Caroline McIntosh-Iwasaki has a lot of experience helping moms get their bodies back in shape after pregnancy. Over the next few weeks, she’ll be talking about common injuries felt by moms and moms-to-be. Today, she covers sciatica.
Being pregnant is a wonderful thing, but it is also a major alteration on your body. And of course, all moms out there know that children require lots of energy, hugs and lifting, and cleaning up after. All of these activities, combined with carrying babies in-utero and labour itself, require significant strength, cardiovascular health and proper posture. Don’t worry, you can return to pre-pregnancy form and even have the potential to increase your fitness level.
Many pregnant moms find themselves faced with painful sciatica. What is it and how can you deal with it?
Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve, which comes from the low back and runs down the back of the leg, has been irritated. There are varying degrees to this condition which can be felt locally to the lower back and buttocks, or all the way down to the toe.
Sciatica has the potential to be debilitating so the key is to prevent it from happening. One of the most effective measures you can take is to develop a strong core. You may have heard of this term before; it’s when the muscles in the trunk of your body (the low back, pelvis and abdominals) are strong and in balance.
When you are pregnant, the weight of the baby pulls your pelvis forward and increases the curvature in your low back. As a result, your spine gets compressed and your sciatic nerve can get impinged. By keeping the core strong, you can reduce the pelvic tilt and maintain a slight curvature in your low back instead of an exaggerated one.
If you already experience sciatica, don’t worry it can be helped with specific exercises and treatment.
The best thing to do is talk to your health care provider. Some quick tips: try to keep walking as much as possible and do not bend forward using your low back, keep it straight and bend at the knees and hips.
PhysioWorks is a progressive multidisciplinary clinic offering physiotherapy, massage therapy, and active rehabilitation services to Kitsilano, Point Grey, and surrounding communities. Our team is dedicated to providing quality care through effective and customized treatment programs. For more information, please visit our website at www.ptworks.ca.
Originally from Ontario, Caroline McIntosh-Iwasaki RMT began her practice in 2002. Her love of Vancouver brought her here in 2007 where she now happily works and resides in Kitsilano with her husband and son.