Leg pain during pregnancy

Lower extremity discomfort can mean anything from a joint pain, for example around the pubic bone, to groin or inner thigh pain, calf and foot tingling, and sciatica. A huge group of conditions, I hope you will agree.

The sources of pain can be vascular, muscular, joint and nerve in origin; again vast.

We'll start with the pelvis. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called relaxin that, believe it or not!, relaxes the ligaments of the pelvis. The reason is obvious. Baby has to pass through a rather small canal in the pelvis, and the three joints of the pelvis need to be able to stretch. A tight squeeze I think you'll agree.

Three joints? Yes, two identical mirror image joints near two prominent bony bumps, the sacroiliac joint anatomy, which you can feel low down in the pelvis, in the lower back. The third is where the two pubic bones meet in the front; the pubic symphysis. All three of these joints can be trouble makers, both during pregnancy and afterwards, and all of them can contribute to sacroiliac joint inflammation and leg pain during pregnancy.

Low back pain and leg pain during pregnancy is assumed by many to be inevitable, and there's nothing to be done. Accept it, it goes with pregnancy. You want to have babies? Then expect back pain.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In the first place every woman should and could start pelvic exercises, even before baby is a twinkle in the eye. In the planning phase, not only start thinking about a nursery, but also getting the body in shape.

The right exercises, now! Not any old exercises that may make you worse. If you sign up for our hot chiropractic tips, amongst a whole lot of other useful information, you will get some simple and safe back exercises. You'll find chiropractic tips in the navigation bar, now on the left, soon to be at the top.

"The sickroom becomes the scene of intense convictions; and among these, none, it seems to me, is more distinct and powerful than that of the permanent nature of good, and the transient nature of evil."

Harriet Martineau, 1802 - 1876

I'll wait! Go click and sign up for the tips, and come back so we can continue this saga. Meantime, I'll set up a picture of the pelvis for you. Come back here when you are done with tips and we'll continue with the subject of leg pain during pregnancy.

Okay. Signed up for the tips? Let's proceed. Here you can see the pelvis from the front. The sacroiliac joints are labelled, and the third joint which is called the pubic symphysis. It's in the front where the two large pubic bones meet.

Meantime, our leg pain during pregnancy casefile gives additional interesting reading.

Sacroiliac joint inflammation

Run your finger down from your navel, and the first hard bone you meet is what we're talking about. That may well be the cause of leg pain during pregnancy. And, if you ignore it, sacroiliac joint inflammation will start.

Leg pain during pregnancy

Is it tender? Here often is the source of leg pain during pregnancy. Slide your finger sideways, and deeper and lower. There are actually two pubic bones here on each side, one superior and one inferior. Here is an X-ray of the two pubic bones, or 'rami' as they are called. One pubic ramus, two rami, one superior and one inferior with a large hole in the middle.

Do you see them? You should because both have fractures in them. It hurts.

Here's an important aside. Painful fractures are the future of every woman who won't start as a young woman taking preventative action. Your little baby is going to suck it out of you, literally.

Three important things that every woman should do, or experience the sheer misery of osteoporosis and bone fractures. All women, including young child bearing lady, should consider the causes of osteoporosis.

  1. Start walking benefits every day; every day. Twenty minutes is considered sufficient. That's an extra twenty minutes unless you are already a fitness freak. Ouch, I hear you say. That's why I am at this stupid page. Walking hurts my leg. Just be patient please. We're getting there.
  2. Eat a healthy diet. Take a long look at our healthy living tips page. The world argues long and hard about what a healthy diet is, but at least be sure you have plenty of salad and fruit, and not too much animal protein and mostly the fruit fats; that means olive oil and avocados. That's all well researched. 

3. For the rest, cow's milk remains controversial. It causes allergies; have you got a frog in your throat? It's probably milk or a milk product that's causing it. I haven't settled it in my own mind, but don't blithely accept that dairy is all good. We're just not sure. Rather take some extra calcium; the right one. Talk to your pharmacist, and ask your doctor to prescribe it for you. Calcium carbonate is quite useless.

