Our ability to create new life, is one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts. However, growing a human being inside you can add certain physical and emotional stress. You probably mentally prepared yourself for morning sickness, mood swings, swollen ankles and even back pain, but what about sciatica? Bet you didn’t think your buttocks could suffer so much! It isn’t uncommon! A whopping 50 to 80 % of pregnant women experience sciatica.
During pregnancy, the baby’s position and the extra pressure exerted on your spine from its weight can easily compress the sciatic nerve located in your lower back. This results in various forms of pain that tend to radiate down the leg. Do visit our previous blog for an in-depth look at sciatica. Pregnant women with sciatica, and general back pain, do need to take extra care. The pressure on your spine will grow with your baby’s weight until they are ready to be welcomed into the world.
Working with mothers-to-be is always a highlight at Spinal Care Clinics in Brentwood. There is a buzz in the air and we feel lucky to be a part of this epic journey to motherhood. Back-related pains like sciatica are common but with the right type of care, these can be treated and even prevented.
Chiropractic care is often the first choice for any mechanical pain-related issues among pregnant women. This makes sense, as many of you will be looking to avoid painkillers during pregnancy and chiropractors offer a natural, effective and long-lasting alternative.
You will experience certain physiological changes. In preparation for childbirth, a relaxing hormone known quite fittingly as relaxin causes the ligaments to stretch, especially in the pelvic region. By the third trimester a women’s uterus, which is about the size of a watermelon at this point, will move from this pelvic region to the abdomen. As your centre of gravity shifts, you will notice that there is a deeper curve in your spine.These changes are tough to bear, but an experienced Chiropractor can restore your body’s normal state of balance through gentle chiropractic adjustments. This will alleviate the pressure on your spine and pelvis, which may also be irritating the sciatic nerve.
Stretching and yoga
Sitting for a long time could easily aggravate sciatic pain, so it’s important to stay active. Prenatal yoga can help significantly reduce back pain. It improves posture, helps with flexibility and prepares your body for the birthing process. Hip opening poses are especially good for sciatica. They work to stretch the muscles of the leg, buttocks, and hips decreasing the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Some poses may be more challenging or even impossible during pregnancy, so only go as far as you feel comfortable.
Water is your element
Your rounded body is currently wonderfully buoyant in water. This is because water is basically an active force pushing your body’s weight upwards. It acts throughout your entire body reducing any sciatica pressure and other strains on your spine and joints. Make the most of this at your local swimming pool and relax as your body moves weightlessly and freely.
The same principle works in a bathtub! So fill it to the brim (well, almost) and take this opportunity for some ‘me time’. Add a few drops of frankincense essential oil, or Epsum salts to reap the relaxing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Take it slow
Whether this is your first, second or sixth baby, your entire pregnancy months should be a time to focus on yourself and the coming changes. Aches and pains are common during pregnancy but don’t ignore these warning signals. If you are experiencing sciatica or any other pregnancy related back-pain, it’s time to listen to your body. Each pregnancy is different and many find comfort and pain relief in the simple knowledge that they are being cared for by a team of specialists.