March 6, 2012

3 Common Aches and Pains of Pregnancy and How to Fix them!

Pregnancy is ladened with aches and pains. Many of them we can address during our prenatal yoga classes and offer poses that may help and some that may not! Here are three of some of the more common issues and a few suggestions as to how to deal with them.

Respiratory Issues

Dyspnea (shortness of breath) can sometimes be one of the first signs of pregnancy. During the first two trimesters the increase in progesterone increases the brain’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide and raises the breathing rate.

Other causes of respiratory issues can be skeletal. As the pregnancy continues and the baby is growing larger, the body compensates by deepening the S curves in the spine. The lumbar (lower back) sways more and the thorasic (middle upper back) rounds more. This causes the shoulders to round forward and the chest to collapse in leading to tightening of the chest muscle as well as decreases the space for the lungs to fully expand and the diaphragm to drop. Also as the uterus grows and pushed upward, the lungs and diaphragm are compromised since they can not expand fully.

Asanas to do Gentle backbends like: ustrasana (camel pose), supported supta virasana, supta matsyasana, shoulder openers like gomukasana arms (cow face) . Also maintaining an elongated spine in forward bends. Stregthening the back muscles that will help keep the chest open and collar bone broad: downward facing dog, ardha uttanasana (“flat back”) and standing poses

Asanas to avoid Any pose that exaggerates a collapse in the chest.

Alternative rememdies Massage may be helpful if the chest and shoulders are tight which is causing the shoulders to round in and collapse.

Quadratus lumborum (Lower Back Pain)

The quardratus lumborum is a well known muscle that is a primary cause of lower back pain. As the belly continues to grow, it pulls the top of the pelvis forward causing lordosis (sway back) in the spine. This position of the pelvis causes the lower back muscle to contract which can lead to lower back pain.

Asanas to do Body circles, side stretches gentle forward bending combining with a twist like janusirasana (head to knee pose), poses that focus on elongating the lower back like downward facing dog.

Asanas to avoid
Backbends and poses that emphasize the pelvis overly tipping anteriorly (forward) creating a sway back situation. This will only contract these lower back muscles further.

Alternative remedies Massage, acupuncture, heating pad or hot water bottle.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This can be due to increased blood volume and fluid retention that can cause an impingement of the nerves and range of motion in and around the shoulder joint and wrist, as well as increased repetitive hand and wrist motion.

Asanas to do Shoulder and chest opening poses and wrists stretch. Many poses that require the palms to be flat on the mat can be done on the forearms or knuckles. Also, rolling the mat up or putting a wedge under the heel of the hand can lessen sharp wrist flexion.

Asanas to avoid Lots of sharp wrist flexion

Alternative remedies acupuncture, splints, hot/cold bath, and massage to release tight shoulders and chest muscles

Hope these ideas and tips may be helpful to some of you ladies out there! 🙂




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