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Eliminate Round Ligament Pain In Pregnancy

Infographic of Round Ligament Pain

Round ligament pain during pregnancy is treatable safely and effectively at Chiropractic Specialty Center® (CSC) in Bukit Damansara. CSC’s award-winning team of chiropractors and physiotherapists has been treating pregnancy aches and pain for over 15-years in Kuala Lumpur through integrative methods that eliminate the back, pubic groin, or pelvic girdle pains often caused by a spasmodic round ligament. At CSC, we combine pregnancy-specific physiotherapy with corrective exercises specific for pregnancy aches and pains with the Webster chiropractic treatment method to get rid of round ligament pain.

Round ligament pain is a relatively common pregnancy complaint in pregnant and new mothers. The chiropractors and physiotherapists of Chiropractic Specialty Center® (CSC) provide safe and effective pregnancy pain treatment that includes specialized care systems for round ligament pain. Contact our Bukit Damansara center on 03 2093 100 or WhatsApp us for more information to get treated by CSC’s experienced pregnancy chiropractor with over 25-years of experience.

The round ligament of the uterus (womb) is a rope-like cord on each side of the womb to support and anchor it on each side of the pelvic wall. Round ligaments continually stretch during pregnancy and grow to accommodate the growing baby in the womb. Rapid expansion or growth as experienced during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can result in round ligament pain, discomfort, or disorder that causes vaginal tugging, groin pain, hip pain, tailbone pain, back pain, or pelvic pain.

Function Of The Round Ligament Of The Uterus

Unlike other ligaments of the body, the round ligament of the uterus is a fibromuscular tissue connecting the uterus to the pelvis. The uterus’s round ligament is around a ropelike band of tissue about 3 to 5 centimeters in length that can get as long as 18 centimeters during pregnancy.

The round ligament of the uterus is a pair of cordlike structures on each side of the pelvis that helps support the uterus by connecting the front of the uterus to the groin region. During pregnancy, it may cause direct or indirect symptoms. The direct symptoms of round ligament pain are often felt in the vagina, crotch, groin, hips, and abdomen. You may feel the indirect sources of pain related to a round ligament disorder in the tailbone, lower back, buttocks, and legs.

The round ligament attaches the uterus to the mons of the pubis. The pubis mons refer to the overlying areas of the pubic symphysis (directly above the vagina), forming the upper part of a vulva (the outer part of the female genitals) in females.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Round Ligament Problem?

Uterus growth during pregnancy stretches the ligaments of the womb. The round ligament of the uterus is one of the most impacted ligaments during the rapid growth period in pregnancy. The stretching of the round ligament can become quite painful for some pregnant women. Some complain of discomfort or pain around the belly when coughing or sneezing. Others may find a mild stretching.

A typical round ligament symptom of possible problems is a stretching sensation at the belly that increases with movements. In the early stages, pregnant mothers with a problematic round ligament may experience stretching or pulling felling around the belly. Continued round ligament issues not corrected can lead to increased stretching combined with pain and discomfort that worsens with physical activity or when changing positions. The pain of round ligament issues is often described as deep, sharp, or stabbing-like sensations similar to Braxton’s Hicks’ contraction. In short, the round ligament can become a source of pain and discomfort interfering with daily living.

If you are pregnant and have pains or discomfort when coughing or sneezing, you will need to get your spine and round ligament assessed. As mentioned, round ligament issues can cause pain when coughing or sneezing. However, a slipped disc is the most common cause of a painful cough or sneeze during pregnancy. Slip discs such as bulging protruded, or extruded discs can become quite painful when coughing or sneezing.

Getting regular chiropractic and physiotherapy treatment at Chiropractic Specialty Center® in Bukit Damansara will help eliminate and avoid round ligament issues during pregnancy; call us today.

Is It A Round Ligament Pain Or A Braxton Hicks Contractions?

New mothers often find it difficult to distinguish between a round ligament disorder and pregnancy contraction or Braxton hicks contractions.

Dr. Yama Zafer, DC

Braxton Hicks contractions or labor pains are often confused with round ligament pain. A round ligament pain typically begins in the second trimester when your uterus begins to grow. The pain is often described as a sharp or jabbing-like felt in the groin and hip regions. Initial round ligament issues may feel like vaginal tugging sensations that often progress and become painful. However, the pattern and consistency of pregnancy contractions (labor pains) differ from round ligament pain.

round ligament location and anatomy

Also, round ligament pains tend to occur on one side. However, suppose you experience abdominal pains with a specific pattern lasting longer than a couple of seconds. In that case, you will need to contact your gynecologist and rule out labor pains (Braxton Hicks contraction), which are signs of childbirth. Our advice for all is not to take a chance and have your doctor check out any aches or pains you feel during pregnancy right away. If your gynecologist tells you that the aches you feel are from round ligaments, we can help.

