for teachers pain Aug 13, 2021
As the fetus grows and the uterus expands, entering the second trimester, more pains may expand into the body, including the infamous pelvic and hip pain.
The loosening of the joints is preparing those hips to accompany a small human to enter the world, and is necessary during pregnancy!
And research has found that pain:
And we know that the right type of modified movement can be very healing.
So we will start with anatomy, and Pilates-based movements.
Here is a short anatomy and physiology lesson on the pregnant pelvis:
These remarkable hormones are responsible for:
While this is absolutely necessary to accompany the growing fetus and expanding pregnant uterus, and ultimately the birth,
the expansion may contribute to mild pain in the hips and pelvis.
Bone and Ligament Structures of the Core:
4 Primary Muscles of the Core -deepest core muscles
Secondary Muscles of the Core
The Deep Front Line (Anatomy Trains Theory)
In addition to the above muscles, the core also involves our deepest structures from the bottom of the toes to the cheeks including the:
Below is an image showing the DFL and the related structures.
We are going to go over the anatomy of the pelvis.
Keep in mind that to relieve pain, the deep core muscles have to be involved, along with healthy everyday movement.
Our body parts work together! EVERYTHING is connected!
This fused vertebrae, posterior (in the back of) of the pelvis, provides maximum support for the spine when positioned neutrally.
In pregnancy, the top of pelvis tends to tilt anteriorly (forward), causing sacrum to tilt up and the low back to sway into an exaggerated arch (lordosis).
This tilt actually SUPPORTS the pelvic floor, by decreasing the amount of downward intra-abdominal pressure.
However, when the tilt is EXCESSIVE, and UNSUPPORTED, it can put unhealthy stress on the joints.
Hugging the Baby, shown above in the second pic, can help mom-to-be have more control over her pelvis.
These joints attach the sacrum to the hip bones, normally allowing limited movement in the sacrum (nutation and counter-nutation).
During pregnancy, these joints loosen (due to the hormones relaxin and progesterone) causing hyper mobility, which may contribute to the pelvic pain problem.
This is a normally a somewhat flexible band of cartilage that links the two halves of the pelvis together, allowing independent movement of the hip bones while walking.
In women, the pubic symphysis is created wider and more flexible than in men to allow the pelvis to stretch during child-birth.
The pelvic floor is a group of small, long muscles that create a sling-like support in the pelvis.
These muscles connect to the joints of the sacrum, coccyx, and hip bones.
The pelvic floor works with the transverse abdominals to provide optimum stability of the core, helping to reduce the chance of diastasis recti.
Proper conditioning and awareness involves:
Try teaching the following Pelvic Floor Awareness Exercises:
1. Become aware of the pelvic floor by contracting and releasing.
Prepare your diaphragm by taking a few deep breaths, fully exhaling.
2. Imagine the front of the pelvis is a zipper.
Exhale all of the stale air and then:
Inhale - Start at the bottom of the 'zip' and
Exhale - slowly contract the pelvic walls together as if zipping up a pair of jeans.
3. Once you have zipped to the top
Inhale - at the top of the zip
Exhale - slowly begin to 'unzip' the pelvic walls
Teach the same thing in the middle and in the back of the pelvic floor.
The great thing about practicing pelvic floor exercises is your client can do them anywhere, and no one needs to know (so if you do end up practicing while standing in-line at the store, be aware of your facial expressions! :-)
1. Have client stand or sit.
And Cue The Following:
2. Exhale all the air out,
3. THEN Inhale to lengthen the spine (neutral)
4. Exhale - tilt the top of your pelvis back and the sacrum and tailbone under (posterior tilt) (like tucking)
5. Inhale - Move through neutral (lengthened spine)
6. to a SUPPORTED arch (anterior tilt) (careful not to give into the arch),
7. Repeat pelvic tilt 3-5 times. Can be done every day, multiple times a day.
! If it hurts your client, STOP! That is a great general rule to follow- if it hurts, don't do it.
One of the primary Pilates principles is Whole-Body Health (Pilates Method Alliance). Because everything is connected - body, mind, spirit - energizing movement throughout the day helps build resilience in all areas of life.
From a fascia-focused and tensegrity training perspective, we want to move in a variety of ways (dynamic) reaching every micro-angle of the body.
Lateral Thoracic Breathing - making sure the exhale is complete.
Encourage pre and postnatal women to pay special attention to the health of their sleep, to rest throughout the day, taking 'breathing breaks', silence breaks, anything that allows their mind to rest. (AKA meditation. However, the word 'meditation' had become some-what of a buzz word. So using other terms like 'breathing break', 'brain break', 'mind rest' may be a more effective way to describe meditation)
Hydration and nutritious food. If you are not a nutritionist, consider partnering with one and getting some great recommendations for pre and postnatal.
Research by Dr. Sinead Dufour, women's pelvic floor PT, found that just by changing the language around the pelvis to positive and empowering, women experience less pain.
Research shows that women who did their own myofascial release with a foam roller and a ball slept better, experienced less stress and fear, and had babies who experienced less stress.
What other ideas can you think of?
Remind your client that her body will make drastic changes, and begin teaching her how to be patient and accepting of those changes.
That is one the BEST things you can do for your clients.
Click Here to Get A Ready-Made Guide on Teaching Hug the Baby Free the Baby for posture during and after pregnancy
Resources to learn more about:
Research: Association Between Lumbo-pelvic Pain and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Thank you for investing your time to learn at PregnancyPilatesImpact.com
I would love to hear from you! Questions? Comments?
E-Mail [email protected]
With Love and Gratitude,
- Founder of Pregnancy Pilates Impact: Helping Pilates Teachers to Create a Positive Impact in the Lives of Pre and Postnatal Women
Click here to learn more about The Pregnancy Pilates Impact Academy, and be the 1st to know when we open the doors.