Pregnancy comes with a lot of changes to the body. While most are miraculous and wonderful, some can be painful and scary. Having sciatica while pregnant is one of those. Early into pregnancy, you may find yourself with numb and tingly toes, shooting pains down the back of your legs, and pain while walking, standing or sitting. This is sciatica and it is a common symptom of pregnancy, and something we treat every day here at Maternal Massage.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve runs through your glutes and down your leg. Unfortunately, this can be easily impinged or pinched. This can be done by a herniated or bulging disc, degenerative disc disease, acute injury and… pregnancy. During pregnancy, the pelvis shifts to accommodate a growing baby. Naturally, the muscles attached to the pelvis will stretch and tighten, literally pinching the nerve surrounding it. Tight low back muscles putting pressure on nerve roots, hypertonic (residual tension) glutes, and gravity pulling the belly down all contribute to sciatica while pregnant.
How can prenatal massage help with sciatica?
Prenatal massage for sciatica will focus on the low back, hips and glutes. We do this in order to loosen and warm the muscles. While many people think sciatica comes just from the low back, it is important to work the entire area. We do this because a tight hamstring can pull on the muscles of the glutes and low back. Which can lead to sciatica pain returning quickly. Stretches that rotate these muscles may also be utilized to help loosen the low back/hip area.
While laying face up on the table, our pregnant clients are propped up by soft wedges under their back. We also utilize comfy bolsters under the knees and ankles. This is all done to remove pressure off the low back and relieve some of the gravity pulling the belly down. Massage also releases pain fighting endorphins. This means some women may find instant pain relief.
However, it may require more than one session to relieve this pain. One massage simply won’t keep the sciatica at bay. Not only do we constantly do things that take us out of alignment (i.e. driving, texting, holding a baby on our hip…), but pregnancy progression takes its toll on the soft tissues of the body. Regular massage not only helps Mom maintain a healthy hormonal balance, but she will find herself moving a little easier and sleeping a little better. Also, ask your massage therapist for some stretches that you can do at home to help with sciatica symptoms.
Just because sciatica is a common symptom of pregnancy, doesn’t mean you need to endure the aches and pains! Call 385-351-5626 or CLICK HERE to book your appointment!