Braxton Hicks contractions are the labor pain, signs, and symptoms your body goes through when preparing the uterus and cervix for childbirth and delivery. A Braxton Hicks contraction or labor pain usually lasts 30-seconds or more, presenting repeated patterns with increased frequency and duration.

False Braxton Hicks Contractions

A false Braxton Hicks contraction lasts 2-3 seconds and goes away quickly. The false Braxton hick’s contraction is often related to round ligament pain. To be safe, you should always visit your gynecologist anytime you experience abdominal pain, even those that last 1-3 seconds. It is better to be safe.

Braxton Hicks contractions that are real contractions (labor pain or labor contractions) cause the uterus to tighten and squeeze to put pressure on the cervix so it can thin out, open up, and prepare for the delivery of the baby.

Braxton Hicks contractions often present with the following symptoms as your body prepares for childbirth:

  • Abdominal tightening, abdominal pressure, or lower abdominal cramping
  • Backache or pelvic pain
  • Increase in discharge, leaking of fluid, bleeding, or spotting

The above symptoms are common preterm in pre-labor pain, labor contractions, and childbirth. If you’re less than 37 weeks and you’re contracting every 10 to 15 minutes, which is only four to five times an hour, then you need to be seen by your gynecologist. Ic Comb

Who Is At Risk Of Developing A Round Ligament Disorder?

Round ligament issues, disorders, and pains are most common in pregnant females and new mothers. But they can also occur in females who have never been pregnant and the older women who have given multiple births. The risk of developing a round ligament issue increases dramatically in females with existing back, buttocks, or hip issues. Anatomical hip disorders or excessively tight hip and thigh soft tissues have higher chances of developing round ligament pains during pregnancy that often last months or years after delivery.

What Are The Causes Of Round Ligament Pain?

Round Ligament Infographic

The actual cause of round ligament pain can be related to a problematic tailbone (sacrum or sacral bone), pelvic bones, or the connective tissues that attach and support the uterus. Multiple ligaments support and suspend the uterus, ovaries, and cervix by connecting them to the tailbone or walls of the pelvis on each side.

As mentioned earlier, round ligament discomfort and pain occur when the round ligament is stressed due to the rapid growth stages of pregnancy. However, several other factors contribute to the round ligament pains most mothers feel. Some may be secondary issues caused by other ligaments that connect and support the female reproductive organs. 

In addition to the round ligament of the uterus, five other ligaments connect the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or cervix to support and maintain the proper position of the reproductive organs in the pelvis, and these are:

  1. Broad ligament
  2. Pubocervical ligament
  3. Cardinal ligament
  4. Uterosacral ligament
  5. Infundibulopelvic ligament 

Congenital issues or developmental issues of any of the above five ligaments will have a cascading effect on all. In other words, you need all six of your uterus’s primary and secondary ligaments in good shape for a healthy pregnancy.

The Broad Ligament Of The Uterus:

infographic on broad ligament, round ligament, and other ligaments of the uterus

The broad ligament is a pair of wide double-layered peritoneum (a specialized type of connective tissue covering all organs) enveloping the female pelvic organs and containing pelvic organ vessels (arteries, veins & lymphatics) and nerves. It attaches the lateral or outer portions of the uterus to the pelvic walls, and it also:

  1. Protect the female organs
  2. Supports & maintains the uterus in the pelvis
  3. Carry blood vessels, nerves & lymphatics
  4. Provides secondary supportive connection of the female organs to help maintain them in the pelvic cavity.

The broad ligament is not the main supportive ligament for maintaining the female organs within the pelvis. The following three ligaments which arise from the base of the broad ligament are the primary supporter and maintainers of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries:

  • Pubocervical ligament: A paired ligament that connects the front of the cervix to the pubic symphysis
  • Cardinal ligament: Another paired ligament that attaches the cervix to the sidewalls of the pelvis
  • Uterosacral ligament: A paired ligament that secures the back portion of the cervix to the sacrum or tailbone

The broad ligament is limited by four ligaments that connect to the pelvic anteriorly, superiorly, inferiorly, and posteriorly, these are:

  1. Round ligament 
  2. Infundibulopelvic ligament
  3. Cardinal ligament
  4. Uterosacral ligament

The broad ligament and the round ligament of the uterus are the secondary supporting ligaments of the uterus. Problems or issues in one ligament can and often will impact other supportive ligaments and structures that maintain the womb. 

