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Pelvic pain, sneeze wee and sciatica

- ways you can help reduce symptoms long term

Along with back pain and axiety, these are the most frequent issues people come to class with.

So, I thought I share my thoughts on things you can do when you feel either of these symptoms setting in, to help get things back on track...

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Although common, it's not normal to wet yourself when you sneeze.This essentially means when your bladder has urine in it, your pelvic floor is not strong enough to withstand the downward forces produced by said sneeze. You may be happy to tolerate it for now, thinking you only have a few months left of your pregnancy, so what's the point doing much about it now?

Well, it tells me there is a problem, because, well - read paragraph one again, ok?The "problem" won't go away by itself and I take a full body approach to pelvic floor rehab if you hadn't noticed, so doing a tonne of "squeeze and release" exercises to your vag may not make a lick of difference.

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Pelvic Girdle Pain or PGP as it's sometimes termed can include pain at the front, back or sides of the pelvis. So, discomfort at the pubic bone, groin area, outer thighs, hip bones and/or lower back/gluteal pain all falls under the umbrella of "PGP".

If PGP becomes really bad, you may be offered physiotherapy through your local hospital - speak to your midwife about this if you're pregnant, they may be able to help you get a quicker appointment, They will offer you exercises, or potentially tools like a support belt or crutches if your symptoms get worse, rather than get better. I've worked with a tonne of pregnant women with PGP one-on-one and in a group setting, and I can always find movements for them to do.

Mindset is huge with this one here, so if someone says a support belt is what you should do, you're likely to think it is best. It may provide you a teeny bit of relief, but it's not likely to help you find the root cause or make any changes to that. There is a chance that it will go at the end of pregnancy when there's less pressure on your pelvis, but it may no or might be replaced by other issues (e.g. pelvic floor problems or lower back pain.)

What you need is pelvic stability back in your life, and I can certainly help you attain that.

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The torment of a shooting/tingling pain that starts in your butt, runs down the back of the leg, all the way underneath the foot to the big toe.

Sitting down for some people aggravates it, so it's important for you to work out what it is that's causing more discomfort and do less of that for starters.

I generally advise against stretching out the gluteals if sciatica is present, because it can sometimes make symptoms worse.

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You would be doing yourself a massive favour to look at these areas:

Sitting better (if you must sit, or vary the way you sit eg floor sitting)
Standing better (I teach you how to do this in every class setting on my timetable, so no excuses)
Walking and moving more (but you need to learn how to stand better for you to be able to move and walk better, so you can sort of see how these things are indeed connected)
Strengthen your glutes (a huge role in relieving pelvic pain, sciatica and sneeze wee is building yourself a strong butt, which incidentally is linked to walking better - you see - I can find a tenuous link to everything!)
Release your hamstrings (particularly if sneeze wee is something you suffer with - it tells me your pelvic floor is possibly too tight)
Teach your core to switch on reflexively (which means you don't "draw it in" all the time, or at all - you let it anticipate and adapt to the load you're asking it to bear), and finally
Look at your breathing habits (because you can't get a reflexive core, if you're not breathing into your ribs, and breathing better can also help pelvic floor/core synergy too)

I know that's not a 'do 10 sun salutations a day and all will be well' kind of an answer, but in all honesty it's likely to go deeper than just adding some exercises to 1 hour of your week. The benefits that go along with looking at holistic movement in your actual lived life can be massive. I'd love to support you if you're ready to take responsibility and empower you to make positive changes moving forward. If you have symptoms that aren't going away with doing whatever it is you're doing I'm here to help.

Get in touch if you'd like to chat more.