Wobbly knees? — The Bump
Pregnant after 35

Wobbly knees?

I have noticed recently that my knees don't seem to be working properly.  I feel very wobbly and my knees occasionally buckle when I walk.  I feel very unstable like I have to hold on to things all the time.  Is this the relaxin kicking in?  It's making me nervous because I'm only 8 weeks and haven't gained any weight yet, so I'm scared that I'll barely be able to stand up once I actually start getting bigger!  Has anyone else experienced this?  Are there any exercises to do to counteract these weak, wobbly knees?
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Re: Wobbly knees?

  • It probably is relaxin.  From what I've read, relaxin peaks at the end of the first trimester, and then again at the end of the third.  Don't worry, because estrogen will also continue to go up and give strength to your muscles that might help to compensate.  (Relaxin loosens ligaments and blood vessels, as far as I understand).  I had a couple of injuries that hadn't healed up properly pre-pregnancy, that are now unnoticeable because of estrogen, I think.  Also, relaxin will nearly halve in the second trimester.

    I would avoid trying new exercises especially if you're feeling this loose because relaxin makes you more prone to injury (particularly month 7 and later).  I would particularly be careful of exercises that make you susceptible to overextension like deep lunges.

    I do pole-assisted squats (might help knees) among other modified body-weight exercises, but I did them pre-pregnancy too and am doing smaller sets now.  I will probably be dropping some or further modifying the movements again around month 7.

    Have you also considered that you might be having dizzy spells from lowered blood pressure?  Relaxin allows blood vessels to dilate to allow for an increased blood volume resulting in lower blood pressure.

    Hope you feel better soon.
  • NeonNoon.  I hadn't even thought about blood pressure at all.  I hope you're right that estrogen will rise and balance out all this looseness.  It's just so frustrating because I feel nervous doing some of the exercises that I normally do at the gym, and I certainly don't want to injure myself.  Maybe I should call my chiropractor and/or my old physical therapist and get some recommendations for safe strengthening exercises to do.  
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  • If you are eating a lot of purine-rich foods (especially meats), it's possible for uric acid crystals to accumulate in your joints, which can have the effect of destabilizing them. I had this happen and actually fell a few times at work because my knees just wouldn't hold up. Talked to a nurse and she asked if I was on some sort of high-protein diet; I wasn't intentionally limiting carbs, but I was trying to be very healthy and had been eating a lot of lean poultry.  Once I stopped, the funny knee feeling went away too.

    Or, it could be relaxin...

    I would consult your doctor about it.
  • It may be nothing but I would consult your doc, too. Carrying an itty bitty is different than if it were just you. A phone call just to run it by him/her can't hurt.
    Me: 38, DH: 35
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  • Thanks for your input everyone!  I think I will call my doc tomorrow, just to see if he recommends anything and to put my mind at ease.
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