Pregnancy is an absolute miracle, but it can also cause additional stress on the body. It is important to be aware of the possible changes that occur during pregnancy and ways that you can help your body through the process. The typical changes that the body goes through include weight gain, a shift of one’s center of gravity and hormonal changes; adding back pain or sciatica to that list is not a welcome addition!
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, individual nerve roots branch out from the spine and lower back and then combine to form the “sciatic nerve.” The term sciatica is used to describe symptoms of leg pain, and occur when the large sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed.
How do I know if I have Sciatica?
Expecting mothers can experience burning, tingling, numbness or weakness that originates in the lower back and travels through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Typically sciatica will occur in one leg, and can result in sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk. Most would assume that sitting down, or lying down, will provide relief from the pain – but in fact, the pain caused by sciatica can be worse when sitting down. Symptoms can be infrequent and irritating, or can even be constant and cause you to lose normal function of your body.
How do I find relief from back pain and sciatica?
Physical therapy can relieve the back and sciatic pain experienced during pregnancy in only a few sessions. Treatment typically includes two sessions a week for 2-3 weeks. Your physical therapist will also educate you on various stretches and exercises you can do at home to help alleviate pain and discomfort. With hands-on soft tissue work and various modalities, experienced physical therapists can help you enjoy this joyous time of your life, rather than suffer through it.