5 Ways to Simply and Effectively Treat Common Pregnancy Aches and Pains

English: Close up of the belly of a pregnant w...

Pregnancy Aches and Pains

A growing fetus can create joint and muscular problems for the mother-to-be.  As muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the body try to stretch and adapt, these tissues can get strained.  When overworked, the tissue pain will occur either in the attached joint, or in the muscle itself.

The Sciaticare Ball, by August Point Wellness, is a simple, versatile tool that can help ease the aches and pains during the second and third trimesters, when the fetus is nearing its maximum size.  The Sciaticare Ball is designed to provide accurate therapeutic pressure (through the user’s own bodyweight) to relieve muscular tightness and spasms.  The Ball is meant to be used as often as possible during pregnancy to help keep muscles loose and promote healthy blood circulation.  Here are 5 key ways the Sciaticare Ball can simply and effectively treat the common muscular aches and pains of pregnancy:

1.   Sciatic pain – The Sciaticare Ball was originally created to treat sciatic pain, hence the name.  In the last trimester, women are forced to change sleeping positions frequently.  One of these positions, side-sleeping, pulls at the lateral hip and gluteal muscles which can compress the sciatic nerve to cause pain to shoot down the legs.  Stretching the hips may not be physically possible with a prominent baby belly, but with the Sciaticare Ball, muscular trigger points and acupressure points in the hips and glutes can be easily deactivated for this pregnancy related sciatica.

Treat the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and piriformis muscle trigger points.  Also treat nearby tender points in the gluteal region.

2.  Low back pain – Low back pain is probably the most common complaint during pregnancy.  The location of the growing baby coupled with the stretching of the abdominal muscles force the lower back structure to handle tremendous upper body support duties.

To treat low back pain, use the Sciaticare Ball in a seated or lying position.  Treat the quadratus lumborum, gluteus medius and soleus muscles.  These three muscles are key to maintaining an upright posture.The erector spinae of the back can also be treated as they also assist to carry extra muscular load.

3.  Upper back pain – As breasts increase in size, shoulder stabilizer muscles must work to keep the shoulder blades retracted.  Tired muscles in the upper back will cause one to slouch and lead to aching pain between and around the shoulder blades.  Since the upper back is easily accessible, there are a multitude of upper back acupressure and trigger points that can be massaged away using the Sciaticare Ball.

Use the Sciaticare Ball in a standing, seated or lying position.  Treat the rear head of deltoid, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, rhomboids, erector spinae, and upper trapezius muscles.  Take time and work these points often for relief.

4.  Foot pain – As the feet bear extra weight, the muscles are put under more pressure during walking.  Keeping the lower leg and foot muscles loose and supple will reduce the heart’s effort in pumping blood throughout.  The benefits gained from treating the lower leg and feet are tremendous, such as: lowered blood pressure, improved lymphatic drainage (less edema and swelling), reduced fatigue, alleviated plantar fasciitis and foot pain.

Treat these muscles with the Sciaticare Ball in a standing, seated, or lying position.  Roll the arches of the foot on the ball to treat intrinsic foot muscles.  Treat the popliteus, gastrocnemius and soleus muscles while sitting on the floor with the legs straight out in front.  Daily deactivation of these muscles will do much to improve overall health during pregnancy.

5.  Neck pain –  With the entire spinal column curving to accommodate a baby, the cervical spine must adapt as well.  Thus, neck pain can often become an additional burden during pregnancy.  If neck muscles get tight enough, they can contribute to sleep problems (insomnia), headaches, and balance issues.

The easiest way to treat the neck muscles with the Sciaticare Ball is to lay down on the floor and cup the ball with the hands.  Place the Ball behind the neck and use the hands to push the ball into the acupressure or trigger points in the back of the neck from the base of the skull down to the shoulders.  Treat the suboccipital muscles, levator scapulae, and upper trapezius muscles.

  

The Sciaticare Ball is a wonderful addition to an overall prenatal program and gives the pregnant mother the power to treat some of her conditions herself and in the privacy of her own home.  With the valuable reward of learning how to focus on her own health, the mother can become more in tune with herself and her baby during the entire prenatal period. The Sciaticare Ball can also be used in conjunction with a mother’s alternative health care provider’s natural and drug-free prenatal treatment plan.

For more information, or to find out how to use the Sciaticare Ball, please visit us at:

http://www.augustpoint.com

Related Links:

Effective Pregnancy Hemorrhoid Acupuncture Points (augustpoint.wordpress.com)

Treat Your Piriformis and Sciatic Pain Naturally

So, you go for a walk and your sciatic pain flares up.  You sit for a long period and your sciatic pain flares up.  You lay in bed a few minutes and your sciatic pain flares up.  What gives?  Chances are that your sciatic pain is caused by a deep hip rotator muscle called the piriformis.

The piriformis muscle is a pear-shaped muscle used in the external rotation of the hips.  It is one of six deep muscles that aid in turning the hips outward, or laterally.  Lying underneath the gluteus maximus muscle, it cannot be palpated without deep pressure from the hands.  The location of the piriformis in the hip and its proximity to the sciatic nerve is what makes this muscle a source of what we call muscle-induced sciatic pain.

The external rotator muscles are constantly working for us.  These muscles are used in activities such as walking, running, cycling, etc.  We are using the external rotators all the time.  Overuse, trauma, and lack of flexibility cause the piriformis to get tight.  Positioned close to the sciatic nerve, a tight piriformis muscle can rub the sciatic nerve, causing irritation and compression similar to the feeling of a lumbar disc problem.  It is this interaction of the piriformis muscle with the sciatic nerve that can cause sciatica.  Tingling and numbness, sharp shooting pain down the back of the leg, weakness in the lower limbs are all products of this type of sciatica, also known as piriformis syndrome.

You can check the tightness in your piriformis and external rotator group muscles by finding a flat surface and lying down on your back.  Look at your feet and see how far outwards your toes point.  With the neutral position being toes pointing straight upwards, the average position of the feet should be approximately 30-40 degrees externally rotated.  A larger angle could signify a tight piriformis muscle.  Therefore, a treatment plan should be made to relieve the sciatica possibly caused by the piriformis.  Natural treatment options for piriformis syndrome include massage therapy, acupuncture, stretching, and strength training.

The way I treat piriformis syndrome in my clinic is with a combination of acupuncture, massage therapy, stretching.  I also like to send the patient home with the Sciaticare Ball along with a list of instructions on how to use the Ball for piriformis syndrome.  Finally, a few stretches are given to the patient to help them get back on their feet quickly.

A typical piriformis treatment at the August Point Wellness Center would be:

  • AcupuncturePiriformis Motor Point (MP), Gluteus Medius MP, Gluteus Minimus MP, Tensor Fasciae Latae MP, Hua To Jia Ji L2-L5, GB30, GB21
  • Massage – Quadratus Lumborum, Gluteus Muscle Group, External Rotator Muscle Group
  • Stretching – Hip External Rotation, Hip Extension, Hip Flexion
  • Sciaticare Ball – Recommend 1-2 times daily Sciaticare Ball treatment using:  Piriformis, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, & Tensor Fasciae Latae Techniques