Six Alternative Pain Treatments to Use While Pregnant

When you are pregnant, it is not uncommon to experience aches and pains. However, the medications that are generally used for pain may not be a good idea when you are pregnant. This is especially true for women overcoming an opiate addiction. There are natural and alternative pain treatments that can be used when you are pregnant and overcoming an opiate addiction.

Exercise 

Leg swelling, and pain are common during pregnancy, especially in your joints. Muscle cramps are possible. Sciatica is also very common. The sciatic nerve may become compressed as your uterus grows during pregnancy. This can cause pain in your lower back, buttocks, legs and hips. Constipation can also be improved with exercise, alleviating the crampy pain that may come with an inability to have regular bowel movements.

Regular exercise is imperative as it keeps blood flowing and promotes muscle flexibility. Swimming, walking and cycling are ideal cardio because they are low impact. A gentle stretching routine is also a good idea. Talk to your doctor to develop your exercise plan. This will ensure that your chosen activities are beneficial and safe for you.

Prenatal Massage 

This method can be used for an array of pregnancy discomforts, such as neck stiffness, headaches, back pain, swelling and leg cramps. You may also opt for massage to reduce anxiety and tension. Therapists will create a massage plan based on the discomforts you are experiencing. This may include several techniques, such as Swedish massage or reflexology. They may also utilize trigger point massage.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture may be used for tension, pain, nausea and other discomforts associated with pregnancy. This ancient practice involves placing needles into specific points that correspond with your discomforts. The hair-thin needles typically do not cause pain during insertion. The practitioner will either leave them in place or stimulate them, depending on your treatment plan. The brain chemicals stimulated by this technique help to reduce your symptoms.

RICE Method

This method is especially beneficial for discomfort in your legs, but most elements of RICE can be used for any area of the body. Make sure to rest when possible to alleviate excess strain on your body. When you are resting, if you have swelling or discomfort in your legs, elevate them. This step is especially important for reducing any ankle or foot swelling that occurs as a result of pregnancy increasing fluid volume in your body.

Compression is also ideal for limiting swelling. An elastic bandage is an easy way to utilize this method. Lastly, ice the painful area. This can be used anywhere on your body. Just place a cloth on your skin before applying the ice to avoid ice burns.

Sleep 

It is estimated that approximately 78 percent of pregnant women experience sleep issues. This can be due to not being able to get comfortable, stress and hormonal changes. However, inadequate sleep can contribute to more discomfort and pain. Changing your sleeping position may help to promote a restful sleep to help reduce your daytime discomfort.

Side sleeping is typically recommended, especially on the left side. This side increases the amount of blood and nutrients your baby receives via the placenta as you sleep. Sleeping on this side may also help to alleviate nausea and heartburn. Place a pillow between your knees and bend your legs. A pillow below your abdomen can also enhance your comfort.

Maternity Belt

This is a type of undergarment that works to hold your pregnant belly up so that its weight is not having as big of an impact on your body. As your belly grows, this can strain your lower back and pelvic girdle. By using this belt to support your belly, the pelvic and back discomfort that are common during pregnancy can be easier to tolerate.

Simply follow any instructions that state how to wear this belt to get the most support. Your doctor can also make recommendations concerning the one that may work best for you and how to use it.

Before using any of these natural and alternative pain treatments, talk to your doctor. This ensures that they are safe for you, and your doctor may be able to provide tips to help you reap the most benefit from them.

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