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TK Pregnancy Pains You Didn't Know You Had to Prepare for and How to Handle Them

May 06, 2024
TK Pregnancy Pains You Didn't Know You Had to Prepare for and How to Handle Them

Perhaps you’re a first-time mom-to-be, bursting with excitement (and maybe morning sickness). Or maybe your little one isn’t little anymore and you start to plan your next bundle of joy. After 20 years as a chiropractor caring for pregnant women, I have centered my passion on educating and empowering women to have their best pregnancy. It’s important to savor, not suffer through, this journey.

I’d like to introduce you to the most common conditions that affect women EARLIER in pregnancy than they may expect — particularly in second+ pregnancies.

 Meet Linda Low Back Pain and Sally Sciatica

Take 20 pounds of weight, strap it to your body, carry it around 24/7; it’s plain to see why your lower back starts to ache. And once Linda is in town, there’s a good chance her “ride or die”, Sally Sciatica, is lurking nearby.

As the baby grows, your center of gravity shifts forward. This places more strain on your lower back and often results in pressure and compression in these muscles, leading to pain.

Lower back pain can come and go, be sharp or dull, or so severe you cannot walk. Sudden, extreme onset of musculoskeletal lower back pain can indicate a herniated disc or spondylolisthesis.

The major muscles of the lower back are the quadratus lumborum and the paraspinals. Underneath the lumbar areas are the sacrum and the ilium (pelvis). Where the sacrum and the ilium meet is called the sacroiliac joint. In that same area are the piriformis, the glutes, and the IT band. Sally likes to enlist these muscles as accomplices to wreak even more havoc on your lower back.

But, if you thought Linda was bad, Sally Sciatica can drop you to the ground. She starts out being a pain in your butt but then can affect your leg with searing, hot pain. Luckily, she’s typically caused by something more temporary than a herniated disc, but that does not diminish the impact on your life.

Herniated discs are common during pregnancy because of the ligamentous changes. A typical presentation for someone with a fresh disc herniation is lower back pain that shoots down the back of the leg, past the knee, accompanied by pain when coughing, sneezing, or laughing. That shooting pain is called sciatica; it's the result of that movement rattling the outside “Saran Wrap” layer of your spinal cord, which is full of pain fibers.

The pain eventually goes away in your back and leaves you with a toothache-lingering-type pain down your leg.

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