Anticipating the journey of pregnancy brings with it a wealth of memorable firsts — from feeling the joyous flutter of your baby’s movements to envisioning the radiant pregnancy glow. However, the unwelcome presence of persistent back pain may not have been part of your ideal picture. While many expectant mothers encounter typical back discomfort, some find themselves grappling with the intense discomfort of sciatica during pregnancy. At ProHealth Oshawa Physiotherapy & Rehab, serving Oshawa and the surrounding areas in Durham Region, we understand the challenges of pregnancy-related pain and offer tailored solutions to help alleviate sciatic nerve pain.
Experiencing sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy is a common concern for many expecting mothers. At ProHealth Oshawa Physiotherapy & Rehab, serving Oshawa and the surrounding areas in Durham Region, we understand the challenges that come with pregnancy-related discomfort. Our certified and licensed Chiropractor, Dr. Natalie Daley, specializes in providing comprehensive perinatal care, including both prenatal and pediatric services. If you’re seeking relief from sciatic pain during your pregnancy journey, our clinic offers tailored solutions to help ease your discomfort.
Understanding Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy in Oshawa
Sciatic nerve pain, often referred to as sciatica, is a common occurrence during pregnancy. The increase in the hormone relaxin, which prepares the pelvis for childbirth, can lead to the relaxation of ligaments and changes in pelvic alignment. This can result in the sciatic nerve getting pinched or irritated, leading to discomfort and pain.
Identifying Sciatic Nerve Pain Symptoms
The sensation of sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy is characterized by a shooting pain that travels from the buttocks down the back of the legs. This discomfort can make daily movements and sitting challenging. Other signs include sharp pain on either side of the buttocks, numbness down the legs, or increased lower back pain when sitting.
Unveiling the Culprits Behind Pregnancy-Induced Sciatica
The emergence of sciatica during pregnancy can be attributed to a familiar cast of factors:
- Weight Gain and Fluid Retention: Well, weight gain is something that we expect to happen during pregnancy and healthy weight gain is a must for babies. However, the increase in weight and fluid retention places pressure on the sciatic nerve as it traverses through the pelvic region, leading to compression.
- Expanding Uterus: You’re growing a human in your uterus, so expansion is inevitable. The expansion of the uterus can exert downward pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower spinal area.
- Shifting Center of Gravity: Weight, fluid retention, and expanding uterus all of these will shift your centre of gravity. The shifting center of gravity caused by the growing belly and breasts can prompt the tightening of muscles in the pelvic and buttocks region, resulting in the pinching of the sciatic nerve.
- Alterations in Spinal Curvature: The growth of the belly and breasts can induce a shift in the lordotic curve (the inward curve above the buttocks), contributing to muscle tightness in the pelvic area and subsequently pinching the sciatic nerve.
- Fetal Positioning: Your baby’s position is not only important for labour and delivery but, also for your posture and pains and aches in your body. As your baby settles into the optimal birth position during the third trimester, their head can apply direct pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Herniated or Slipped Disc: Herniated disc is although less common, the additional pressure from the expanding uterus could lead to a herniated or slipped disc, which may contribute to sciatic nerve pain.
Expert Remedies to Ease Sciatic Pain
While complete relief from sciatica might only come after giving birth, there are strategies you can try to alleviate discomfort:
- Tailored Stretches: Our expert team at ProHealth Oshawa Physiotherapy & Rehab recommends specific stretches that target the affected areas. These stretches can include the Pigeon Pose, Bound Angle Pose, Child’s Pose (wide), and Modified Warrior Two Pose, which can help provide relief and improve flexibility. Other sciatica pain relief poses include Table stretch and pigeon pose in a chair however, you should always consult a qualified chiropractor or pelvic floor physiotherapist in Oshawa before starting any exercises.
- Sciatica Massage: Our Oshawa Physiotherapy clinic offers prenatal massages that can help relieve sciatic pain. Our experienced massage therapists understand the unique needs of pregnant individuals and can provide gentle massages to alleviate discomfort. It’s essential to consult your doctor before booking a massage and to communicate your pain to our physiotherapists, pelvic floor physiotherapists and chiropractor.
- Heat/ Cold Application: Applying heat to the area of discomfort can provide temporary relief from soreness. However, it’s essential to use heat safely and avoid applying it directly to the belly for extended periods. You can also alternate between applying heat or cold packs in order to soothe the muscle pain and make it more manageable.
- Pregnancy Girdles: Pregnancy girdles are known to provide support and help distribute the weight more evenly, which can alleviate sciatic pain. Our Oshawa clinic’s physiotherapist and chiropractors can provide guidance on selecting the right girdle for your needs.
Expert Perinatal Care at ProHealth Oshawa Physiotherapy & Rehab
At our clinic, we understand the unique challenges that perinatal discomfort can bring. Dr. Natalie Daley, our certified Chiropractor, specializes in offering personalized perinatal care, ensuring that you receive the support you need throughout your pregnancy journey. Whether you’re seeking relief from sciatic pain or other pregnancy-related discomfort or preparing for labour and delivery, our team is here to provide expert guidance and comprehensive care.
If you have questions or concerns about sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at ProHealth Oshawa Physiotherapy & Rehab. Our team is dedicated to helping you find comfort and support during this special time.