Can you get a deep tissue massage when you’re pregnant? Pregnancy is tough on the body. But many women are deterred from getting a deep tissue massage because of they worry about risks to their baby’s health. While it’s true that there are areas to avoid, expectant mothers can benefit greatly from the relief and relaxation of a deep tissue massage.
Prenatal massage experts know where pregnant women need the most attention and which pressure points to avoid. Visiting Your doctor Sometimes doctors are reluctant or cautious to recommend deep tissue massage for pregnant patients. This hesitation is usually because there is a wide variation in training amongst massage therapists – not all massage therapists are trained in prenatal massage.
This is why it is important to find a massage therapist who is trained and has experience with prenatal deep tissue massage. Knowing that your massage therapist has experience will allow you to feel safe and relaxed. Share your medical history with your massage therapists To keep you and your baby safe it is important to share your medical history and any pregnancy symptoms you have or are experiencing.
- A deep tissue massage is relatively intense and in some cases intensify morning sickness.
- Ask your doctor and massage therapist if you have been experiencing nausea, vomiting or morning sickness with your pregnancy.
- More seriously, if you have a high risk of miscarriage or a high risk pregnancy your doctor will likely advise you not to get a massage.
Conservative decision making is important when it comes to your baby’s safety. Areas to avoid and areas to focus on during your massage Deep tissue massage during pregnancy can relieve swelling, tension and stress. Some pressure points must be avoided though.
- Experts stay safe by avoiding pressure points associated with the pelvis, wrists, hands, and ankles.
- Due to the risk of blood clots during pregnancy it is also important to avoid deep tissue massage in the legs.
- On the other hand, a deep tissue massage can do wonders for your back, shoulders and feet.
Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on these areas. It is safe for you to receive a deep tissue massage in your lower sacrum area all the way up to your shoulders, which will leave you feeling invigorated and full of energy. The benefits The first and most obvious benefit is the physical relief associated with a deep tissue massage.
Lowers feelings of anxiety and depression Contributes to a better night sleep Stimulates the release of endorphins, which inhibit pain signals to the brain Increases blood circulation – delivering more nutrients and oxygen to mother and baby Helps to strengthen the immune system Decreases fatigue Reduces swelling in hands feet and ankles (without even touching them!)
Deep tissue massage provides an expectant mother with a myriad of benefits. about how you can safely enjoy the benefits of a deep tissue massage during your pregnancy. : Can you get a deep tissue massage when you’re pregnant?
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- 1 When should you avoid massage in pregnancy?
- 2 Can I massage my lower back during pregnancy?
- 3 Is neck massage safe during pregnancy?
- 4 Where should you avoid foot massage during pregnancy?
- 5 Where do you massage your sciatic nerve when pregnant?
- 6 Which part of the neck is not allowed to massage?
- 7 What can negatively affect pregnancy?
- 8 Can you use vibrating massagers while pregnant?
What are the pressure points to avoid during pregnancy?
Identifying sources of concern and relevant outcomes – Although there is no consensus on the full spectrum of forbidden points, 3 those most frequently cited as contraindicated throughout pregnancy (at least before 37 weeks) are SP6, LI4, BL60, BL67, GB21, LU7, and points in the lower abdomen (eg, CV3–CV7) and sacral region (eg, BL27–34).4 8 9 From a neuroanatomical perspective, there are two assumed sources of concern: (1) segmental effects on the uterus via somatovisceral reflexes; 10 and (2) inadvertent uterine penetration (eg, lower abdominal points).
The latter assumption is supported by the fact that some forbidden points are gestation-specific. For example, it is classically taught that it is acceptable to needle abdominal points above the umbilicus (eg, CV12) up to 12 weeks, but not thereafter.9 It may be argued that the risk of uterine penetration can be circumvented.
From a WMA perspective, if planning to needle myofascial trigger points in the anterior abdominal wall, one must be cognisant of the anatomical alterations in normal pregnancy, which stretch the rectus abdominis and render it much thinner such that needle depth and/or angulation may need to be adjusted.
If simply planning to stimulate the myotomes corresponding to the segmental innervation of the uterus at T12/L1, one could always take the alternative approach of treating at the same spinal levels on the dorsal surface of the body, completely negating the risk of uterine perforation. Alternatively one could pick up the sacral segments (S2/S3/S4) instead, by needling in the lower limbs.
It seems unlikely that uterine perforation occurs frequently, particularly as there are no published case reports. Potential concern regarding somatovisceral effects arises from the observation that needling at SP6 may generate uterine contractions and cervical change at various stages of pregnancy.11–14 Although it has been suggested that such effects could be harmful, ultimately they are only surrogate markers.
