Do you get short, sudden jabs of pain or spasms in your lower belly or on either side of your belly/groin area? This is described as round ligament pain, and is often felt in the second and third trimesters. Women have two round ligaments, one on either side of the abdominal area. These ligaments start at the bottom of the groin, fan outward, and connect at the hip area to support the abdominals; thus serving a very important role during pregnancy. In fact, these ligaments can rarely even be felt unless a woman is pregnant.
So what causes this pain? Throughout pregnancy, your body is undergoing many changes, growing and stretching to make room for baby. As the uterus grows during pregnancy the round ligaments stretch, becoming tighter and thinner, like a rubber band. The stretching that occurs can result in tension and pain in the abdominal area. If the baby is in a non-ideal position, leaning against one or even both of the round ligaments, shooting pain can result. Another way pain in the round ligaments can occur is when mom’s pelvis is misaligned. Many pregnant women commonly feel round ligament pain, and the good news is there are ways to ease the pain!
Due to the biomechanical make up of the sacrum and pelvis, if one of your hip bones rocks back into misalignment and the opposite hip bone rocks forward, the sacrum, which connects the hip bones can tilt back one way or the other. This puts torsion on the round ligaments due to its attachment sites. Through chiropractic care and utilization of the Webster Technique (which puts focus on the sacrum as well as the round ligaments) proper alignment can occur, leading to balance of the pelvic muscles and ligaments.
Other helpful tips in addition to seeing your chiropractor:
- Relaxing baths
- Pregnancy massage
- Practice proper posture
- Rest/slow down
- Gentle strengthening/balance exercises
- Borggren CL. Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. J Chiropr Med. 2007;6(2):70-4.
- Howland G. 11 natural remedies to ease round ligament pain. mamanatural.com [online].