Sciatica During Pregnancy

by Onward Physical Therapy | October 30, 2023 |
Sciatica During Pregnancy

Are you expecting a bundle of joy and experiencing the notorious sciatica pain? Let’s delve into the world of sciatica during pregnancy and explore what causes it. Buckle up, because there’s a lot you can do to tackle this discomfort!

What is Sciatica During Pregnancy?

Sciatica during pregnancy is a sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the leg. It occurs when the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lumbar or lower spine, gets irritated. This pain can shoot its way down your leg, affecting your buttock, thigh, and knee, and even reaching all the way to your foot.

Pregnancy’s Impact on Sciatica

During pregnancy, your body undergoes incredible changes as it nurtures your growing baby. This transformation can put pressure on areas that your body isn’t accustomed to. Your center of gravity shifts forward, necessitating more support from your spinal extensors and hips to maintain a neutral posture. Other factors like weight gain, increased fluid retention, the baby’s position, and even herniated discs can also contribute to the sciatic nerve irritation. (KEEP READING; YOU CAN FIGHT THIS)

When Does Sciatica Nerve Pain Strike?

Don’t be surprised if sciatica knocks on your door during your pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. If you’ve experienced multiple pregnancies, it might even appear earlier. But here’s the good news: there’s no need to fret because there’s a lot you can do to find relief and manage these symptoms!

Your Arsenal Against Sciatica: Finding Relief

The first line of defense against sciatica during pregnancy includes stretches for hip and lower back mobility & spinal control. These exercises are fantastic for relieving tension around the sciatic nerve. We’ll explore more strategies to make your journey smoother, so stay tuned!

Pinpointing the Source of Discomfort

Pelvic floor physical therapists are skilled at identifying the primary source of your symptoms. Armed with an array of techniques, including dry needling, soft tissue massage, spinal mobilization, and guided exercises, they’ll help you find the relief you need to stay active and pain-free.

Harnessing the Power of Strength

One of the most potent tools in your arsenal to combat the changes your body undergoes during pregnancy is strength. Imagine your abdominal wall, glutes, and lumbar extensors as your body’s secret weapons. The stronger they are, the more effectively they can reduce stress on that pesky nerve.

By working with your physical therapist, you can build and maintain this strength, ensuring your body is well-equipped to navigate the challenges of pregnancy. Get ready to embrace a more comfortable and active pregnancy journey where your body’s strength becomes your best friend!