- Miscarriage, defined in the UK as expulsion of a (non-viable) pregnancy before 24 weeks gestation 16
- Preterm birth (PTB), defined in the UK as delivery of a liveborn baby (at any gestation) or a stillborn baby (after 24 weeks but before 37 weeks gestation):
- due to preterm labour (PTL), in which uterine contractions cause cervical dilatation resulting in delivery; note that although ∼20% of women experience preterm contractions, 17 <25% of them deliver preterm 18 and the majority of cases (>75%) are classified as ‘threatened’ PTL
- following preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM), which may reflect cervical change in the absence of uterine contractions 19
- iatrogenically, where the obstetrician interrupts the pregnancy because of specific maternal/fetal complications (eg, pre-eclampsia).
- Stillbirth, defined in the UK as the birth of a (potentially viable) baby with no signs of life that is known to have died after 24 weeks gestation.20
In terms of background risks, spontaneous miscarriage complicates at least 20% of pregnancies and 85% of these happen before 12 weeks gestation.16 PTB occurs in 7–11% of pregnancies, 18 40% of which (2–5%) follow PPROM, 17 19 and the incidence of stillbirth is approximately 0.5%.20
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When should you avoid massage in pregnancy?
Can pregnant women get massages? – Prenatal massages are generally considered safe after the first trimester, as long as you get the green light from your practitioner and you let your massage therapist know you’re pregnant. But you’ll want to avoid massage during the first three months of pregnancy as it may trigger dizziness and add to morning sickness.
Despite myths you might have heard, there’s is no magic eject button that will accidentally disrupt your pregnancy, and there isn’t much solid scientific proof that specific types of massage can have an effect one way or the other. Some massage therapists avoid certain pressure points, including the one between the anklebone and heel, because of concern that it may trigger contractions, but the evidence on whether massage actually can kickstart labor is inconclusive (to nonexistent).
It is a good idea to avoid having your tummy massaged, since pressure on that area when you’re pregnant can make you uncomfortable. If you are in the second half of your pregnancy (after the fourth month), don’t lie on your back during your massage; the weight of your baby and uterus can compress blood vessels and reduce circulation to your placenta, creating more problems than any massage can cure.
And don’t expect deep tissue work on your legs during a prenatal massage. While gentle pressure is safe (and can feel heavenly!), pregnant women are particularly susceptible to blood clots, which deep massage work can dislodge. That, in turn, can be risky. On other body parts, the pressure can be firm and as deep or as gentle as you’d like.
Always communicate with your therapist about what feels good — and if something starts to hurt. Another thing to keep in mind: While any massage therapist can, theoretically, work on pregnant women, it’s best to go to a specialist who has a minimum of 16 hours of advanced training in maternal massage.
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Can I massage my lower back during pregnancy?
Getting a massage can mean different things – a blissful luxury, an acute stress management technique, an injury recovery strategy, or, in the case of pregnancy-related backaches, a self-care regimen directed at relieving pain. But is massage safe during pregnancy? Some scientific studies have shown that massage therapy can do lots of things that pregnant women want and need: It can help with sleep and improve mood, reduce edema (joint swelling) by increasing circulation and moving fluid in the body, and relieve nerve pain, including sciatic nerve pain, by relaxing the muscles that can clench and tighten around nerves and compress them.
Pregnant women who are interested in massage therapy should adopt a safety-first approach and see only therapists who have been trained and certified in prenatal massage techniques. The American Pregnancy Association maintains a list of recommended massage therapists, and your doctor might also have suggestions for qualified therapists in your area.
Mary Rosser, M.D., Ph.D., an ob-gyn at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, recommends certified prenatal massage therapists to her patients but says it’s safest to wait until after the pregnancy has passed the first-trimester mark. “The first trimester is the critical time when everything is starting to form,” she says.
- Many people aren’t comfortable in the first trimester anyway; they’re just not feeling well.” Massage time and money might be better spent later on when first-trimester discomfort has passed and any back pain issues start to show themselves in earnest.
- RELATED : Reflexology Massage During Pregnancy Always stick with the Swedish massage technique, which involves long strokes over tight muscles.
It’s best to avoid deep tissue massage and other techniques that might pose a circulation or blood pressure risk, especially when massaging the calves and legs. (Remember, a woman’s blood volume doubles during pregnancy.) Make sure the prenatal massage therapist you consult places your pregnant body in a safe, comfortable position.
A side-lying position, supported with pillows if necessary, is usually the best way to lie down on a massage table. After 22 weeks, lying on your back should be avoided because it can put pressure on a deep blood vessel that is important for carrying blood and nutrients to your baby. If you have a high-risk pregnancy or high blood pressure, or you experience sudden swelling, speak to your doctor before scheduling any prenatal massage.
