Knee Pain During Pregnancy

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Knee problems during pregnancy

March 2003

Hi everyone, sometime in my 9th month of pregnancy, i developed a knee and heel problem which has not gone away for 3 months now. i was wondering if anyone has ideas about what the problem may be or who they might refer me to. we are part of the kaiser health care system, so any orthopedist recommendation would be appreciated. basically, the symptoms are: a short ligament or muscle right below and slightly to the outside of center of the kneecap gives me a sharp pain when i bend it more than 90 degrees or apply pressure. the pain lessens only slightly if i do warmups. on the heel, the pain is similar. mainly i feel the pull or tug on the inside of the left heel and a bit along the bottom. please send any advice, as it's the only thing keeping me from exercising. thanks! cma

Hi, During pregnancy so many stresses are put on our body, especially the legs because they carry ALL the weight, and what is more we are off of our ''normal'' balance with a big round tummy full of baby. So it is very common to develop foot and leg pain. Your heel pain may typically be plantar fasciatis which is essentially a tightening of the tissue from the heel to the arch of the foot.It can be painful on the center of the heel or sides of the heel.

Knee pain can be a problem either at the knee joint where the hip muscles attach to the bone or can be a problem anywhere in between the knee and hip. It is most likely overuse of one or more muscles (called ''compensation'' ) while other relating muscles are essentially taking a vacation. A typical example would be if someone has pain on the outside of the knee (bicyclists often do) the weak muscle would be the inner quad muscle and the overcompensating muscle would be the outer quad muscle.

I would suggest two possibilities for you....a chiropractor who works with feet or a massage therapist. My suggestion would be to see someone consistently till you feel better. That could be weekly, every other week etc., but it's not likely (but not impossible) that 1 session will give you a quick fix. Good luck with whatever you decide,


I also had significant knee and ankle problems during and immediately after pregnancy. My knees were numb and hurt, and my ankles ached when I moved them. My mother, who is a physical therapist, advised me to wait until I had lost all my weight, and then see what happened. She was right - by the time I had lost all the additional weight, I was fine. She said our joints get more fatigued more easily with the sudden weight gain, and that some swelling inside (due to that wonderful water retention) can also cause pain and numbness. Hopefully, yours will ease then also. If not, you should probably have someone check it out. Kelly