"A pain in the back!"

Right at 6 weeks of pregnancy, I felt a radiating pain in my lower back at the end of my tailbone that ended up nearly paralyzing me. For the next couple weeks I waddled and hunched like an old lady. It hurt so badly that at one point while shopping with my mom, she was pushing me in a wheelchair.

I immediately made an appointment to see my chiropractor. I've been going to him since I was 14 with frequent headaches, he was so excited to hear about my pregnancy. Massage and adjustment later, I was actually able to walk - hallelujah!

It didn't take but a few days for the pain to return and walking to be difficult. In fact, this vicious cycle continued until past my third trimester - and for many women it continues until birth.

I was surprised to find out how many women face this intense back pain throughout pregnancy. My sister as well dealt with it during her whole pregnancy.

It is pain that radiates from the sciatic nerve, often sending shooting pains down both the front and back of the thighs, often to the knees. It often sends shooting pain down the front pelvis as well. It is often referred to as Sciatica.

Throughout my pregnancy I found many ways to cope with it:

- Visit the chiropractor often, weekly if need be! Even though the results were temporary, back pain and sciatica is indicative of a deeper issue that massage and readjustment can help.

- At night lay on your side, opposite the pain, place a pillow under your thighs and under your knees.

- If it's early enough in your pregnancy, sleep on your back with a pillow supporting your hips. It's not the most comfortable position to sleep in - but it certainly helped me during my first trimester!

- Lie on the floor with a tennis ball underneath you at the location of your pain (usually the tailbone) and roll it around by moving your hips and back across the ball.

- Get frequent massages - my husband played a huge role here and I don't know what I would have done without his tender massages!

- Yoga. The gentle stretches and poses helped relieve my back, stretch the muscles, realign my spine and other ligaments, release tension, and soothe sore muscles.

- Pregnancy tea. I personally love the Earth Mama Angel Baby brand. Though this isn't specifically a "back pain" tea, it really helps calm and soothe your internal self. Back pain is so often stress in another form, so working on yourself can be very rewarding.

- Sit in a supportive chair if you spend much of your time sitting. Place a pillow behind your back for support.

- Avoid too much sitting if possible, take frequent walks.

- As always, exercise and eat healthy!

Did sciatica or other back pain plague your pregnancy? What did you do to combat it?

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