Many pregnant women experience back pain. Sharp lower back and leg pain may occur as your center of gravity shifts, and ligaments loosen in preparation for labor. The pain can range from mild to severe but usually subsides with treatment from a provider who has experience with prenatal chiropractic care.
Sciatic nerve pain is most likely to develop during the third trimester when both you and your baby are growing in size. It can occur earlier, but it is uncommon. Most women experience pain on only one side, though it may be felt in both legs.
In this article, we will share with you some ways to get rid of sciatica pain during pregnancy.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a severe pain caused by sciatic nerve compression that radiates from the back into the hip and outer side of the leg. Sciatica pain is numbness, or tingling, or pain caused by nerve root irritation leading to the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk or bone overgrowth puts pressure on a nerve. This results in inflammation, pain, and numbness in the affected leg. Other conditions that can cause sciatica include spinal canal narrowing, bony growths, and nerve root compression. Pregnancy and tumors can both cause sciatica. When the nerve roots are irritated, the resulting shooting pain can be mild or debilitating, interfering with a person’s quality of life.
Although sciatica pain can be excruciating, most cases resolve within a few weeks of treatment. People who have severe sciatica and serious leg weakness may need surgery.
Causes of sciatica during pregnancy
We have listed below some of the most common causes of sciatica during pregnancy.
- Weight gain and increased fluid retention can compress the sciatic nerve as it passes through the pelvis.
- Your expanding uterus may also compress the sciatic nerve in the lower part of your spine.
- Your growing belly and breasts shift your center of gravity forward, stretching your lordotic curve (the dip just above your bottom). This can tighten the muscles in your buttocks and pelvic area, pinching the sciatic nerve and causing constant pain.
- When your baby begins to settle into the proper birth position in the third trimester, his/her head can rest directly on the sciatic nerve.
- Lumbar spine issues, herniated or slipped disc. A herniated or slipped disc caused by the extra pressure of your growing uterus could be the culprit.
Symptoms of sciatic pain during pregnancy
Discomfort of sciatica is not considered dangerous during pregnancy, but it can be a painful condition; the pain is mostly mild and appears sporadically.
Back pain is a common complaint during pregnancy, and it can have a negative impact on your quality of life. Sciatic symptoms include intermittent or constant pain in one of your buttocks or legs on a regular or irregular basis.
Your sciatic nerve begins in your lumbar spine (lower spine) on each side of your body, runs into your buttocks, and extends into the back of your thigh, ending just above the back of your knee. The sciatic nerve path from the buttocks to the back of the thigh and toe is affected by this condition. Burning, hot, or sharp pain is possible. Numbness, pins and needles, or weakness in the affected foot or leg are some symptoms of this condition.
In summary, sciatica pain during pregnancy usually occurs in these areas:
- Lower back
- Back of leg (raising a straightened leg will usually increase the pain)
Ways to relieve sciatica pain
Although numerous sciatica treatments are available, each pregnancy is unique to the mother. Some sciatica pain relief methods will be more effective for you than others.
Before engaging in any exercise or medications while pregnant, consult with your doctor. Because every pregnancy is unique, your doctor may advise you to avoid certain activities or medicines for your good. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, counter-pain medication, or chiropractic care for pain relief.
Other simple sciatica treatments that may benefit you include taking warm showers, using a heating pad, stretching, gentle exercises (such as yoga), or massages. Swimming may be advantageous because the water makes your body more buoyant, reducing strain and pressure on your joints and bones while exercising.
Can a Chiropractor Help With Sciatica?
You may be wondering if Chiropractic Care is safe during your pregnancy. Our short answer is Yes!
Chiropractic care is the non-surgical maintenance of the spinal column, discs, nerves, and bone geometry and helps with blood flow. It is the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints in the body, particularly the spine, to reduce spinal nerve stress and thus promote overall health.
Chiropractic care is designed to encourage your body to heal itself. Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive, non-surgical, and drug-free. The cause of your sciatica will determine the type of chiropractic therapy recommended by your practitioner.
A chiropractor can also provide treatments such as adjustments to force the disc back into place, ice therapy to reduce pain and inflammation, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to relieve pain. All these treatments can alleviate your pain and keep you from becoming disabled.
Many pregnant women want to know how many sessions they will need. While the number of sessions required is subjective, patients can be classified into one of two groups based on the number of sessions required: Patients suffering from an acute or chronic condition. Based on your sciatica condition, our experienced chiropractors will determine the number of sessions, techniques to use, and length of time required.
Other Treatments for Sciatica
When the nerve roots are irritated, the resulting shooting pain can be mild or debilitating, interfering with your quality of life. Here are some other treatments for sciatica.
Changing your sleep position.
People are more likely to experience sciatic nerve pain if their spinal discs are out of alignment. People can alleviate this condition by being mindful of their sleeping position.
Be mindful of your posture.
Many people sit all day at work and must be aware of how they sit to avoid sciatic nerve pain. To relieve spinal pressure, keep your back and buttocks against the chair. Furthermore, getting up now and then for a short walk or even a hamstring stretch can help relieve sciatic nerve pain.
Seeking Medical Care.
Several types of medication can be prescribed to treat sciatic nerve pain. Sometimes a doctor will treat sciatic nerve pain by injecting a steroid medication into the space around the spinal nerve.
Every pregnancy is unique. We recommend you discuss with your medical provider the best treatment option for your pain.
Contact Deep Roots Health Center to Schedule an Appointment Today
Are you looking for a chiropractor who can help you finally live pain-free?
Deep Roots Health Center is here to help! We specialize in Neurological-Based Chiropractic care and can help with various issues, including back pain, neck pain, headaches & migraines, sleep problems, asthma & allergies, posture correction, sciatica & disc bulge, and pregnancy back pain.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see how we can help you get to better health!
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