Massage for Hip Pain and Sciatica During Pregnancy

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Leading into the second trimester, husbands get kicked out of bed and are replaced by hundreds of pillows, which are tucked in every possible crevice, yet comfort still is amiss. Its takes an hour to turn over, and the mere thought of trekking up the stairs sends goose bumps up your spine. Sound familiar? OK, OK maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but if I took a tally of the most common complaint during pregnancy, it would be those darn hips.

Hip, glut, and low back pain during pregnancy is a result of increased pressure and poor posture, due to a growing belly and weakness in the supporting muscle tissues.

Often these imbalances can lead to sciatic pain, which is associated with numbness, weakness, and/or shooting pain into the low back and down the middle of the back of the leg, and sometimes into the feet, caused by the compression or inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

Generally only one leg is affected at a time, but often will switch back and forth as women tend to compensate for pain on one side, by putting pressure on the opposite.

Sciatic pain usually diminishes post-delivery, but can often persist if weakness still occurs or if there is shifting of the vertebrae as the baby descends the birth canal.

In most cases massage therapy can be very beneficial in reducing hip and sciatic pain both during and post pregnancy. At Whole Family Health, massage techniques are applied to the soft tissues of the hips and surrounding muscle tissues.

The result is reduced adhesions, joint mobility, balance in the pelvis, reduction in inflammation and pain relief. Applying a cold pack to the treated area after each treatment is recommended to further prevent swelling and encourage healing.

Because the pregnant body is in constant change, proper maintenance is very important, however clients usually see a significant reduction of pain even after one treatment.

As with all ailments, the sooner one seeks treatment, the better the results in a short time frame. However, any point in the beautiful 40 weeks of pregnancy and beyond is going to be beneficial.

Some other tips for reducing/preventing hip and sciatic pain are to:

Put equal weight into each leg and focus on tucking your pelvis up and forward to help stack your vertebrae to create a balanced support for your growing belly and back.

Ice the glut and hip for 5 to ten minutes at a time to reduce inflammation.

Acupuncture and myofacsial cupping. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and move in new blood to help heal the affected area, while myofascial cupping helps to break down tight muscles and adhesions. At Whole Family health, clients have noticeable results after only 3 back-to-back treatments.

Invest in a pregnancy support belt. Most physiotherapists carry medical grade belts that will help reduce pressure and support the maintenance of good posture.

Pre/post natal yoga classes help to strengthen and open the muscles in the hips.

Stretch at home: “double pigeon”, “king pigeon”, “lizard” and while standing do figure 8’s with your hips. And many many more. I suggest talking to a massage practitioner, physiotherapist or yoga instructor to help modify stretches to suit your body.

Exercise – Yoga, swimming, pelvic tilts, wall squats, bridge pose, downward facing dog, stationary lunges, etc. Again, always speak with a professional before starting a new exercise regime, and STOP if pain is present.