Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and rewarding stages of a woman’s life. Unfortunately, these nine months can take a toll on the female body. Among swollen feet, morning sickness and a growing belly, many pregnant moms also suffer from disruptive back pain. For some, it may be more than a dull ache in the lower back. Pregnancy sciatica is a common yet temporary condition, but it can involve piercing and searing pain during the final months of pregnancy.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It begins in the lower back, runs down the buttocks and branches down the back of the legs to the ankles and feet. When this nerve gets compressed or irritated, it can produce shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in the back or buttocks and radiates all the way down the backs of your legs. It is most often felt on one side of the body. Outside of pregnancy, sciatica can develop from a bulging disc, arthritis or spinal stenosis.
For expectant moms, the sciatic nerve can get compressed for other (more temporary) reasons related to pregnancy. This typically occurs during the third trimester.
Why Does Sciatica Happen During Pregnancy?
Considering the dramatic changes in a woman’s mid-section when growing a baby, it is not hard to believe how pregnancy can cause sciatic nerve pain. Here are the top culprits for pregnancy sciatica:
- Changes in center of gravity that stretches the lordotic curve, tightens muscles of buttocks and pinches the sciatic nerve
- Weight gain and increased fluid retention causing nerve compression through pelvis
- Extra pressure of growing uterus on spinal discs
- Baby’s head resting on the sciatic nerve as it settles into birthing position
How Manhattan Sports Therapy Can Help
While pregnancy sciatica typically goes away when the baby is born, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer from its debilitating symptoms until then. At Manhattan Sports Therapy, we are equipped to treat a number of pre and post-natal conditions, including sciatica.
Dr. Nemirovsky offers non-invasive, drug-free pain relief to target pregnancy sciatica, which may include therapeutic soft tissue techniques, gentle joint mobilizations and targeted stretching and massage. We understand what it takes to improve the physical and emotional well-being of both moms and growing babies! Call our clinic today to book your appointment.