How to Take Care of Sciatic Pain During Your Pregnancy
Sometimes, there are some things worth hurting for. Pregnancy, for instance, is no walk in the park. From the very beginning, expectant mothers face an onslaught of challenging health problems like colds, morning sickness, digestive issues, weight gain, risk of gestational diabetes, swelling, emotional reactivity, fatigue, and uncomfortable sleep…not to mention the grand, painful finale of giving birth.
However daunting the experience can be, pregnancy remains an amazing journey that is over before you know it—so it’s important to savour all the positive moments, exciting changes, and new experiences. To help you through the little hiccups along the way, it’s important to know that there are treatment options that help make things a little easier. If you’re suffering from sciatic pain, there are ways to help ease your discomfort. Fortunately, sciatica is not common and can go away on its own, but the achy, sometimes shooting pain can make it difficult to go about your day or even sit comfortably and should be treated. Here’s how to make your sciatic suffering more bearable.
Visit a Chiropractor
If your pain is severe, we recommend visiting a chiropractor who will provide effective sciatic nerve treatment. In some cases, pregnant women think they’re experiencing sciatica, when in fact the pain they’re feeling is in their pelvis. Your OB/GYN or family doctor will be able to determine if your discomfort is in fact sciatica or something else. Massage therapy and chiropractic care are great ways to treat your pain without medication. With a combination of treatments geared towards calming inflammation, easing muscle tension, and taking pressure off your sciatic nerve, you can avoid the unnecessary risk to your baby caused by medications. At Pacific Health & Sports Therapy, we will assess your pain and provide you with the best combination of treatment to ease the soreness and discomfort.
Give Yourself a Break
Sciatic pain during pregnancy can be caused by increased pressure or pinching of your sciatic nerve by the muscles running next to or over top of the nerve. This pressure can be increased by the changes in pelvic and low back posture caused by pregnancy. In some cases, an existing disc injury can also be aggravated by pregnancy and put pressure on the nerves leaving your spine. Pregnancy doesn’t cause sciatica, but it can make it worse. As you gain weight in the front of your body, your centre of gravity will begin to shift, which puts pressure on your lower back joints. This pressure on your low back combined with having more mobile joints can cause more shear forces to your spinal discs, increasing your risk of injury. Some tips to help your low back include taking frequent breaks and avoiding staying in one position for long periods, as this can tire your muscles quickly, putting more tension on your spine and ligaments. Light exercise in early pregnancy such as light swimming can give your muscles a healthy amount of movement without stress to your joints, while also strengthening your core. Applying a warm or cold pad on the affected area can also provide some temporary relief after a long day.
Always Support Your Spine
Ensuring that your spine is supported as its bearing the brunt of those extra pounds is very important. When you sleep, make sure that you’re lying on the side that’s most comfortable to you. Place a pillow in between your legs to take pressure off your pelvis, low back, and sciatic nerve and speak to your chiropractor or family doctor about something a maternity belt, a comfortable support belt that can be worn under clothing to support your pelvis to reduce pain. When you sit down, make sure your lower back is supported with a pillow to ensure good posture and shift your position or take breaks to walk or stretch to avoid stiffening.
No matter what you do, don’t suffer in silence. We know that sciatic nerve pain can be excruciating. There are ways to alleviate your sciatica without medication. Speak to your doctor or contact Pacific Health & Sports Therapy to schedule a sciatic nerve treatment today.