Massage therapy for lower back, pelvic, or sciatic nerve pain in pregnancy may not be the best first line of defense for everyone. Colleen Fitzgerald, M.D., the medical director for the Chronic Pelvic Pain Program at the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois, believes massage therapy should be an adjunct treatment to other methods, such as physical therapy.
Although it may provide short-term relief for daily aches, she cautions that “massage can sometimes worsen their pain” as “some patients in moderate to severe pain have heightened sensitivity to pressure in the muscles of the pelvic girdle.” Always check with your doctor first to see if the massage is right for your body.
If it is, you can relax and enjoy a prenatal massage with a certified therapist. Your lower back may thank you!
14 Remedies for Pregnancy Back Pain
Holly Lebowitz Rossi writes the Parents News Now blog for Parents.com, and she is the co-author, with yoga teacher Liz Owen, of Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back: A Practical Guide to Developing Strength and Relieving Pain.
Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back by Liz Owen and Holly Lebowitz Rossi
Is neck massage safe during pregnancy?
So, Is It Truly Safe for Pregnant Women to Get a Massage? – Neck massages are safe for women who are pregnant. In fact, they provide many benefits that make it easier for mothers-to-be to endure their months of pregnancy. However, while neck massages are not dangerous for expecting mothers, you should ask your doctor about getting a massage before you visit a professional massage therapist.
Some techniques may cause contractions or premature labor. Additionally, if you have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure, or have a high risk of miscarriage, it may not be wise to get a massage. Some day spas avoid giving massages to women in their first trimester because increased blood flow can be harmful.
If your doctor says you can get a neck massage, make sure you choose a massage therapist who is prenatal certified. They will be able to care for your needs the best, keeping you and your baby safe.
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Is it OK to get a foot massage while pregnant?
– Foot massage therapy is the most common alternative therapy recommended for pregnant women — and for good reason. So, put up your feet and relax because you’re doing a great job carrying that baby and you deserve it.
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Where should you avoid foot massage during pregnancy?
Is reflexology safe during pregnancy? – As with any new therapy during pregnancy, remember to consult your practitioner before you begin reflexology treatments. Make sure that your reflexologist has been properly trained; several organizations offer reflexology certifications, but you’ll also want to check with your doctor for recommendations.
Don’t forget to mention that you’re pregnant before your session and ask your reflexologist how much experience he or she has working with pregnant women. It’s worth noting that research has not shown any link between and miscarriage or early labor. And evidence that massaging specific pressure points can trigger contractions is inconclusive.
Still, since the science is limited, it’s best to avoid any risk by steering clear of these pressure points (like the one between your ankle bone and heel) entirely. As in the case with, some reflexologists prefer to wait until you are out of your first trimester before they’ll work on you.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.WhatToExpect.com,, March 2021.WhatToExpect.com,, October 2018.WhatToExpect.com,, December 2018. Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy,, 2014.National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine,, January 2020.National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine,, May 2016.National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine,, March 2018.National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine,, November, 2015.National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine,, May 2018.
Was this article helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Find advice, support and good company (and some stuff just for fun). The educational health content on What To Expect is to be up-to-date and in line with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines, including the medically reviewed What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff.
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Where do you massage your sciatic nerve when pregnant?
– Gentle massage over the lower section of the back can help to relieve inflammation and discomfort around the sciatic nerve. A person should ensure their massage only involves light strokes and stops if it feels too strong or painful. When finding a masseuse, it is best to choose one who specializes in pregnancy massage or has experience in this area.
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Can you rub Vicks on your neck while pregnant?
Is it safe to use vapor rub while I’m pregnant? Yes, vapor rub is safe to use during pregnancy.
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Which part of the neck is not allowed to massage?
What are the Manual Therapy Precautions and Contraindications when working the Neck? The neck contains many structures whose locations are important to know for reasons of client safety. Many of these structures are sensitive neurovascular structures (nerves, arteries, and veins) that contraindicate pressure.
- Others are similarly sensitive structures that require gentle pressure.
- The majority of these structures are located anteriorly (Fig.13).
- For this reason, it is essential to exercise caution when working the anterior neck of a client.
- However, even though caution is called for, it should not prevent therapeutic work entirely, as happens with some therapists.
This is unfortunate, because anterior neck work can be extremely valuable, especially to clients who have experienced a whiplash accident in the recent or distant past. Knowledge of the anatomy of the anterior neck can allow work to be performed therapeutically and safely. Figure 13. Structures of the anterior neck. Many anterior neck structures are sensitive; therefore, caution is required when working this region. The thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilages, trachea, and thyroid gland are located at midline. The common carotid artery and jugular vein are located slightly lateral to midline.
