Pregnancy Aches & Pains

Oh, those pesky pains!

As you may be realizing, there are lots of unexpected aches and pains that come along with pregnancy. Nobody told you, right? Well, experiencing pregnancy aches and pains such as stretching pains, sciatica, headaches, back pain and general aches and pains is usually quite normal (especially during early pregnancy). Remember, you’re growing a human being!

Types of Pregnancy Aches and Pains

Sharp, shooting pains on either side of your abdomen may result from the stretching tissue supporting your growing uterus. These pains may also travel down your thigh and into your leg. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to reduce the pain.

Sciatica Pains During Pregnancy

Because this is one we have been hearing a lot about and a hard one to avoid or rectify, we are devoting some more information on this ailment. Sciatica is caused by compression and irritation of the sciatic nerves. Excess pressure on any of the five lumbar nerve roots may also lead to the symptoms as they are the origins of the sciatic nerves. Sciatic nerves originate from the lower back region, travelling down the back of the legs before branching out to the feet.

What causes Sciatica during Pregnancy?

One of the most common causes is a slipped disk or a herniated disc (rupture in a spinal disk that causes the gel inside to leak out) due to the additional pressure put by the growing uterus on the sciatic nerves and the spine. However, slipped disk is not the only cause of the condition. At some point in the third trimester, the baby starts shifting into the birth position which may place the baby directly on the nerves leading to severe symptoms of sciatica. [1]

What Are the Symptoms of Sciatic during Pregnancy?

Symptoms are similar to those caused by pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Sciatica symptoms are usually more severe and generally affect only one side of the body. The similarity of the symptoms are so close that it often leads pregnant mamas to believe they are suffering from sciatica when in they really have pelvic girdle pain. The common symptoms usually include:

A tingling numbness that turns into a stabbing pain or burning sensation
Mild but pesky pain starting somewhere in the buttocks or lower back region before travelling down through the back of the legs to the foot

How Can You Avoid or Treat Aches and Pains During Pregnancy?

Here are some simple ways to alleviate pregnancy aches and pains:

  • Maternity girdle or a support belt
  • Warm showers
  • Exercises, prenatal yoga
  • Chiropractic care or physical therapy

Safe Solutions For Pregnancy Aches and Pain

What NOT to take while Pregnant and Nursing:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen sodium
  • Aspirin

Consult your healthcare provider prior to taking any medication while pregnant or nursing.
Always follow the directions on the package

*No medication is considered 100% safe during pregnancy and nursing