When Do You Start Experiencing Round Ligament Pain in Pregnancy?

Although round ligament pain may start at the end of the first trimester, many women feel this telltale aching and tugging around week 14. Although this pregnancy discomfort may progress into the second trimester, it often ends after your delivery. In this case, hormone levels drop significantly, and your uterus begins to shrink back to its standard pre-pregnancy size.

What Should You Do For Round Ligament Issues?

Although round ligament is often self-limiting and not a severe health issue, it can become quite painful. The best way to keep your round ligament healthy during pregnancy is to start with good habits. In other words, sit properly and avoid poor postures or slouching. Also, it would help if you did some exercise and gentle stretches. The best exercise during pregnancy is walking. Other than walking, you can start doing some or all of the following four exercises:

  1. Cat & Camel exercise
  2. Kegel exercise
  3. Leg extension exercise
  4. Clamshell exercise

The exercises mentioned above are explained in greater detail in our pregnancy exercise article. In short, if you get started with some basic exercises and stay away from aggravating postures or activities during pregnancy, you can avoid round ligament pain during pregnancy.

What Should You Do To Decrease Round Ligament Discomfort?

Here are some helpful home activities you can do to minimize round ligament discomfort:

  • Always change positions slowly avoid rapid movements
  • Avoid sitting in chairs that have poor or worse, no back supports
  • Don’t sit in a slouched posture or for longer than 30 minutes at a time
  • Protect your back and minimize the stress on your round ligament when coughing or sneezing by flexing the hips before a cough or sneeze
  • Try not to cough or sneeze deep or aggressively as it puts essive pressure on your uterus, spine, and round ligament

If round ligament symptoms or pains continue and don’t entirely disappear, you need to contact us by WhatsApp or call CSC in Bukit Damansara on 03 2093 1000 to schedule an appointment. Our leading chiropractor has been treating pregnant women with pregnancy aches and pain, including round ligament pain, for over 25-years: we can help.

How To Eliminate Pre & Post-Natal Sources Of Round Ligament Pain?

Hip pain, buttocks, or back pain during pregnancy are common byproducts of a problematic round ligament. Pregnant females with lower back pain, buttocks, or hips need specialized therapies and treatments that maintain proper tone in the round ligament throughout the pregnancy and during the first six months post-childbirth.

Chiropractic Specialty Center® in Kuala Lumpur offers evidence-based chiropractic treatments combined with precise physiotherapy procedures to help stabilize your spine and all its related muscles, ligaments, and tissues, including the round ligament of the uterus. If you’re pregnant and experience aches and pains, call our center; we can help. If you are planning a pregnancy and have existing hip or back issues, visit us to discover how our team of chiropractors and physiotherapists help prepare your body for pregnancy and childbirth.

Our chiropractors and physiotherapists or the experts you need to help plan healthy and robust pregnancy without the aches and pains most pregnant females experience and their lower back, buttocks, groin, or hips. Let our experts help you prevent and recover from pregnancy pains that involve the joints, lower backache, or round ligament pain; contact us now to schedule an appointment with our pregnancy chiropractor today.

FAQs On Round Ligament Aches & Pains And How To Eliminate Them Through Chiropractic & Physiotherapy?

How To Get Rid Of Round Ligament Pain?

Specific methods of chemotactic combined with physiotherapy help eliminate round ligament pain and its associated symptoms, including pubic pain, pelvic pain, and groin pain. A combined pregnancy-specific physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment with Webster’s technique offers the most effective and fastest relief from round ligament pain.

What Are Common Symptoms of Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy?

Round ligament pain is often confused with Braxton Hick’s contractions. IN the early stages, a round ligament issue can feel like a stretching sensation around your belly. If neglected, it can cause a deep sharp pain that worsens with activity or movement.

What Caused Pan & Discomfort When Coughing Or Sneezing During Pregnancy?

Pain when coughing and sneezing during pregnancy can be caused by spinal disc-related issues such as bulging or herniated discs. In addition to slipped discs, the round ligament can be a source of pain and discomfort when coughing or sneezing. To get rid of painful coughs or sneeziness during pregnancy, you must identify and treat the root cause (slip disc or a round ligament issue).

What Is The Best Round Ligament Stretch & Exercise For Pregnant Women?

The best exercise and stretches for round ligaments during pregnancy do not cause pain or discomfort. They have to be gentle and effective. Therefore, there are three great exercises you can do for round ligament pain:
1. Clamshell exercise
2. Cat & Camel exercise
3. Kegel exercise

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