If you have lower back pain or sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy, you’re not alone. According to an article entitled Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain at the National Library of Medicine, between 25 and 90 percent of women experience some type of lower back pain while pregnant. The prevailing statistic that is often cited is that 50 percent of pregnant women experience back pain. Of those women, about 1 percent experience sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy, which occurs when pressure is put on the sciatic nerve. Let’s take a look at how chiropractic care can help with pregnancy-related back pain and sciatic nerve pain.
Understanding Sciatica During Pregnancy
Sciatica pain during pregnancy can be caused by a few issues, including:
- Herniated or Bulging Discs – Occurs when the soft, jelly-like disc that cushions the vertebrae bulges or slips out of place.
- Piriformis Syndrome – The Piriformis is a muscle in the buttocks. If it becomes unusually tight or starts to spasm, it can result in sciatic nerve pain.
- Spinal Stenosis – This is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the nerve roots.
- Spondylolisthesis – This condition occurs when one vertebra moves forward in relation to the one below it.
Symptoms of Pregnancy-Related Sciatica
The symptoms of pregnancy-related sciatica can last well after the baby is born. Back pain is listed as the number one cause of women requesting sick leave after the birth of a child. For women who experience lower back pain during pregnancy, it usually starts between the 20th and 28th week. Once the baby is born, 38 percent of women still have lower back three months later, and 13.8 percent of women still have lower back pain 12 months later, according to Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain at the National Library of Medicine. Symptoms can include:
- Continuous or intermittent pain down one or both legs
- A shooting, sharp, burning, or stabbing pain in the lower back or down one or both legs
- A sensation of pins and needles or numbness in one or both legs or feet
- Problems with walking, standing upright, or sitting
The Role of Chiropractic Care in Managing Pregnancy-Related Sciatica
Chiropractic care can help women manage their lower back pain and sciatica pain during pregnancy. Chiropractic care focuses on naturally treating pain by correcting subluxations, which are slight misalignments of the joints. Properly aligned joints experience a greater range of motion. There is less inflammation in the area, less compression of the nerves, and lower levels of pain.
Prenatal chiropractic usually involves the use of gentle chiropractic manipulations or adjustments. They are performed on a special table that helps perform the adjustment and avoids placing unneeded pressure on the abdomen. Pillows may also be used to ensure comfort.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Managing Sciatica During Pregnancy
Sciatica pain relief during pregnancy is possible and generally considered safe. This is because prenatal chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to health and wellness that is tailored for the expectant mother. The primary benefits of prenatal chiropractic care include:
- A more comfortable pregnancy
- Reduced instances of nausea
- Lower levels of back and neck pain
- Improved spinal alignment and nerve function
- Better overall quality of life and feelings of well-being
Techniques and Approaches Used in Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy-Related Sciatica
Chiropractic care seeks a comprehensive approach to health and wellness. Treatments for expectant mothers can include spinal adjustments, pelvic stabilization exercises, soft tissue therapies and stretches, and lifestyle changes that are specific for expectant mothers.
- Chiropractic Adjustments – At North East Chiropractic Center, we used an instrument called an Activator. This delivers quick, low-force pulses to the area that needs to be adjusted.
- Pelvic Stabilization Exercises – Pelvic stabilization exercises can help strengthen your lateral hips, glutes, and lower back.
- Soft Tissue Therapies – Soft tissue therapies can include massage therapy, yoga, soft tissue release, and trigger point therapy as well as stretching.
- Lifestyle Adjustments – We’ll recommend some modifications for performing everyday activities and some activities to avoid while you’re pregnant.
Safety Considerations and Precautions
Safety is a paramount concern for expectant mothers seeking chiropractic care. It is natural to have questions and concerns about the safety of spinal adjustments during pregnancy. However, it is important to note that chiropractors undergo extensive training and have expertise in providing care for pregnant women.
Chiropractors employ specialized techniques and adaptations to ensure the safety and comfort of pregnant patients. Gentle adjustments, the use of specialized equipment, and positioning modifications are some of the measures taken to accommodate the unique needs of expectant mothers.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is generally considered safe. It’s always a good idea to make sure your chiropractor has had some advanced training when it comes to performing adjustments and treating pregnant women.
When it comes to safety, it’s essential that you feel comfortable and are physically comfortable during the session. Before the session, our chiropractor will ask you about any pre-existing conditions and answer your questions about prenatal chiropractic treatments.
Our prenatal chiropractic care involves holistic treatment methods that do not use invasive procedures or medications. When we perform chiropractic adjustments, we use an actuator and a specially designed table to reduce the amount of pressure needed for the adjustment. We also take the time to make sure you are completely comfortable.
Prioritizing Maternal Well-being with Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy
Sciatica during pregnancy can be a challenging and painful condition that affects the daily life of expectant mothers. However, chiropractic care offers a safe and effective approach to managing this discomfort. By providing pain relief, improving spinal alignment and nerve function, and enhancing overall well-being, chiropractic care can make a significant difference in the quality of life for pregnant women.
If you are experiencing sciatica during pregnancy, consider consulting a chiropractor who specializes in prenatal care. By prioritizing your well-being and seeking appropriate support, you can navigate this special time with greater comfort and empowerment. Remember, taking care of yourself is essential for a healthy pregnancy and a positive start to motherhood.
Prenatal chiropractic for sciatica during pregnancy is safe for women and their babies. It can help reduce your lower back pain and leg pain. You may even have a smoother delivery. To learn more about our prenatal chiropractic care and to schedule a consultation, call us today.