any questions about whether a particular treatment option is safe for use during pregnancy, speak with your doctor or midwife about your options.

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