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      Arthritis After Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

      Postnatal Care

      Arthritis After Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

      Updated on 3 November 2023

      After pregnancy, many women experience a form of arthritis known as postpartum arthritis. This condition is caused by the changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy and can lead to knee pain after delivery, joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. While postpartum arthritis is not a serious condition, it can be painful and uncomfortable. This blog post explores the causes of postpartum arthritis and discusses some treatment options.

      What Is Postpartum Arthritis?

      Postpartum arthritis is a type of arthritis that can develop after pregnancy. It is most common in women who are over the age of 40. Several risk factors can increase a woman's chance of developing postpartum arthritis, such as having a history of arthritis, being overweight, or having certain medical conditions (such as diabetes).

      Areas Where Someone Can Expect Joint Pain

      Following are some of the most common types of arthritis that can cause joint pain after pregnancy.

      Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and usually affects people over the age of 50. However, it can occur at any age, including after pregnancy. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wear and tear of cartilage on the joints. This can happen due to normal ageing, injury, or overuse of joints. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints.

      Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the joints. It typically affects people between the ages of 40 and 60, but can also occur after pregnancy. Women are three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than men. The cause is unknown, but it is believed to be linked to genes and environmental factors.

      Postpartum Hip Pain

      After giving birth, many women experience hip pain due to the changes in their bodies. This can cause instability in the joints and muscles surrounding the hips, leading to pain. Additionally, weight gain during pregnancy can put added pressure on the hips, which can also lead to pain.

      Joint Pain After Delivery

      Joint pain is a common symptom of arthritis. It can occur in any joint in the body but is most common in the knees, hips, and hands. Joint pain can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as stiffness, swelling, and redness.

      Knee Pain After Delivery

      It is not uncommon for women to experience knee pain after delivery. This can be caused by increased weight and pressure on the knees during pregnancy. In addition, the hormone relaxin, which is released during pregnancy to help relax the ligaments and joints, can also contribute to knee pain after delivery.

      What Are The Causes Of Postpartum Arthritis

      Many different factors can contribute to the development of postpartum arthritis. The most common cause is the change in hormones that occurs after childbirth. This can cause the ligaments and joints to become lax, which puts additional stress on the joints and can lead to inflammation. Other causes include weight gain, changes in activity level, and joint trauma.

      How Long Does Postpartum Arthritis Last

      The hormone relaxin, which is released during pregnancy to help the joints loosen and the pelvis expand for childbirth, can stay in the body for up to six weeks post-delivery. Treatment for postpartum arthritis typically includes a combination of medication and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying joint problem.

      How To Manage Arthritis After Delivery

      There are a few things that can be done to manage postpartum arthritis after delivery:

      1. Exercise: Exercise can help to strengthen the muscles around the joints and improve the range of motion. It is important to start slowly and build up gradually. Talk to the doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise program.

      2. Pain relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to relieve pain and inflammation. Be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully.

      3. Heat and cold therapy: Applying heat or cold to the affected joint can also help to reduce pain and inflammation. Try using a heating pad or ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

      4. Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for reducing stress on the joints. If someone is overweight, losing even a few pounds can make a difference.

      5. Assistive devices: Using assistive devices such as a cane or walking stick can help to take pressure off of the joints and reduce pain.


      If one is experiencing postpartum arthritis, know that they are not alone. This condition is quite common and can be caused by a variety of factors. The good news is that there are treatments available that can help improve symptoms and quality of life. Be sure to talk to the doctor about the best option and don't hesitate to ask for help if needed. Head over to the Mylo family to explore blogs about pregnancy and more.

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      Written by

      Sanju Rathi

      A Postgraduate in English Literature and a professional diploma holder in Interior Design and Display, Sanju started her career as English TGT. Always interested in writing, shetook to freelance writing to pursue her passion side by side. As a content specialist, She is actively producing and providing content in every possible niche.

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