Postural changes during pregnancy and prenatal massage from Body Mechanics Massage NYC

Hi, my name is Beret Kirkeby I am the owner of Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage and I wanted to talk to you a little bit today about some of the really important changes that happen to a pregnant woman as she goes through the course of her expectancy Some of the things that we look at postural-ly in terms of massage are the spine in terms of changing as you move towards the end of your pregnancy

Pregnant women start to secrete a hormone called relaxin, it is in preparation for birth and it helps women regulate a number of things in their systems but one of the really important things that it does is it softens the connective tissues and the joints and the disks and anything that is fibrous It softens that in preparation for birth, so you end up with joints that are a little bit over mobile and basically they are preparing for things to open up and change and move, which is great, but not so comfortable a lot of times for pregnant women So we are just going to quickly look at the spine, and talk about some of the changes that happen Because things are becoming overly mobile, you have the lumbar spine, which is that area from here to here, and it is going to move forward, and the reason that that is going to happen is you have the weight of the belly pulling forward So you now have an increased curve here like this

And the spine is this amazing piece of equipment, but it has to mirror itself, in order to balance it is sort of this game of jenga and so to accommodate this forward movement the thoracic spine also pulls back this direction So now you have a movement this way and you have a movement this way of the thoracic spine Now, that is not such a huge deal but some women experience headaches, back tension, it really depends on whether it is the first pregnancy, second, or third, subsequent pregnancy this action happens a little bit faster The other thing it depends on is what kind of work you do, what kind of activities you do, because as the spine pulls this way a little bit, the shoulders roll forward So you end up with this parabola like this

And to balance itself however far in one direction it moves one way it has to move the other way So we end up with these lovely increased s curves which are super healthy but that is signaling change in the body and changes can cause muscle pain headaches, tension, all kinds of things that a pregnant woman might be surprised that she has Massage can really help to relive these things, we can re-set the muscle length, we can just get the muscles soft and loose and get better circulation in there and make the pregnant woman a little bit more comfortable One of the interesting things though is if you have had tension headaches previously to your pregnancy and you start to secrete relaxin sometimes the headaches improve because you have these soft loose muscles and if you had migraines before sometimes we can um find that in women those symptom's relive themselves, but you get a whole bunch of other ones The other thing that happens is, we are going to look briefly at the pelvis

As things start to soften the body sorta has this response where it really wants to create stability because you don't have these really hard fibrous connections any more The body sends out the signal that "oh my goodness things are really really loose, we had better tighten up" Because something has got to hold the system together When we are looking down here at the pelvis which is getting nice and loose, there are some muscles that run from the sacrum to the femur and also ones in the belly and in the lower back and those muscles in order to try and hold things together and stabilize will tighten up, so a lot of pregnant women the experience back pain in this area right here The muscle looks a little bit like this

It runs from the last rib to the top of the ilium and it is called the quadratus lumborum and it will try to tighten up especially as that curve moves this way It will shorten up and then the second muscle that pregnant women often complain about that is effected by this change is the piriformis, the piriformis runs from the front edge, so that is the belly side of the sacrum , like this, to the top of the femur and as it wants to stabilize the pelvis you get this drawing back action It is really trying to hold this stuff together and so often times you will see that duck walk with women It is going to move this bone around that way and its also not so much of a problem except it can be really painful and one of the features of the piriformis muscle is that there is a foreamen that runs through it and depending on your anatomy, it is just purely based on genetics, the nerve that feeds the leg, can either run exactly through that muscle or just underneath it Now if you have issues with it, its based like I said sheer luck of your anatomy, if that foramen is very small it can be compressed and you can get sciatic like symptoms and we see that a lot from pregnant women, that is what they complain about especially during the later times in the pregnancy as things get a little bit more intense for them

We want to talk to you a little bit more about some other issues that happen in pregnancy, but this is all we have for today to say to you, we hope you enjoyed our video and found it informative, you can find out more about us at bodymechanicsnyccom thanks, and thanks for listening

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