Yoga to Reduce Pelvic Pain during Pregnancy

Pregnancy has commonly been equated with pain and fatigue. In this day and age the pain ideology is lacking the knowledge of available techniques for easing and reducing pain during pregnancy. Prospects in Self-care approaches to health care have recognized that yoga and meditation can greatly relieve pregnant women of common labor pain.

In the research study, Effects of prenatal yoga: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials[1] it was determined that prenatal yoga has the ability to reduce pelvic pain, improve mental conditions such as stress, depression, anxiety, improve physical conditions during pregnancy and improve overall perinatal outcomes. Women who suffer from pain in the pelvic area commonly vary in discomfort, but there are those whose pain is categorized as debilitating. A major result of the study was that women who had been burdened by pelvic pain significantly reduced their median pain score by participating in yoga.

 

“It [Yoga] helped see me through everything— three pregnancies—just all the moments of my life, both challenging and good.” – Kazuko Okuno [2]

 

In another study, The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Yoga During Pregnancy on Maternal Psychological and Physical Distress[3]researchers also examined the effect of a mindful-yoga intervention on pain in pregnant participants. In a seven-week trial of Iyengar yoga, which consisted of accessing balance in the body that then reflects a balance in the mind, researchers reported that women in their second and third trimesters felt a reduction in their physical pain. Difference in pain was measured using a Brief Pain Inventory, which consisted of two dimensions—the pain intensity and pain interference with daily activities. The scale ranged from 0 to 10 where 0 would constitute no pain/no interference, and 10 was worst pain/complete interference. Commonly during advancements in gestation women felt an increase in pelvic pain in the second trimester. In the case of those women who participated in the seven week Iyengar yoga trial, their pain did not intensify.

 

YOGAChicago, a blog devoted to educating individuals on the practice of yoga, shares an article, Yoga in Pregnancy; Countless Benefits[4] written by Jennifer Barron Fishman. The article suggests that yoga practice during pregnancy helps women to feel calmer and safer. Fishman shares that yoga asana practice helped open the muscles of the pelvis, which is directly tied to easing lower-back pain in pregnant women. Ellen Curtis, a pregnant student of yoga shared that yoga helped her “avoid a lot of aches and pains…”

 

Pregnancy isn’t Painful with Yoga

Pregnancy does not have to be painful—it is a beautiful phenomenon that if treated with care can be the closest bonding experience between a mother and a child. Yoga practice is capable of lessening the commonly feared pain experienced throughout a pregnancy. The control a pregnant mother is capable of accessing by practicing yoga as a self-care treatment is revolutionary in modern medicine.

This article was contributed by Jacqueline Lantsman. 

Jacqueline is from Brooklyn, New York, and is majoring in Public Health and Justice and Law. She discovered her interest in health when recognizing the poor life-styles of her fellow New Yorkers. For the past 5 years she has been dedicated to learning about bettering the standards of living—from dietary trends, to limiting desk-bound routines. She currently writes for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and serves as the Self-care Committee Coordinator at American University’s, Students Against Sexual Violence. Her participation in the Yoga and Mindfulness Research stems from her interest in learning of the self-care treatments that yoga and meditation offer.

To read more about our students and to find out about the research they are doing, visit the Mind-Body Medicine homepage.

 

References: 

[1] Kawanishi, Y., Hanley, S., Tabata, K., Nakagi, Y., Ito, T., Yoshioka, E., … Saijo, Y. (2015). [Effects of prenatal yoga: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials]. [Nihon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health.5(62), . Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26118705

[2] Yoga Videos (2014). Kazuko Okuno (yoga instructor interview) be yoga Japan Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdax_6Ok8Cg

[3] Beddoe, A. E., Paul Yang, C.-P., Kennedy, H. P., Weiss, S. J., & Lee, K. A. (2009, February). The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Yoga During Pregnancy on Maternal Psychological and Physical Distress. Retrieved January 2016, from http://jognn.awhonn.org/

[4] Fishman, J. B. (2001, August). Yoga in pregnancy; countless benefits Retrieved from http://yogachicago.com/2014/03/yoga-in-pregnancy-countless-benefits/ ‎

Image Credit: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/276/276322/three-pregnant-women-doing-yoga.jpg

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