Pain & Pregnancy: How to Stay Healthy
By Myotherapist Alyssa Fedone
Pregnancy for some is not always a walk in the park. While others walk in their stride with that pregnancy glow, others don’t quite have that grace in their step. More and more people are working through most of their pregnancy and not always by choice. This is taxing physically but also mentally, both of which affect your overall wellbeing. Here are some of the most common Issues that people have during pregnancy:
- Sciatica – Sometimes sciatica can occur because of irritation of the sciatic nerve during pregnancy. This is due to the many physical changes your body goes through during pregnancy which can impinge and irritate the sciatic nerve. Releasing the surrounding muscles of the sciatic nerve can alleviate some, if not all pain and discomfort.
- Pelvic Instability – Pelvic instability or pelvic girdle pain, is a condition that causes pain around the joints of the pelvic girdle during and after pregnancy. This condition can be diagnosed when pain, instability, limited range of motion and abnormal function is present in any of the three pelvic joints. Usually during pregnancy a hormone called Relaxin is released which softens the ligaments around the joints of the pelvis. This is a natural process which assists with childbirth. When Relaxin does not function properly during pregnancy, the joints of the pelvis loosen too much, and this results in the pelvis becoming unstable or out of optimal alignment. This can then also put strain on muscles of the back, stomach, pelvic floor, hips and pelvic girdle which may lead the pelvic joints to become less stable. Massage can assist with this condition by releasing the surrounding muscles of the pelvis and lower back to relieve pain. However, you must be careful not to loosen the joint too much as it may lead to more instability.
- Swelling – Swelling occurs during pregnancy because your body is holding on to more blood and fluid than usual. The increased pressure in your veins can cause various areas in the body to swell up either temporarily during the day/night or in some cases throughout your entire pregnancy. This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops. Normal swelling is usually experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles and feet. The swelling in your legs in particular may be worse towards the end of the day, especially if you are on your feet for majority of the day. Gravity causes fluid to collect at the lowest point of the body. Hot weather and being tired can also make swelling worse. Sometimes during the last few months of pregnancy the swelling will be at its worst and this can really start to affect your quality of life. A massage can increase blood flow and reduce swelling – easing discomfort and providing temporary relief.
How can Pinnacle Health Group help?
- Massage – Massage is suitable for all stages of pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Massage can temporarily reduce swelling, ease Pelvic Girdle pain and release sciatic pain. As well as have a positive effect on overall well-being. Massage is a natural relaxant that will help promote relaxation and relieve some of that pressure that you may not have even realised you had both physically and mentally.
- Physiapp – Pinnacle Health Group has access to so many amazing resources, physiapp being one of them. There are exercises ranging from a variety of difficulties dedicated to pregnancy! From strengthening, stretches and stability exercises there is something on there for clients at all stages and capabilities. We can easily set you up with a program to strengthen your core through pregnancy, or to increase your stability.
- Dietetics & Nutrition – Eating a balanced diet is especially important when you are eating for two! Come in and see our Dietitian to see how you can optimize your pre and post-natal diet to give you and your baby the best start.
- Clinical Pilates – During pregnancy pilates is a gentle yet challenging way to care for the body’s changing needs. Using the reformer beds will allow optimal support and confidence in the client to push the body during these times when exercise and conditioning of the body is truly needed. With the guidance of your physio watching over you and supporting you throughout any and all stages of pregnancy, pilates is a safe and effective form of exercise to help prevent these conditions from occurring. For those that are hesitant to exercise in fear of negatively affecting their pregnancy pilates is the perfect alternative. Then on the flip side, pilates can assist in getting you back to your pre-baby body post pregnancy.
Alyssa is a Myotherapist at our Docklands Location