- The brachial plexus and the subclavian artery are located inferolaterally.
- Courtesy of Joseph E.
- Muscolino.) Anterior Structures: Common Carotid Artery and Jugular Vein Most notably, the common carotid artery and jugular vein are located in the anterior neck, slightly lateral to midline, running inferiorly/superiorly.
The following are some general precautions/guidelines for work in this area:
- Avoid working on these structures. It is usually easy to know when the fingers are pressing on the carotid artery because a pulse can be felt.
- When palpating for an artery, it is usually better to use a finger than the thumb because the thumb’s pulse is fairly strong and may be confused with the client’s pulse.
- Do not palpate too deeply for a pulse because it is possible to compress the artery and block its blood circulation, thereby blocking its pulse as well.
- If you detect the pulse of the client’s carotid artery while you are working on the area, do not stop working. Instead, either slightly move your palpating fingers, or gently displace the vessel to one side or the other and continue working in that spot.
The Carotid Sinus Reflex In the common carotid artery in the anterior neck, the region called the carotid sinus (approximately halfway up the neck) contains stretch receptors that are located in the wall of the vessel. These receptors are involved in a neurologic reflex called the carotid sinus reflex, which can lower blood pressure.
The mechanism works as follows. These stretch receptors are sensitive to stretching of the artery wall, which they interpret as coming from high blood pressure within the artery distending the artery wall outward. However, if the wall is stretched or distended inward (rather than outward) because of manual pressure, these stretch receptors are fooled into thinking that high blood pressure is causing the distortion of the vessel wall.
Consequently, the stretch receptors trigger the reflex that results in lowering the client’s blood pressure. Although this can actually be used positively (e.g., intensive care nurses are trained to do this when a patient’s blood pressure is rising), it can also be seriously detrimental if the client is older and/or weak.
- Do not place pressure on these structures. Note their location in the anterior midline of the neck. As with blood vessels, it is best to avoid these structures altogether.
- If the client is comfortable with your working in this area, you can gently displace these structures to the side (be aware, however, that moving or pressing on them may cause a cough reflex). For example, if you are working on the anteromedial neck musculature, such as the Longus musculature This muscle is part of MUSCLE ANATOMY MASTER CLASS. Learn more. Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary. Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – art work Giovanni Rimasti ) The Longus Colli and Longus Capitis are members of the Prevertebral Group.ATTACHMENTS: The longus colli attaches to the anterior bodies and anterior tubercles of the transverse processes from T3-C2 and the anterior arch of the atlas (C1). The longus capitis attaches from the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C3-C5 to the occiput ACTIONS: As a group, the longus colli and capitis flex, laterally flex, and contralaterally rotate the head and neck at the spinal joints. ” target=”_blank”>longus colli, it may be helpful to gently displace these structures toward the other side to allow full access to the musculature.
- Avoid the thyroid gland, which is located in the lower anterior neck.
- Use only light pressure over the Hyoid Congratulations on learning the bones! Click here to learn the muscles with our Muscle Anatomy Master Class. Learn more Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary. Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – photography by David Eliot ) The hyoid bone is located in the anterior neck. The hyoid does not form an osseous articulation with any other bone. NOTES:
- The hyoid is located at the level of C3. The hyoid is the only bone in the human body that does not articulate with another bone. The hyoid is the site of attachment for many muscles.
Anterior view of the hyoid bone. Lateral (right lateral) view of the hyoid bone. ” target=”_blank”>hyoid bone. The hyoid bone is located more superiorly in the anterior neck and serves as an attachment site for many muscles. Although the attachments of these muscles on the hyoid bone can and should be worked, the pressure used should not be very deep.
Anterior Structures: Brachial Plexus and Subclavian Artery Located inferiorly and laterally in the anterior neck are the brachial plexus and the subclavian artery. These structures pass between the anterior and Middle Scalene This muscle is part of MUSCLE ANATOMY MASTER CLASS. The Middle Scalene is a member of the Scalene Group, which is composed of the: Anterior scalene Middle scalene Posterior scalene ATTACHMENTS: The middle scalene attaches from the transverse processes of the cervical spine to the first rib. The superior attachments are onto the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C2-C7.
A middle scalene is the largest of the three members of the scalene group. Although anterior scalene syndrome (a version of thoracic outlet syndrome ) is named for the anterior scalene, a tight middle scalene can also contribute to this condition.
” target=”_blank”>middle scalene muscles and then continue inferolaterally to pass deep to the Clavicle Congratulations on learning the bones! Click here to learn the muscles with our Muscle Anatomy Master Class. Learn more Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary. Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – photography by David Eliot ) The clavicle is one of two bones in the shoulder girdle (the scapula is the other). The clavicle articulates with: the sternum medially/proximally, forming the sternoclavicular joint. the scapula laterally/distally, forming the acromioclavicular joint. NOTES:
The word clavicle means key because the clavicle is shaped like an old-fashioned key. The articulation between the clavicle and the sternum (sternoclavicular joint) is the only osseous articulation between the bones of the upper extremity and the axial body.
