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Pregnancy and Sciatica: What You Should Know

Pregnancy brings many exciting new challenges, but one of the new challenges that may be less appreciated is back pain. Sciatica is a specific type of back pain that is much more uncomfortable than the ordinary aches and pains of pregnancy. Sciatica often feels like a sharp, shooting pain in your lower back and buttocks.

The sciatic nerve runs the length from your lower back through your legs and down to your toes. This nerve often becomes inflamed during pregnancy as a result of your center of gravity shifting and your ligaments loosening to prepare for labor. Although this is normal, it’s definitely uncomfortable. The providers at Beeson Wellness Center explain how you can deal with sciatica during pregnancy.

What causes sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve gets pinched or inflamed. Although this is most common during the third trimester of pregnancy, it can happen at any time during pregnancy.

The hormone relaxin increases throughout your pregnancy, which loosens the ligaments around your uterus in preparation for childbirth. This loosening of ligaments can cause your center of gravity to shift and can result in pinching your sciatic nerve. Though it may be uncomfortable for you, it doesn’t cause any pain to your baby.

Symptoms of sciatica include the following:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Leg pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling 
  • Weakness

The good news is that sciatica goes away after childbirth, but few women want to live with the pain for that long. Fortunately, sciatica often responds well to natural treatments.

How to treat sciatica

Sciatica is manageable with chiropractic care and natural wellness approaches. As a first step, we investigate the root cause of your sciatica to determine where the inflammation begins. Some of the treatments we use for sciatica include the following:

  • Chiropractic adjustment
  • Trigger point injections
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise 

Physical therapy is often particularly effective in treating sciatica, and you will learn stretches that provide pain relief.

In addition, you may also get relief from simple, low-tech treatments like taking warm showers, using a heating pad, and sleeping with a full body pillow to relieve the pressure on your hips and support your pelvis and lower extremities.

If you’re dealing with sciatica and pregnancy, you don’t have to suffer anymore. We are happy to help you get relief and to have a more comfortable pregnancy. Call the providers at Beeson Wellness Center, or request an appointment online.

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