Incidentally, if you were even mildly obese when you fell pregnant, you have to be very careful if you want to lose some pounds whilst pregnant or breast feeding. Do it under a nutritionist's guidance. After the birth of your child, your milk is very rich in fatty acids, and cutting out all the fat in your diet to lose weight will have a very detrimental effect on your baby's brain; it's mainly fat remember, especially the omega 3 fatty acids.

Three pecan nuts a day, ground flaxseeds, avocados and fatty fish will provide all your needs of omega 3. Because they go rancid so quickly you must look for freshly cracked and ground sources. Like house guests and fish they go off after three days.

Love to read? Chiropractor Bernard Preston writes fascinating stories about health that will intrigue you. These are books you will read from start to finish. Promise! 

This is going to be a long session. I've just taken a tea break. Want to join me? Movement remember reduces sacroiliac joint inflammation! Joint fixation increases it. Click here to try some of this lovely tea with no milk and no sugar at DRINKING WATER ... and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Right, got your tea? I've got large mug of weak black tea with a mandarin sliced in it today. I use lots of different fruits in my tea. It's quite sweet enough without sugar.

Where were we? Oh yes, the pubic rami as a cause of leg pain during pregnancy. Now these little bones are the origin of some very important muscles that run down the inner thigh. They are called the Adductors and often are a great source of leg pain during pregnancy.

Quite often during pregnancy, the pubic bones and symphysis, and the  rami and adductor muscles become extremely painful. Perhaps I should emphasize that; very sore. What's more don't believe your doctor if he says that leg pain during pregnancy is just part of the deal, and you must accept it.

There's some bad news, too. If you don't deal with it now, then making the next baby is likely to be extremely painful. This is a very treatable syndrome. I'm talking about significant relief within a few days or certainly a couple weeks.

Sacroiliac joint inflammation is a common complaint at the chiropractic coalface. But is it really swollen and red, or just painful?

It was a Swiss chiropractor Dr Fred Illi who first is credited with establishing that the sacroiliac is a freely movable joint. This was much contrary to medical opinion of the time, in the 1940's, which considered it immobile and incapable of causing low back pain.

New medical research now confirms that sacroiliac joint inflammation is probably the cause of about thirty percent of lower lumbar back pain.

At chiropractic help we strongly advocate mobilising and adjusting the fixated sacroiliac joint when it becomes stuck; it may well be the cause of your leg pain during pregnancy, so don't wait for that dreaded inflammation to set in.

Other research confirms that fixated joints become arthritic joints, immobilisation arthritis. Hyaline cartilage starved of nutrients first causes pain. If you don't listen, then irreversible degenerative arthritis sets in and sacroiliac joint inflammation. Pain is believe it or not your friend. It's trying to tell you something, and just turning it off, or ignoring it, is very silly.

From Chiropractic Tips you'll get some simple exercises to mobilise your sacroiliac joint. If they don't loosen it up, then see your chiropractor; not in six months' time.

  • Chiropractic Conditions is a central page at our site. It provides you simply and easily with the sorts of diagnoses that the average DC would be treating.
  • Healthy Living Tips is another vital page at Chiropractic Help. Sparkling wellbeing is not just about having your subluxations adjusted. This link gives you some insights into different foods you could and perhaps should be eating.

Infantile Colic and Chiropractic

Aside. Do you know the Rule of Three concerning the inconsolable, crying baby? For more information, click here. COLIC CHIROPRACTIC ...

Back exercises during pregnancy

During the second exercise, when pulling both knees to the chest, merely open the thighs to allow room for the baby.

Searching for something specific? Type it in here. For example "vegetable protein" ...

Custom Search

Have A Great Story About This Topic?

Do you have a query or comment about upper leg pain or, for that matter, tingling in the legs and feet?

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

pubic symphysis pain Not rated yet
Why at 55 years of age do I have pubic symphysis pain like I did during pregnancy? I've experienced this pain off and on since my first pregnancy at 20 …

Click here to write your own.


Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Then forward it to a friend. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.