An anterior view of the clavicle on the right side of the body. A posterior view of the clavicle on the right side of the body. A superior view of the clavicle on the right side of the body. An inferior view of the clavicle on the right side of the body. ” target=”_blank”>clavicle, If appreciable pressure is placed on the brachial plexus, the client will often report a shooting pain that runs into and/or down the same-sided upper extremity. This is likely to happen when doing deep specific work to the Scalene Group This muscle is part of MUSCLE ANATOMY MASTER CLASS. Learn more. Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary. Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – art work Giovanni Rimasti ) The Scalene Group is composed of the: Anterior scalene Middle scalene Posterior scalene ATTACHMENTS: The anterior scalene attaches from the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C3-C6 to the first rib. The middle scalene attaches from the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C2-C7 to the first rib. The posterior scalene attaches from the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C5-C7 to the second rib. ACTIONS: As a group, the scalenes elevate the first and second ribs at the sternocostal and costospinal joints. As a group, they flex, laterally flex, and contralaterally rotate the neck at the spinal joints. ” target=”_blank”>scalenes, Guidelines for working the scalenes in the lower anterior neck are as follows:
- Begin with light to medium pressure before transitioning to deeper pressure.
- If pressure on the scalenes causes the client to experience referral of pain or some other sensory disturbance (e.g., tingling) down into the upper extremity, slightly change the location of your pressure because you might be placing your pressure directly on the brachial plexus nerves.
Therapist Tip: Scalene Work and Referral Symptoms
Pain or other referral symptoms experienced into the upper extremity when applying pressure to the scalenes can result from pressure directly on the brachial plexus. However, pressure to the scalenes can also refer symptoms into the upper extremity because of trigger point (TrP) referral. Therefore, it can be difficult to be certain of the cause of the referral. Referral caused by direct nerve pressure tends to feel like a shooting pain; however, this is not always the case. Consulting a TrP referral illustration may help (see Chapter 2 for illustrations of TrPs and their referral zones). If your client’s pain falls within the typical TrP referral pattern, it is more likely that the pain is a TrP referral, but this is not definite. If the referral does not coincide with the typical TrP referral pattern, then you are most likely pressing directly on the brachial plexus and should move your pressure slightly so as to remove pressure from the nerves. When in doubt, it is always wise to be cautious and change the location of your pressure.
Lateral Structures: Transverse Processes The transverse processes of the Cervical Vertebrae Congratulations on learning the bones! Click here to learn the muscles with our Muscle Anatomy Master Class. Learn more Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary.
Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – photography by David Eliot ) There are seven cervical vertebrae (singular: vertebra). They are named C1 through C7, from superior to inferior.
The cervical vertebrae articulate with each other via paired facet joints and a disc joint. NOTES:
C1 is also known as the atlas (the atlas has its own glossary post). C2 is also known as the axis (the axis has its own glossary post). There is no disc joint between C1 and the occiput above and between C1 and C2 below (because C1 has no body, and disc joints are located between vertebral bodies).
Superior view of the seven cervical vertebrae, C1-C7, from superior to inferior (from top row left to bottom row right). Superior view of C5 (“typical cervical vertebra”). Inferior view of C5 (“typical cervical vertebra”). Posterior view of C5 (“typical cervical vertebra”). Anterior view of C5 (“typical cervical vertebra”). Right lateral view of C5 (“typical cervical vertebra”). Oblique view (superior posterolateral view) of C5 (“typical cervical vertebra”). ” target=”_blank”>cervical spine have already been discussed, but it is worthwhile to mention them again in the context of precautions and contraindications when working the neck. The transverse processes are split into anterior and posterior tubercles whose sharp points make them very sensitive to your pressure. If you are massaging the attachments of the scalenes or other muscles, it may be necessary for you to work the soft tissue attachments that are directly on the transverse processes. If this is the case, it is essential to consider their sensitivity and adjust your pressure accordingly. However, never use the transverse processes as contact points when administering a force to stretch or perform joint mobilization of the neck. There is no justification for this. Stretching and joint mobilization are better and more comfortably accomplished by contacting the articular processes and laminar groove of the client’s cervical spine. Posterior Structures In the posterior neck, be aware of the location of the Suboccipital Group This muscle is part of MUSCLE ANATOMY MASTER CLASS. Learn more. Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary. Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – art work Giovanni Rimasti ) The Suboccipital Group is composed of the: Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor (RCPMin) Rectus Capitis Posterior Major (RCPMaj) Obliquus Capitis Superior (OCS) Obliquus Capitis Inferior (OCI) ATTACHMENTS: The rectus capitis posterior major attaches from the spinous process of C2 to the inferior nuchal line of the occiput.
