Author: Natasha Castelli
Greatly Reduced Back Pain!
I have probably logged 50-60 hours at the Altwork Station each week in the last few weeks. Working that much is not ideal in any circumstance, let alone when you are pregnant and supposed to focus on resting, sleeping, hydrating, etc., but such is life. In moments like these, I am grateful not to have a physically demanding job, and in some ways, it is easier to be at work than trying to keep up with my kids all day.
Even outside of pregnancy, sitting at a desk takes its toll on my body. I generally have some level of lower back discomfort even when not pregnant as all the sitting I do tightens my hip flexors and my psoas muscles. Usually, I manage this with regular exercise and stretching along with chiropractic care. However, when you bring pregnancy into the mix, it all gets worse. Between the Relaxin hormone loosening my ligaments and all the extra weight I’m carrying, it’s even more of a challenge to keep back pain at bay. With my 2nd pregnancy, I had debilitating back pain to the point that I requested a wheelchair at the airport because I couldn’t walk long distances. It eventually became manageable with regular chiropractic visits, massage therapy, and one of those uncomfortable braces. This time around, I have been seeing a chiropractor regularly from the beginning with the hope of avoiding the same scenario. So far, I have had some back discomfort, and over the holidays (before I started using the Altwork Station), my sciatic nerve pain was flaring up here and there. But the other day, a friend was sharing her experience with back pain and pregnancy, and that’s when it dawned on me: I haven’t been noticing any issues with my sciatic nerve or back pain for the past two weeks despite three weeks of intense desk time! This would typically tighten up my whole body and leave me with neck and shoulder soreness on top of the usual lower back pain, but I was feeling good! I went to my chiropractor appointment, and when she asked me how I was doing, I was able to say “pretty great,” and only minor adjustments were needed, which is not my norm. Don’t get me wrong; I am still feeling all the intense pressure from the baby on my belly and pelvis. The waddle is real every time I get up to grab water or use the restroom, but while I am working, my body is getting a much-needed break.
Switching Up Positions
I have been experimenting a bit more with various positions and have found that I can sit cross-legged and just bring the desk up a bit higher, which has been really comfortable. I can fold one leg up on the chair at a time, cross my ankles, and more. I have never been someone who can sit at a chair for any length of time with both feet on the floor, so I appreciate that the wide flat surface of the seat/leg support allows me to move my legs around a lot. Did I mention my sciatic nerve pain is gone? Seriously, gone!
Tip: when lounged back, the baby belly makes the perfect surface to rest your snack, which is important since, let’s be real, big meals aren’t a thing anymore at this point - first breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, second lunch, afternoon sweet treat, pre-dinner snack, dinner, after dinner snack, and maybe a pre-bed snack. With my snacks an arms reach away, I can seamlessly snack while still lounging and working.
Guest Author Bio: I run my own accounting consulting firm and work with clients primarily remotely (even pre-COVID), so I spend most of my time in front of a computer. I normally teach accounting at the local junior college but am taking this semester off to get started on an online MBA. In my "spare time," I work with my husband on our family coffee roasting company, Wolf Coffee. To balance all this time spent in front of the computer, I also teach Barre at The Dailey Method Healdsburg. When I am not in front of my computer or teaching barre, I am running around (or waddling these days) to try and keep up with my four and two-year-old daughter and son. No rest for this pregnant Momma!