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The 3 Reasons Why Pregnancy Is A Pain In The BUTT

… And What You Can Do About It NOW!

 

It’s no secret that pregnancy can be painful. In fact, I’ve written about it before (in this blog on the 3 Ways to Beat Pregnancy Pain).

A lot of my clients tell me that their doctors aren’t too helpful in helping them understand their pain, which why I have compiled this list of the 3 main causes of hip/back and glute pain in pregnancy and most importantly how massage during pregnancy can help you reduce pain, feel freer and more engergised!

 

Pelvic Girdle Pain (AKA: Pelvic Girdle instability)

 

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a condition can affect 20% of women during pregnancy. PGP can occur due to changes in ligaments because of the hormone relaxin, which increases joint laxity.

Every day activities such as walking or standing can aggravate and cause strain within the joint. Pain may not be felt until several hours later. In some cases, pain can be constant.

PGP can be managed by avoid aggravating activities, such as lifting and weight bearing activities.  Strengthening exercise that support the abdominals, pelvic floor and lower back can also be beneficial.

Massage can also help alleviate the symptoms of PGP through releasing tight muscles and ligaments in the glutes, hips and lower back.

 

Round Ligament Pain

Several ligaments support the uterus as the foetus grows. One of these ligaments is called the round ligament. The role of the round ligament is to keep the uterus in a forward titled position.

As the round ligament stretches due to foetal growth pain can be felts from the top of the uterus to the groin and can even extend to the vulvar and upper thigh.

Depending on foetal positioning pain can be felt on one side, or both sides.

Massaging the abdomen can help to alleviate round ligament pain by assisting in maintaining uterine positioning and stabilising the lower back.

 

Sciatic Pain

Sciatica is the name given to a series of symptoms, not a specific problem. The sciatic nerve runs down the lower back, through the glutes and innervates the lower leg and feet.

A slipped or injured disc can be the primary cause of sciatica, but sometimes, the functioning of the nerve can be affected, causing pins and needles or pain down the back of your leg.

In some cases, tight gluteal muscles can mimic the pain symptoms of sciatica. Massage can assist in releasing tight glute muscles and provide support to balance the lower back.

 

The next step…

Just because pain during pregnancy is common does not mean that you must put up with it. Understanding the cause of pain can help in alleviating the symptoms so that you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

 

Struggling with Pregnancy Aches? Book a Massage now!

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3 Ways to Beat Pregnancy Pains

While a time of joy and excitement, pregnancy can also be a time of discomfort, pain and general feelings of exhaustion. Many women experience similar common ailments, such as low back pain and leg cramps. In this blog, I hope to give an overview of these common ailments, why they occur and more importantly, what you can do about it!

 

Posture

During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity shifts forward as their baby develops and their belly gets bigger. This causes a woman’s posture to, for want of a better term – “go outta whack”. Shoulders slouch and curve, the neck is pushed forward, bums stick out. In some cases, women enter pregnancy with postural complaints and these issues become exacerbated during pregnancy.

 

The Role of Hormones

Smooth muscles, connective tissue, cartilage joints and ligaments “soften” during pregnancy thanks to the hormones progesterone and relaxin.  This means that the hip, sacroiliac and pubic symphysis joints become less stable. Most women can cope with these changes, but for women with hypermobility (extra-flexibility) may suffer from additional discomfort.

 

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can be the result of changes to posture. Slouchy shoulders cause tightness in the upper back, shoulder, neck and chest. Shoulder tension may also lead to headaches.

 

Shoulder and Neck Stretch

Sitting in a chair, place you left hand under your bottom. Then tilt your head to the right, drawing your right ear down to your right shoulder. Use your right arm to hold the left side of your head above your ear to intensify the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Click Here For A Visual Guide.

 

Leg Cramps and Pain

In the warmer months, many of my clients complain of leg cramps. Common from the second half of pregnancy, leg cramps can have a sudden onset and often occur at night.  Leg cramps can be eased by gently exercising and stretching the calf prior to going to bed. Painful legs can often be a result of increased weight in the lower half of the body. Extra pressure is placed on the inferior vena cava (the largest vein supplying blood to the lower limbs).

 

Leg Stretch

Place your hands at arm’s length on a wall. With your hips square, place your right foot behind your left. While keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor, bend your left leg slowly. Keep your back straight and hips forward as you hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Click here for a visual guide.

 

Low Back Pain

Low back pain may result from several factors. Women may enter pregnancy with pre-existing low back and gluteal pain. Low back pain can also be cause by tight or strained lower back muscles. The round ligament, one of the eight ligaments that holds the uterus in place, stretches rapidly. This can often cause pain on one side the body, depending on fetal positioning. Low back pain can be alleviated by sleeping in a side-lying position and placing a pillow between the knees and under the tummy.

