The body undergoes physical changes in pregnancy in your balance, posture, and your mobility. Your center of gravity becomes thrown off due to abdominal protrusion in the front, enlargement of your breasts, and the anterior (frontwards) rotation of the pelvis. In order to maintain stability, a pregnant woman tends to increase the strain on the back muscles and the vertebral column.
Another cause is the shortening of the hip flexor muscle group caused by the anterior rotation of the pelvis, as well as the increased size of the muscles of the abdomen. This is not helped when a pregnant woman leads a sedentary lifestyle.
REASONS FOR BACKACHES
• Weight of the baby and the contents of the uterus
• Poor posture
• Standing for long lengths of time
• Urinary tract infections
• SCIATICA is a severe form of backache caused by the sciatic nerve being “pinched” or pressure placed on the nerve.
• The pain radiates to the legs
• Occurs due to growing baby and the womb that causes pressure on the nerve.
• The kidneys can also be affected, do the growing uterus causing pressure.
Good posture can assist sciatic nerve issues. When you improve the posture, not only will the backache be relieved but eating and breathing will improve. You find digestion is much easier as well.
Begin by keeping your head up, looking down throws your posture off. Keep your chin level. If you hold your head correctly your shoulders and back will automatically fall into place. Drop your shoulders to a position that is more natural, and avoid allowing the shoulder blades to be thrown back as it will cause a strain on your back.
Tuck your tailbone under to bring it into alignment. Pull inward the abdominal muscles and tucking the buttocks muscles…tilt your pelvis forward. This will act as a counter-balance to the tendency of arching the back.
• Wear flat comfortable shoes. Keep your knees relaxed, not locked
• Sit up straight in chairs and when you drive
Do stretching exercises, and / or exercise by walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, leg lifts and lunges, swimming, or Yoga. Avoid too many weight-bearing exercises . Doing exercise relieves muscle tension. It also Relieves emotional tension. Another thing you can do is to rock your hips, or make love passionately (no joke), the latter relieves pelvic congestion.
• Constipation is directly connected to lower back pain and pelvic discomfort
• To keep from having constipation, drink more water and eat whole grains.
• Increase Calcium and magnesium (see: minerals hand-out).
Elevate your legs, preferably for 20 minutes a day (up on a chair or lying down with two pillows under them)
Keep cold or raw foods to a minimum (these increase kidney strain). Eat grapes, pears, and apples as these are the least “watery” of the fruits and are less strain on the kidneys.
Minimalize fruit juices, and caffeine. (coffee, black tea, chocolate, cocoa, and soda). They act like adrenaline in the system due the chemicals they contain. Adrenaline aggravates the kidneys.
If you are tired, feel overworked, or stressed you may be experiencing adrenal gland deficiency. The best herb to nourish the adrenals is nettle leaf, in a strong infusion (steeping for at least ½ hour). Nettle Leaf is one of the herbs found in your “Pregnancy Tea”.
Take St. John’s Wort and skullcap in a tincture form. About 20 to 30 drops in water or juice a couple of times a day. You can also apply the combination of Arnica and St. John’s Wort oils externally to relieve tension and promote the healing of the muscles of the back. It’s also helpful to use a warm water bottle on the area that has been treated with Arnica and / or St. John’s Wort.