The rectus capitis posterior minor attaches from the posterior tubercle of C1 to the inferior nuchal line of the occiput. The obliquus capitis inferior attaches from the spinous process of C2 to the transverse process of C1. The obliquus capitis superior attaches from the transverse process of C1 to the occiput, between the inferior and superior nuchal lines.
ACTIONS: The rectus capitis posterior major extends the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. The rectus capitis posterior minor and obliquus capitis superior protract the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. The obliquus capitis inferior ipsilaterally rotates the atlas at the atlanto-occipital joint.
Two of the suboccipitals (rectus capitis posterior minor and obliquus capitis superior) have primarily a horizontal line of pull and are involved with the postural dysfunction pattern of forward head posture, Some sources believe that the suboccipitals are more important for proprioception than for actual movement.
” target=”_blank”>suboccipital nerve and vertebral artery (Fig.14). These two structures are located in the Suboccipital triangle RCPMin = Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor (not seen)RCPMaj = Rectus Capitis Posterior MajorOCS = Obliquus Capitis SuperiorOCI = Obliquus Capitis Inferior NOTE: The suboccipital nerve (C1) and the vertebral artery are found within the suboccipital triangle. Note that the greater occipital nerve (C2) exits inferior to the obliquus capitis inferior and then runs superiorly to pierce the semispinalis capitis and upper trapezius muscles, before entering the scalp, where it provides sensory innervation to the scalp. ATTACHMENTS: The rectus capitis posterior major attaches from the spinous process of C2 to the inferior nuchal line of the occiput. The rectus capitis posterior minor attaches from the posterior tubercle of C1 to the inferior nuchal line of the occiput. The obliquus capitis inferior attaches from the spinous process of C2 to the transverse process of C1. The obliquus capitis superior attaches from the transverse process of C1 to the occiput, between the inferior and superior nuchal lines. ACTIONS: The rectus capitis posterior major extends the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. The rectus capitis posterior minor and obliquus capitis superior protract the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. The obliquus capitis inferior ipsilaterally rotates the atlas at the atlanto-occipital joint. ” target=”_blank”>suboccipital triangle, the triangular space bordered by the Rectus Capitis Posterior Major This muscle is part of MUSCLE ANATOMY MASTER CLASS. Learn more. Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary. Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – art work Giovanni Rimasti ) The Rectus Capitis Posterior Major is a member of the Suboccipital Group, which is composed of the: Rectus capitis posterior major Rectus capitis posterior minor Obliquus capitis superior Obliquus capitis inferior ATTACHMENTS: The rectus capitis posterior major attaches from the spinous process of the axis (C2) to the inferior nuchal line of the occiput. The superior attachment is onto the lateral 1/2 of the inferior nuchal line. ACTIONS: Extends the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. Laterally flexes the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. NOTE: The rectus capitis posterior major lies directly lateral to the rectus capitis posterior minor. ” target=”_blank”>rectus capitis posterior major and Obliquus Capitis Inferior This muscle is part of MUSCLE ANATOMY MASTER CLASS. Learn more. Click here for access to the full Anatomy Glossary. Right click on the image for a downloadable file of this muscle. Use of this artwork requires proper credit to be given (Permission: Dr. Joe Muscolino. www.learnmuscles.com – art work Giovanni Rimasti ) The Obliquus Capitis Inferior is a member of the Suboccipital Group, which is composed of the: Rectus capitis posterior major Rectus capitis posterior minor Obliquus capitis superior Obliquus capitis inferior ATTACHMENTS: The obliquus capitis inferior attaches from the spinous process of the axis (C2) to the transverse process of the atlas (C1). ACTION: Ipsilaterally rotates the atlas at the atlanto-axial joint. NOTE: The name obliquus capitis inferior is a misnomer given that this muscle does not attach onto the head (“capitis”). ” target=”_blank”>obliquus capitis inferior and superior muscles. Further, the greater occipital nerve is also present in this region. Although deep tissue work in the posterior upper neck can be extremely valuable and may be necessary for the client, it is essential to take into consideration the location of these nerves and this artery when performing such work. Figure 14. Neurovascular structures of the posterior neck. The suboccipital and greater occipital nerves and vertebral artery are demonstrated. Caution should be exercised when working in the upper posterior cervical region. OCI, obliquus capitis inferior; OCS, Obliquus Capitis Superior This muscle is part of MUSCLE ANATOMY MASTER CLASS. The Obliquus Capitis Superior is a member of the Suboccipital Group, which is composed of the: Rectus capitis posterior major Rectus capitis posterior minor Obliquus capitis superior Obliquus capitis inferior ATTACHMENTS: The obliquus capitis superior attaches from the transverse process of the atlas (C1) to the occiput. The superior attachment is onto the occiput between