Pregnancy-Related Sciatica: What to Do
By Sara Butler
Being pregnant isn’t as glamorous as people may think. Sure, the miracle of life is pretty awesome to be a part of, but the body goes through so many changes in such a short period of time that it can leave you feeling less than your best. Growing another human isn’t easy. Luckily, the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic are here for you. If you’re experiencing pregnancy-related sciatic nerve pain, then here’s how The Joint can help!
Sciatica: What is It?
That pain you feel in your buttocks and down one leg? That’s sciatica. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that branches off your lower spine, running across your buttocks and down each leg all the way to your toes. When you’re pregnant, the added pressure of that tiny human being cradled in your pelvis puts pressure on the spinal nerves, which can result in irritation and discomfort. Pregnancy-related sciatica can happen at any point in a pregnancy but is most likely to occur in the second and third trimesters when the baby is bigger and positioned lower in the pelvis.
Sciatica can be characterized by:
- Shooting pain in the back, buttocks, or legs
- Numbness in the back, buttocks, or legs
- Limited mobility due to pain
For pregnant women, the birth of the baby usually helps to resolve the condition. But what can be done until then to help?
What You Can Do
First and foremost, seeing the chiropractor is a great strategy. Since your ligaments and tendons loosen during your pregnancy to prepare for the birth of your baby, your joints can become unstable. Having a chiropractor in your corner can help to reduce some of the discomforts of pregnancy.
You can also help to reduce discomfort by eating right and getting a little bit of exercise. These things may not be able to prevent the onset of sciatica, but they can make it a bit easier to deal with. Good muscle tone will support your body better through the changes of pregnancy, and staying in the healthy range of pregnancy weight gain will help too.
Posture is another important thing to pay attention to, whether you’re pregnant or not. Slumping or hunching forward while sitting can put more pressure on the lower back, causing discomfort. Also make sure to wear flat, supportive shoes while pregnant to help support your body.
If you’re dealing with sciatica during pregnancy, talk to the chiropractors at The Joint today!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Jose, Calif.