Balance Blog

Apr 24th

Easing the Pain of Pregnancy Sciatica

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Sciatica pain is, unfortunately, quite common during pregnancy.  This condition occurs most often in the third trimester of a pregnancy, and the symptoms are usually pain in the back, deep in the gluteus muscles (buttocks) and down the back of the leg.  Luckily, here in Louisville there is help for pregnancy sciatica.

The pain occurs because of pressure on or injury to the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the small of the back to the feet. The changes a pregnant woman goes through can lead to sciatica: the uterus expands, the abdominal and rectal muscles separate, and extra weight causes the center of gravity to shift, often putting strain on the back and the sciatic nerve.  With extra tight muscles putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, the pain can be almost unbearable.

Certain pain medications are not an option during pregnancy, due to possible negative effects on the baby. However, massage therapy is a safe and effective way of dealing with pregnancy sciatica.  The pregnant mother can be positioned on her side, with soft bolsters between her knees, which helps to relieve pressure on her lower back.  The massage therapist will do an assessment, locating the source of the problem, then use gentle, direct massage strokes to relieve tightness in the muscles that are compressing the nerve. Professional massage has many clinically-proven benefits, including relief from sciatic nerve pain and anxiety, boosted immune system functions, improved circulation and improved sleep. The pregnant woman can choose to add aromatherapy oils to her massage to deepen relaxation.

Here in Louisville, there are many services available to help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy, including massage.  If you suffer from sciatica, don’t hesitate to seek relief!

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