If you are pregnant, have been pregnant, or want to get pregnant you should know that Sciatica or pain from the back down the leg is a common occurence. In today's blog I want to give you what I belieive to be the mechanism for that and give you reasons why you should visit a chiropractor before, during, and after child birth. The first thing that you should know about pregnancy is that you will start to produce a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin is produced so that the ligaments in the pelvis will relax so that the pelvis opens so you can push a baby through it. The challenge is that you are not stationary and as you move and sit and fall and twist you easily start to shift and rotate the pelvis. Typically one side will rotate backwards and one side will rotate forward to match the gait pattern. As this twist starts to happen the pelvis can over rotate now because the ligaments are loose because the body is producing relaxin. When the pelvis over rotates, two tings happen. First increase in inflammation can occur causing chemical irritation to the sciatic nerve casuig pain in the back and down the leg called a lumbar radiculitis and secondly the pelvis bones can physically irritate the sciatic nerve causing the low back pain and pain down the leg. There are many times a woman does not have sciatica during the pregnancy and then after giving birth develops sciatica. Many times a woman delivers their baby and within months after the delivery their relaxin hormone goes away and the ligaments start to tighten. If the pelvis is rotated out of alignment and the ligaments start to tighten they can tighten the pelvis in a malposition sitting very close to the nerve which can trigger a sciatica at any point.
If is wise for a female to see a chiropractor before getting pregnant to make sure their hips are aligned properly, during pregnancy to keep their hips in alignment and after pregnancy to put their pelvis back in alignment all to prevent the relaxin from allowing the pelvis from becoming a source of Sciatica.