The sciatic nerve is a long nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of the legs and into the feet. When the sciatic nerve can becomes inflamed or pinched you will experience sciatic pain. In addition to pain, sometimes persistent pressure on the sciatic nerve can result in weakness in the leg or surrounding areas, numbness and tingling.
Many women develop sciatica during pregnancy. In our prenatal practice we see several new cases of sciatica of pregnancy every week. The sciatic discomfort typically starts in the second trimester, but I have seen cases as early as the eighth week. The symptoms are typically pain and stiffness in the hips and/or buttocks that gets worse at night (like when you try to roll over in bed) and may radiate several inches down the buttock to the back of the thigh. This type of sciatica is typically caused by a tightening of the piriformis muscle deep in the center of the buttocks.
Treatment outcomes are excellent, especially if you have not experienced sciatica prior to this pregnancy. Our suggested care plan includes a recommendation for moderate to deep tissue massage to release the piriformis muscle and gentle chiropractic adjustments to restore motion to the surrounding joints. Depending on the severity and your response to our care, treatment protocol includes three visits scheduled a few days apart. By the end of the third visit you should be feeling much better. Follow up visits may be required for maintenance, especially as you near your delivery, to ensure optimal pelvic functional on your big day. If you would like more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call (303) 431-8588.