Acupuncture can help for sciatica during pregnancy. This condition can be quite common in the last few months of pregnancy. There can be a number of factors involved contributing to the cause of sciatica in pregnant mothers. Structurally as the baby gets bigger, the head presses against the sciatic nerve which runs under the uterus.
In some cases though, the pain may actually be pelvic girdle pain which can be distinguished from sciatic pain because it can have the symptom of a clicking sound coming from the pelvis.
The pain experienced with sciatica can run down the back and side of the thigh and leg even going all the way to the foot. There can also be numbness accompanied with a burning type sensation.
The location of sciatic pain ties in with the Chinese medicine theory of meridan flow, because the gall bladder and bladder meridians run down the side and back of the leg.
Acupuncture points on these meridians are selected to improve circulation of energy which then releases pain.
Anatomically, the disc can also be affected such as when it has become prolapsed and causes swelling around the nerve. Dr Denise Brown of First Chiropractic Napier explains it as follows “As the birth date approaches, the ligaments and tendons start to loosen in preparation for birth and this in combination with the growing weight of the baby puts stress on the lower back and in particular the discs. Ideally, regular chiropractic treatment leading up to the due date can help stabilize the area”.
Acupuncture works very well in conjunction with manual therapies like chiropractic. Acupuncture uses techniques to strengthen the low back and improve circulation at the disc area and Chiropractic adjustments can help realign the posture. Its a win win situation and this combination of acupuncture and chiropractic is a good example of complimentary therapies working together.
Acupuncture also involves the use of moxibustion and this treatment can be targeted to the specific disc affecting the sciatic nerve. The heat of the moxibustion helps promote increased blood circulation to enhance recovery in the area.