Sciatica – an irritation of the sciatic nerve – is only experienced by approximately one percent of pregnant women, but for that small group, the pain can be excruciating and debilitating.
Weight gain, a shifting center of gravity, changing hormones, lower back pain, and stretched out core muscles can all contribute to the development of painful sciatica during pregnancy.
Dr. Mukai recommends treating sciatica conservatively and without medication or unnecessary procedures if possible, to protect the fetus. She typically prescribes for her patients a specialized physical therapy regimen focusing on pelvic floor function, along with wearing a pregnancy support belt.
Other ways to alleviate sciatica pain during pregnancy include:
- Regular stretching and light exercise such as walking or swimming.
- Avoiding standing or sitting in the same position for too long.
- Applying hot and cold compresses frequently to the affected areas.
To discuss your sciatica, or any other chronic pain issues, please contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mukai or another one of our board-certified specialists.
The complete article on Everyday Health featuring Dr. Mukai is available here.