the superior and inferior nuchal lines. ACTIONS: Protracts the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. Laterally flexes the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. Extends the head at the atlanto-occipital joint. NOTE: A tight (overly facilitated) obliquus capitis superior can contribute to the postural dysfunction pattern of forward head posture, which is a part of the larger postural dysfunction pattern of upper crossed syndrome. ” target=”_blank”>obliquus capitis superior ; RCPMaj, rectus capitis posterior major. (Courtesy of Joseph E. Muscolino.) Precaution with Extension and Rotation Motions Another caution should be mentioned, even though it does not involve an anatomic structure per se. When treating a client’s neck, be aware that many clients do not tolerate well any extension beyond anatomic position and/or any extreme or fast rotation motions. This is especially true with elderly clients, but it may also be true for middle-aged or younger clients, especially if they have recently experienced a traumatic neck injury. For this reason, it is always wise to be aware of this possibility. It is advisable to increase these ranges of motions gradually over the span of several visits if necessary. (All figure credits: Courtesy of Joseph E. Muscolino. Originally published in Advanced Treatment Techniques for the Manual Therapist: Neck.2013.) Note: This blog post article is the sixth in a series of six posts on the Anatomy / Structure of the Cervical Spine for Manual Therapists. The Six Blog Posts in this Series are:
- Introduction to the Cervical Spine
- Cervical Spinal Joints
- Motions of the Cervical Spine
- Musculature of the Cervical Spine
- Ligaments of the Cervical Spine
- Precautions When Working the Neck
What can negatively affect pregnancy?
What are the risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy? – Sometimes a high-risk pregnancy is the result of a medical condition present before pregnancy. In other cases, a medical condition that develops during pregnancy for either you or your baby causes a pregnancy to become high risk. Specific factors that might contribute to a high-risk pregnancy include:
- Advanced maternal age. Pregnancy risks are higher for mothers older than age 35.
- Lifestyle choices. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can put a pregnancy at risk.
- Maternal health problems. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, epilepsy, thyroid disease, heart or blood disorders, poorly controlled asthma, and infections can increase pregnancy risks.
- Pregnancy complications. Various complications that develop during pregnancy can pose risks. Examples include an unusual placenta position, fetal growth less than the 10th percentile for gestational age (fetal growth restriction) and rhesus (Rh) sensitization — a potentially serious condition that can occur when your blood group is Rh negative and your baby’s blood group is Rh positive.
- Multiple pregnancy. Pregnancy risks are higher for women carrying more than one fetus.
- Pregnancy history. A history of pregnancy-related hypertension disorders, such as preeclampsia, increases the risk of having this diagnosis during the next pregnancy. If you gave birth prematurely in your last pregnancy or you’ve had multiple premature births, you’re at increased risk of an early delivery in your next pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider about your complete obstetric history.
Can I get my ankles massaged while pregnant?
Can ankle massage cause a miscarriage? – Perhaps one of the worst prenatal massage myths is that massaging the ankles could cause a woman to miscarry or go into labor prematurely, and they should be avoided. There is no evidence or plausible mechanism to support this claim and perpetuation of this misinformation could potentially cause harm.
- The reason given is a belief in “reflex points” or acupuncture points near the lateral malleolus that allegedly correspond to the uterus, and massaging these points will stimulate the uterus, leading to miscarriage or premature labor.
- It is also claimed that massaging these points can induce labor.
- What does the evidence tell us? There is no physiological reason to believe that acupuncture meridians or reflexology points exist.
Consider this: if inducing miscarriage or labor were as easy as rubbing the ankles, unplanned pregnancies would not present a problem for women, and there would be no need to medically induce labor. While there is no research on the effects of massaging these reflex points with the hands, there is a small body of related research from which we can draw some conclusions.
A Turkish study of eighty women (Coban 2010) found that daily foot massage reduced edema of late pregnancy in the lower legs compared with a control group. No adverse effects are mentioned in the abstract.2 Meanwhile, a 2013 Cochrane review looked at studies using acupuncture to induce labor.3 The review included 14 studies with data reporting on 2,220 women and concluded that there was no difference in the number of caesarean deliveries between the acupuncture group and usual care.
Surprisingly, the length of labor was actually longer in the group receiving acupuncture compared to the group receiving usual care. In terms of inducing labor, there were no statistically significant differences. If acupuncture to the ankles on these “reflex points” did not stimulate labor, it seems unlikely that massage to the ankles would be any more effective.