 

Stretch – Cat Pose

Come on all fours, with your knees hip width apart, and your hands in line with your shoulders. Begin with the spine in a neutral position. Slowly tilt the pelvis under, flattening the lower back. At the same time, tuck your chin to your chest, causing the shoulders to curve and hunch. If wrists become uncomfortable, you may rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Hold the stretch for a few moments and return the spine to a neutral position. Click here for a visual guide.

 

Feel Freer With Massage

Massage is also a great way to manage the common discomforts of pregnancy. From releasing tight shoulders, applying gentle hip join mobilization and alleviating leg cramps. Treatments are personalized to suit you and your unique pain and discomforts.

 

Partner Massage During Labour

DID YOU KNOW – Massage during labour can help the mother to relax, ease her pain and enhance her overall wellbeing.

PLUS – Partner massage helps the two of you to feel more connected as you bring your new baby into the world together.

Supported and Empowered in Labour – Partner Massage training is held monthly. Click here for more information!

 

If you are not sure if massage is appropriate for you during your pregnancy, please contact Laura on 0407 512 009 or book an appointment now.

For more information on the benefits of pregnancy massage, please visit the blog archive.

 

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5 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas!

Christmas is a lovely and stressful time of year. The following tips may help you survive the silly season!

Plan ahead

When it comes to shopping, for gifts or food, planning your shopping trip will not only save to money, but time as well. Making a list of presents to buy will keep your budget on track and reduce instances of impulse-buying or unnecessary “Christmas stocking fillers”. Setting a budget for each gift, or even making a home-made gift, will reduce stress on you and your credit card!

Delegate

Whether you have all the family over to your place, or not, dividing up tasks between family members can lighten the load. This will be less stressful for you and everyone will feel like they are contributing. Organise within your circle of family and friends who will bring the side dishes and dessert.

Moderation!

The holidays are a time of over-indulgence. Whether its food or booze, moderation is KEY! Set yourself limits for the number of servings, or number of drinks you will have for the evening.  Allowing yourself to have a little bit of everything is better than stuffing yourself like a Christmas turkey on a smorgasbord. Remember that one glass of wine or one beer, may be up to 2 standard drinks, so make sure you keep track of this.

Keep Hydrated!

I know massage therapists go on and on about water intake, but at this time of year it is especially important! With warmer weather, we need to increase of fluid intake to avoid dehydration. In addition, alcohol can dehydrate your body, so make sure you have a glass of water between each glass of wine. Not only can this keep you hydrated but it may reduce the impact of a hangover the next day! Trust me, your body will thank you!

Make time to unwind and relax

Whether you are the type of person that loves the holidays or loathes it, it can be a stressful time of year. When we experience stress, our muscles tighten, and we can feel tension in our neck, shoulders and back. Massage can help you to reduce tension, alleviate stress and have you feeling wonderful for the holiday season!

For more information about which treatment is right for you, contact us or book your next massage now!

This information is advice only, and should not replace professional recommendations from a GP or psychologist. If you are having trouble during the holiday season, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

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Get The MOST Out Of Your Massage

Whether it’s your first massage or your 100th, these simple tips will ensure that your next massage is the best one yet!

  • Make sure you arrive on time if not a little early!

This is especially important if you are attending your first treatment. Prior to your first massage, you will be required to complete a client health history form. This can take a little bit of time, so you want to be early so you can get this out of the way.  Furthermore, if you a rushing or running late to your appointment it will take you longer to relax and you will not get the full benefit of your massage.

  • Wear comfortable clothing.

Massage is all about relaxing, even if you are getting a remedial treatment. Wearing tight, constricting clothing may not be too comfortable once your body is feeling relaxed. Comfortable trackies, or leggings are easier to slip in and out of before and after your massage.

  • Keep hydrated!

Drink water throughout the day in the lead up to your appointment. Tight, sore muscles are dehydrated muscles. Massage increased blood flow and circulation to these areas. Drinking water after your treatment helps with the process of clearing away built up toxins that are stored in muscles. It is also best to avoid caffeine including tea and alcohol. Not only do these beverages dehydrate the body, the effects of alcohol may be exaggerated following a massage.

  • Make sure you go to the toilet prior to your appointment.

This one’s simple, and doesn’t need too much explaining! The last thing you want to do is get up half way through your appointment. If you arrive early, you will have time to do this!

  • Start to relax as early as possible.

Relaxing your body and mind in the waiting room is the perfect way to enter your treatment. Avoid the temptation to look at your phone in the waiting room. Switch it off, and relax!

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Prior to your appointment, or at the time of booking, let us know if you have any allergies to nuts, creams and essential oils.
  • During your treatment, let us know if the pressure is to firm or not firm enough.
  • You may feel dizzy or light-headed after your treatment. Take your time to get up from the table. Let us know and we can get you some water.

For more information contact us or book online