Orthopedic Problems for Pregnant Women

Orthopedic DoctorYou may be surprised to learn that expectant mothers often need the care of an orthopedic doctor as well as their OBGYN. Pregnancy comes with its own set of side effects and maladies, including those related to bone and joint health. Following are a few of the most common orthopedic complaints of pregnant women.

Back Pain

A common image of pregnancy is the mother-to-be placing her hand on her lower back in an effort to relieve pain and pressure. Increased stress on the spine from the additional weight accumulated during the pregnancy, along with the position of the baby, will often result in this type of discomfort. As the baby bump grows, this pain may increase as the pressure on the joints increases. Lack of sleep during this time may worsen the situation.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A frequent side effect of a blossoming pregnancy is swelling of the hands, feet and soft tissues of the body. An accrual of fluid in the wrists may result in tingling, prickly or numb fingers. This problem, known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), can be partly hereditary and is also prone to returning with future pregnancies.


A scary situation for a pregnant woman is caused by a change in the body’s center of gravity, and a lack of coordination as the pregnancy continues. These factors contribute to the likelihood of a serious fall that can lead to fractures, sprains and injuries that need the attention of both an orthopedic doctor, and the expectant mother’s OBGYN.

Foot Trouble

For every pound of pregnancy weight added to the frame of the body, additional stress is placed on the joints, including the feet. This stress, coupled with edema or swelling, can lead to painful tarsal joints in the feet as well as issues such as plantar fasciitis where the tendon in the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and sore.

If you are expecting, talk to your orthopedic doctor as early as possible. Through gentle exercise such as yoga and stretching, you may help minimize joint pain and discomfort through your pregnancy.

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