Some massage therapists, on hearing this news, will respond that they will continue to avoid the ankles just in case. However, there is a potentially serious problem with this irrational response. Many pregnant women experience swelling and discomfort in their feet, ankles, and lower legs and specifically request massage to alleviate it.
Denying them not only withholds relief but may even cause harm. If a woman were told that ankle massage is contraindicated and she later has a miscarriage, she might later remember a time when she had rubbed her ankles and come to the erroneous conclusion that she caused the miscarriage herself and live with terrible guilt.
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Can I use a vibrating back massager while pregnant?
– An electric massage chair is just a chair, and you sit in those all the time while pregnant, so you might be wondering what the big deal is. Well, there are three main concerns surrounding using an electric massage chair during pregnancy:
The vibration could harm your baby.The acupressure pressure points could trigger early labor.If the chair has a heating feature, you could become overheated, which could hurt your baby.
Is there any validity to these concerns? In short, not really. “While there have been claims that a massage chair can lead to miscarriage or premature labor, there is no evidence that that is true,” says Dr. Romy Ghosh, OB-GYN with Austin Regional Clinic. “Massage chairs used as intended are generally safe when pregnant.” Let’s take a closer look at each potential concern:
Vibration. The vibration you receive from a massage chair is generally not vigorous enough to cause any harm. And even if you used the highest setting, there’s no risk to your belly because you’re in a sitting position. Acupressure. Likewise, the pressure applied in these chairs isn’t intense enough to trigger labor. In fact, acupressure labor points require steady pressure, not the kind you would get from a massage chair. Heat. Although the heat from a massage chair is probably going to be pretty mild, it’s always a good idea to be mindful of overheating during pregnancy, It is dangerous to raise your body temperature too much when you’re pregnant. That’s why things like hot tubs, saunas, and hot yoga aren’t recommended.
Overall, using a massage chair appropriately doesn’t pose much risk for a pregnant person. Stick to low massage settings and mild heat, especially around your lower back. For instance, pregnant people are allowed to use heating pads in isolated areas, If you feel yourself getting too warm or you feel faint, you should stop using the chair and hydrate.
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Can you use vibrating massagers while pregnant?
Is it safe to use a vibrator while pregnant? Simply put, yes — it’s probably safe to use your vibrator.
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Which position is harmful in pregnancy?
Lying down – Pregnancy hormones cause the ligaments to relax. As a result, you may feel uncomfortable, even in bed. Here are tips to help you cope:
It’s best to avoid lying on your back, especially in late pregnancy, when the weight of the heavy uterus can press on the large blood vessels in your belly. When lying on your side, keep your body in line, with your knees bent slightly, and avoid twisting. Use pillows for support behind your back, between your legs, and under your belly. Most women find that a firm mattress with a good pad provides the best support. To get out of bed, raise your upper body with your arms and hands to a sitting position, then move your legs over the side of the bed. Stand up slowly, using your leg muscles.
Can we press acupressure points during pregnancy?
– People have used acupressure for more than 2,000 years. However, Western researchers have only recently become interested in this practice, so research on its effectiveness is limited. Limited research does not necessarily suggest that acupressure does not work.
- Instead, it means that there is not enough clinical evidence showing that acupressure works better than a placebo or another remedy.
- A 2017 review found no clear evidence that acupressure could induce labor.
- In comparison with a sham control, acupressure did not induce labor, reduce its length, or improve its outcomes.
Another 2017 review also concluded that acupressure does not induce labor. The results of some studies included in the review suggested that acupressure might shorten labor or reduce pain. However, the authors caution that more research is necessary to establish its effectiveness.
- A small 2010 study found that using acupressure on the SP6 point might reduce the length of active labor.
- The 60 participants who had acupressure for 30 minutes during contractions spent an average of 252.37 minutes in active labor.
- The average labor of the women who received no acupressure was almost double this length at 441.38 minutes.
Acupressure also helped reduce the severity of labor pain. A 2017 study of 162 women assessed whether acupressure could trigger labor within 96 hours. The participants received either acupressure, sham acupressure, or no special treatment. There were no significant differences between the three groups, suggesting that acupressure neither induces labor within this timeframe nor improves labor outcomes.
A 2014 randomized controlled trial compared women who used acupressure point LI4 during labor with those who did not. Women who had acupressure experienced a statistically significant reduction in pain compared with those who did not. However, acupressure did not shorten the length of labor during this trial.
It is worth noting that even the research that did not find acupressure to be effective has not uncovered any risk to the pregnant woman or the developing baby. Therefore, acupressure is probably safe for most pregnant women to use under the supervision of a doctor or midwife.
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