Hi guys – Courtney here. Last week Amy talked about how our cycle might cause our ligaments to become a little more lax than they usually are, and this in turn can cause sciatic and sacral pain. Today I wanted to share a few options on how to help!

First one you may have heard of – Figure Four Stretch!

Although our sciatic nerve comes out of our lower lumbar spine, that isn’t the only area it can get pinched or have restriction over. Another common (but not normal) thing that happens if our sacrum is not in alignment, is it can cause muscles and fascia to get upset and have to start adjusting and compensating for having to help out more. Piriformis is one of those muscles that can get upset and tighten down and compress over the sciatic nerve.

The Figure Four stretch helps target this area, in this video I show you how to set that stretch up, and also a little added bonus if you feel you need a little extra – with also being mindful of not OVER stretching, if you know you are ovulating out in the first week of your cycle, you will have more of that laxity going on so take your time with stretching and breath during these times.

Bridges – bridges can be a great way to help activate the muscles around the sacrum, and also all the muscles all the way down the legs where the sciatic nerve travels, getting blood flow to these muscles/fascia and also may encourage sacrum back into alignment and pressure off the nerve. Try a slow 3-5 reps, and see if it feels like you get some blood flowing, remember this is more to just encourage blood flow, muscle relaxation and alignment to get the pressure off the nerve, rather than this being a full exercise sequence. This can been great during those hormone shifts, and even can sometimes help if you also get the headaches during those times as well, since sacrum and occiput like to copy each other.

Last but not least: the Ball – of course! Our trusty tool. It can be easy to forget about this simple but powerful tool we give you guys and I know it can be easy to forget about it as you are feeling better and finishing up PT, or have been done and graduated – but I want to remind you that this tool is something that can and SHOULD be used on a daily/weekly basis along with movement just for general stress/tension that is ongoing in our lives.

Our sacrum is an upside down triangle bone, place your ball right over the sacrum, if you cannot breathe comfortably while laying on it, slowly roll off of it to take it out and take out some of the air, and try again. Place over sacrum, breathe and melt for 3-5 minutes. This should hopefully relax the tight tissue over the sacrum and encourage the sacrum to go back into alignment. This video below is a great “how to” video for using the ball:

Let us know – Did you try any of these out? Message us which way is your favorite!

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