An expectant mother will experience many changes to her body during the length of her pregnancy. Many changes are to be expected; some, however, are not. One of those changes many women experience during pregnancy is a pinched sciatic nerve which can cause pain and discomfort. Here are some tips for alleviating sciatica pain during pregnancy.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that most people aren’t aware of the sciatic nerve, unless they have a problem with sciatica or know someone who does. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back into the backs of the legs and feet. When this nerve becomes inflamed, through injury or pressure in the back, the pain can be nearly unbearable. It can even cause the leg to be weak, numb, or to tingle.
While it is not uncommon for women to develop sciatica while pregnant, it isn’t a guaranteed problem that every expectant mom will have to face. Quite often, rather than the baby pressing on the nerve which causes the pain, the sciatic nerve is being pressed because of damage to a disc in the spine. Unfortunately, pregnant women often experience disc injury, so it’s not uncommon for people to expect the two to go together.
Symptoms for sciatica include:
- Feeling of pins and needles in the lower back, going down the leg, possibly the foot
- Burning or shooting pain along the back of the leg, buttocks, or lower back
- Lower back or back of the pelvis pain which may extend into the foot
- Numb feet or legs
What can you do if you develop sciatica during pregnancy? If you’re lucky, the pain or discomfort will subside on its own, which is often the case. Unfortunately, this may take up to six weeks to happen. A physical therapist may be able to help you by using manual therapy to alleviate the pressure and discomfort.
Your doctor or therapist may suggest specific exercises that will strengthen your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and pelvic floor muscles, which could aid in delivery. These muscles can also be used by women who have already delivered to help them maintain strength in these particular muscle groups.
Another option is to find a chiropractor that has experience with prenatal women. You may be able to find a chiropractor that specializes in prenatal chiropractic care, with special pillows or tables to make adjustments easier for them.
Try to be careful how you walk and sit while pregnant. If your posture is poor, learning to adjust your posture may help tremendously. Not only will you look better, you’ll likely feel better as well. Avoid staying in one position for long periods of time; exercise and stretch but not while you’re actually in pain.
Sciatic pain during pregnancy is not uncommon, but there are things you can do to lessen the effects. These are only tips for alleviating sciatic pain during pregnancy. Check with your doctor if you experience sciatica during pregnancy and follow their advice.