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The Pain Doctor

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Pregnancy and Joint Pain/Post Partum Back Pain

It has been 4 to 5 months since the birth of my first child and my joints and bones are still hurting. I first noticed the pain in my hips, back, and feet after the normal delivery and I am worried that this pain will not go away. Is there something that I can do to relieve the pain and are these pains even a normal experience amongst postpartum or pregnant women?

Dr. Miguel: Due to the increased laxity of ligaments and tendons during pregnancy secondary to hormonal changes and the change in gait and exaggerated positions necessary during the latter stages of pregnancy and delivery, persistent pains around the hips, even radating down the hamstrings, may be caused by a sacroiliac joint syndrome...this could be treated with antiinflammatories and localized heat (alternating with cold...good reasons to use both)...in stubborn cases, injections from a board certified pain physician can diagnose and treat this condition...

In rare instances, pregnancy, menopause, or breast implantation may affect autoimmune disease prognosis and treatment and make previous undiagnosed disease manifest. For example, in pregnancy, Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms generally improve, whereas those of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus may worsen; both diseases may worsen after delivery...these diseases can be rapidly eliminated from consideration with a simple blood test from your family physician.

In a previous article, you can see a discussion on post-partum back pain.

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