Sciatica, Chiropractic and Pregnancy – What to Expect

SciaticaPregnancySciatica – What is it?

According to chiropractic practices, Sciatica is a common type of pain that affects the sciatic nerve which is a large nerve that extends from an individual’s lower back down the back of each leg. The sciatic nerve also happens to be the largest single nerve in the human body. It is composed of individual nerve roots that branch out from the spine in the lower back and come together to form the sciatic nerve.

A person who suffers from the condition may exhibit the following symptoms –

  • Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Constant pain on one side of the rear
  • Shooting pain that increases when the individual tries to stand up

The pain that is associated with sciatica usually extends from the lower back through the back of the thigh and down the leg. It often occurs on one side of the body. It can also be debilitating to some. The symptoms of sciatica also vary according to where the nerve is pinched. For example, an impingement in the lumbar segment 5 (L5) can cause weakness in extending the big toe and in some cases, the ankle.

Sciatica and Pregnancy

Sciatica is also a common condition in pregnant women and usually appears during the third trimester of pregnancy. It is caused when a woman’s expanding uterus ends up putting pressure on the sciatic nerve on the lower spine. The same occurrence is also known to cause lower back pain during pregnancy. The reason the condition occurs during the third trimester is due to the fact that the growing baby shifts into the proper birthing position during this time. This makes the developing fetus rest directly on the nerve which causes the mother major pain in the buttocks. The pain also radiates to the back and legs.

The pain can be constant or intermittent depending on how many times the baby changes position. However, the lower back pain may also persist after birth.

Fortunately there are ways through which a person might be able to rid herself of the pain. Some women say that a cold or hot compress to the affected area can help lessen the pain. Just make sure that the heating pad isn’t too uncomfortably hot. Getting off your feet and walking around can also help get rid of the pain.

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

There are also patients who have sought out chiropractic services instead of opting for spinal surgery for cases such as these. It is easy to see why. Chiropractic care is non invasive and relies on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

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Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: The Benefits

7004627103_10658cb981Back pain is a common problem faced by women during their pregnancy. This occurs when pregnant women put on extra weight causing extra pressure on the spine. Receiving spinal treatments can reduce such pains through chiropractic, and pregnancy issues like delivery can be made more comfortable and faster.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a conservative form of treatment that addresses the spinal cord, discs and related nerves without the use of surgery or drugs. It involves the adjustment of spine to align it back to its normal position. This reduces the spinal nerve stress which can cause various other health complications in the woman and later on in the child. Hence, chiropractic treatment addresses the whole body to promote health and well being.

Safe during Pregnancy

Many complications can occur during pregnancy that can be triggered by spinal problems. These complications can get transferred to the newborn, as they affect the nervous system of a mother. Babies can develop colic, breathing problems, allergic reactions, bedwetting, and neural disorders. The Webster Technique is commonly employed for pregnant women to reduce the spinal nerve stress and balance pelvis, ligaments and muscles.

Throughout the stages of pregnancy, specialized chiropractic care plans are devised to suit the patient. Research shows there are no known potential contradictions to chiropractic treatment during pregnancy. Chiropractic professionals are known to adjust treatments to better suit the body of a pregnant woman. They follow tables and employ techniques which avoid unnecessary pressure on the stomach.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Many medical experts recommend chiropractic care during pregnancy as it helps maintain pelvic balance. A balanced pelvis gives a baby more room to move into the correct birth position. This avoids some of the potential fallbacks of delivery. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing back, neck and joint pain
  • Reducing nerve stress to promote healthy development of the mother and baby
  • Relieving pressure from the spine and maintaining better posture
  • Restoring joints to ensure optimum range of motion
  • Reducing symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing time of labor and delivery
  • Stimulates optimal functioning of reproductive organs
  • Preventing potential cases of cesarean
  • Maintaining a healthy pregnancy

 

A visit to the chiropractic clinic begins with physical evaluations, and then a treatment plan is made, involving therapies, nutrition and exercise. Chiropractic care aims to provide comfort for mothers during and after pregnancy, and also ensuring their babies enjoy proper bone and neural development.

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Chiropractic Care to Relieve Symptoms of Pregnancy

Pregnant_woman2A woman has to get used to the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy for 38 to 42 weeks. There are ways to relieve such pain through medication, but they can pose potential side effects on the mother and the child. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, has shown to have remarkably alleviated the symptoms of back problems associated with pregnancy. Therapy, nutrition and exercise are the basics of the treatment that makes chiropractic and pregnancy go hand in hand.

Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

Chiropractic treatments are non-invasive and address the misalignment in the spine to alleviate pain. Studies have also shown chiropractic care to have no known side effects on pregnant woman and the innate child. It promotes development in the mother and the baby. The Webster Technique is commonly employed to treat pregnant women, as it tends to apply as less pressure on the abdomen as possible.

Common Symptoms of Pregnancy

Back pains are very common during pregnancy. Women put on extra weight during the period, thus increasing the pressure on the spine. This leads to nerve stress, which can halt the development of a child. Other common symptoms during pregnancy include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Morning sickness
  • Heartburn
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure
  • Swollen ankles
  • Hormonal changes

Complications That Can Arise

Dislocation of the vertebra, or better known as vertebral subluxation, can interrupt the nervous system and affect the ability of communication within a body. Subluxation can result in:

Nerve Tension – Muscles around the spine become tight and experience inflammation on areas with misalignment in the spine. This adds stress on the nerves, and these nerves lead to various parts and organs in the body, like muscles, glands and blood vessels. Neglecting nerve tension can cause degeneration in various body systems.

Body Imbalance – Subluxation in the neck can lead to head tilting on one side. The righting reflex in the brain causes lower cervical spine to bend on the opposite direction of the head tilt. This can cause one side of the pelvis to draw up, making one leg appear shorter than the other. The uneven distribution of weight puts more stress on the joints. Extremely painful for the mother, it may even cause problems for the baby to get into the right birthing position.

A visit to the chiropractor throughout pregnancy can help you get started with the treatment, and can make the pregnancy and delivery comfortable and faster.

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