A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of working with local Fort Collins group Mamas & Company. They are a group of mamas and aspiring mamas (mostly new mamas that we worked with!) with a vision "to form a comfortable space where you can learn about your body, pregnancy, parenting, yourself, have fun, and lastly, connect." A fun group and we were honored to be asked to chat with them about the effects of pregnancy on the body.
We titled the talk "bio-mechanical implications of pregnancy" as I lack naming creativity. Despite the scary boring title, a number of Mamas still showed up! We discussed what we believe is the most significant change the body goes through bio-mechanically during pregnancy and the implications it has on aches, pains, and poor performance.
The most significant bio-mechanical change the body goes through during the pregnancy is essentially secondary to the abdominal muscles (especially obliques) getting overly stretched. This allows the pelvis to tilt forward and the ribs to elevate up and go forward. This bio-mechanical change is often the "foundation" of many injuries we see in mamas. Neck pain, back pain, hip issues, knee pain, foot pain, and even pelvic floor dysfunction can often be attributed to this change in mechanics.
Many mamas will have other bio-mechanical issues in addition to this, including asymmetries between the right and left sides that may contribute to aches and pains. However, with the vast majority of mamas, the first thing we need to address is the pelvic that is tipped forward with ribs that have gone up and forward secondary to the stretched-out obliques. Whether a mama comes in with neck pain, back pain, hip issues, knee pain, foot pain, or pelvic floor dysfunction, we need to address this part of the mechanics.
Top picture: Anterior pelvic tilt with elevated, forward ribs. Bottom picture: More of a "neutral" rib and pelvic position.
Below are the top 2 things we do with mamas. If you have pain or are concerned about your bio-mechanics, then schedule an appointment with your physical therapist. This is for informative purposes only. We believe every mama needs to be on a program to "get their body back" after a pregnancy and these are often the top two things we find ourselves doing. These techniques are adapted from the Postural Restoration Institute.
1) 90/90 hip lift with balloon
2) Modified all 4 belly lift.
And here are the Mamas makin' it a party with balloons!
Be ProAcitve. Prosper.