With changes in your pelvis and core, you might find upper inner thigh pain during your pregnancy. Why does that all happen, and what can you do about it? Also, will that thigh pain continue after you have your baby? Let’s answer all those questions!
Before we get started, why do I know all of this?
Hi, I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I have helped thousands of pregnant people/moms through their pregnancy, especially navigating how their body is changing and adjusting.
I’m excited to help you too! First, grab my hospital packing list:
Why Does My Inner Thigh Hurt?
There are two reasons that your inner thighs might hurt during pregnancy.
Your Core Is Adjusting
While your abs are far away from your thighs — they are all connected and can cause problems below your belly as well.
As your belly pokes out, your center of gravity changes. You’re holding yourself differently, and it’s your legs and your pelvis’s job to adjust how you’re staying upright.
Your Pelvis Is Confused & Splitting Up
Like we said above, your pelvis is holding your body up differently.
But, in addition to that, your symphysis pubis isn’t as “tight” as it used to be. Your body sends out hormones that tell that area to loosen up (which will be great to help the baby come out easier). It’s just less great when your body is doing things like:
- Putting on pants
- Climbing stairs
- Getting in your car.
- Lifting kids
It can be tough on your pelvis!
So, as you’re doing those everyday things, the muscles in your thigh are compensating.
Which can make them hurt. Some belly straps may help for this << that article explains a ton on why they help and share some different options.
What is Hurting in My Inner Thigh?
Most often it’s two things:
Muscle Strain from Using Your Muscles in New Ways
Just like when you try new exercises and are sore the next day. Just by doing everyday tasks, you’re using new muscles and it will strain them. These types of strains won’t last a long time, and will hopefully heal quickly. However, as your belly grows, you may continue to use those muscles in different ways, so you may find this type of muscle strain as you continue.
You may pull a muscle. This is more of an injury than just muscle building. This type of injury may last longer and may need more rest in order to heal.
How Can I Help My Inner Thigh During Pregnancy?
Normally, you might take some medication or use a salve if this happened when you were not pregnant. But, now that you are you need to be mindful!
As with any injury, ice can help. Personally, I find that ice helps the most in 24 hours. Just apply it to the area where it hurts. Remember that ice should not be directly applied to the skin (I normally cover the ice/ice pack with a dishtowel) and should only be applied for around 20 minutes every 2-3 hours.
Heat can be great to help stressed-out muscles relax. Some people combine heat and cold.
I have a whole post on heating pads during pregnancy. Remember when you are pregnant:
- I recommend not using an electric heating pad (as you may fall asleep with it on, and you don’t want the heat applied long-term)
- Use a microwaveable heat pack, as over time it will cool off and not be an issue if you fall asleep. Because, yes — a little heat will feel nice.
- Do not use heat across your abdomen during pregnancy. You can use it on your thighs or back, but not on your belly as it will transfer to your baby.
A muscle pull can really be helped by some rest. There are many times during your pregnancy that you’ll find that rest is the key. So, be sure to give yourself that time to rest and let your body heal as it is changing and adjusting. Be kind to yourself!
Adjust Your Body Mechanics
You may need to change how you’re doing things:
- Sit down to put your pants on.
- Take the elevator rather than the stairs.
- Try to keep your legs together (like when you’re getting in the car).
Talk With Your Provider
Ask your provider about things that may work for your unique needs/circumstances. That’s the beauty of a provider. They know you and what you need! Don’t forget that.
Use a Support Belt
Using a belly band can be a huge help during your pregnancy. As it supports your core, your legs will also feel helped out.
Visit a Physical Therapist
Don’t be afraid to use a physical therapist to help your thighs. They can do things like:
- Stretching can help.
- Adjusting movements you do frequently to be more healthy/safe.
I talked to a physical therapist on my podcast right here:
Visit a Chiropractor
A chiropractor can also be helpful in this instance. I’d be sure to talk to your provider, to see if it’s a good option for you — and if, perhaps, they have someone that they recommend. I would also recommend someone who is trained in the Webster Technique (call around and ask).
I talked to a Chiropractor on my podcast about how you could use them too!
As you can see, your body is changing during pregnancy, and that can sometimes hurt. Make sure you’re being kind to yourself and finding outside resources when possible. 🙂
If you like information on your pregnancy and how to make it as easy as possible by someone who really knows, join me in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. It gets you prepared in just a few hours by someone with lots of experience (and it’s optimized for partners).
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out my free prenatal class. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice.
She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.