Not Sciatica? Pelvic Girdle Pain Affects Pregnant Women

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Sciatica or pelvic girdle pain, sciatica or pelvic girdle pain…which one is it? The uncertainty can be absolutely exhausting. All you want to know is what your pregnancy pain means! If doctors have already ruled out sciatica as your pregnant back pain, pelvic girdle pain may still be on the table. Let’s check out the symptoms and causes of PGP.

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Lumbago and Sciatica: What the Heck is the Difference?

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Oh no, is your lower back pain acting up again? During your pregnancy, lower back pain may feel like your new best friend–but not the good kind. Back pain during pregnancy is more like the clingy, lingering friend who just can’t take the hint to leave you alone. What’s even worse is that all backache can feel the same! Trying to figure out the cause of your lower back pain can therefore be an enormous headache. Is it lumbago? Sciatica? How can you tell the difference? Chances are, however, that it is one of those two: lumbago and sciatica are two common diagnoses of pregnant women experiencing lower back pain. But why one and not the other? Let’s find out what differentiates lumbago from sciatica so you backache problems can stop being…well, a pain in the back!

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Sciatica: Disease, Medical Condition, or Something Else?

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You walk into your doctor’s appointment, and spill all your symptoms: lower back pain, pain in your buttocks, tingling, numbness  and sometimes even shooting pain down one of your legs. You may not know what to make of all these things you’ve been experiencing , but you are hoping your doctor does.  So when your doctor comes back with the following diagnosis–sciatica–you are faced with more to think about. But before you get  all worried and worked up, you want to deal with the basics: what does the “sciatica” label really mean? Is sciatica a medical condition? A disease? Or something else?

The answer: sciatica is something  else entirely.

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How Common is Sciatica During Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy is a time of changes. You are moving your office desk to make space in the baby’s room. Hormones in your body are increasing to prepare you for labor. The support your back normally receives is lessening as ligaments loosen and joints shift. Your center of gravity is shifting forward as your belly grows. You are adding additional weight. You are building a crib and planning a baby shower. Because of all of these bodily and lifestyle changes, many women will experience back pain while pregnant–especially sciatica. So how common is sciatica during pregnancy?

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Relax your Pregnancy Nerves: The Pregnancy Hormone, Relaxin, Causes Sciatica Pain

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You may have a lot of questions about pregnancy: What causes morning sickness?  Why do your breasts increase in size? Are you supposed to feel more emotional? Why do you have to make frequent trips to the bathroom? It can be a scary 9 months if you do not know what happens to your body when you are pregnant–especially when these changes could lead to medical conditions that involve sciatica pain. So here’s another you should ask: what does the relaxin and sciatica have in common? Answer: they are both associated with pregnancy.

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How is Sciatica Diagnosed?

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When you arrive at your doctor’s appointment to discuss your pregnancy pains, your doctor will go through a series of steps to figure out whether or not you have sciatica. To reach a diagnosis, you doctor may go through all of the following steps or select the ones she finds most pertinent to accessing your problem. Just relax, and take it one step at a time.

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Don’t Always Blame the Baby for Sciatica Pain!

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During your pregnancy, everything may seem like it revolves around your baby–even your aches and pains. For whom are you buying the crib? The baby. Why are you eating healthier? For the baby. Why do you have morning sickness? You are carrying a baby. But sometimes a medical condition you have takes center stage during your pregnancy. Although your baby is also most likely the cause of your sciatica, not all the causes of sciatica are baby-centered–even during pregnancy. So in your search for what causes sciatica pain during pregnancy, do not be so quick to blame your baby. A pre-existing medical condition may be causing your pregnancy pains.

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Baby’s Position Affects Sciatica During Pregnancy

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“Get out of the way!” is a phrase you may want to scream when your baby’s position in your uterus causes you sciatica pain. Just like we toss and turn at night while sleeping to get comfortable, so does your baby. Your baby is able to move around and reposition itself over the course of your pregnancy, trying out different positions–and the different positions your baby takes have different affects on you. Although you may not be able to always tell the positioning of you baby, several positions are more likely to put pressure on your sciatic nerve and cause you sciatica during pregnancy. Let’s take a look.

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