It seems like the space you get on an airplane gets smaller every year.
It’s not just the seat, although they’re not exactly roomy — I mean the number of inches around you.
The last time I flew it was so snug I could never get comfortable.
By the time I landed, I was looking for a chiropractor to address my pain.
I’ll admit my perception was skewed because no space is really comfortable in your second trimester.
Especially one where I couldn’t get up and move around or reposition easily.
By the time the plane landed, I had struggled through the airport because my lower back and leg felt they were on fire.
The symptoms reminded me of a chapter in my pregnancy book about a condition called sciatica. Let me tell you, that name is not descriptive enough for the level of pain.
Sciatica in the City
Sciatica is a fairly common condition that happens to pregnant women when the baby’s head compresses the sciatic nerve.
The pain follows the path of the nerve from where it starts in your lower back, through your buttocks, and down the leg.
The nerve of this thing
It felt like a hot guitar string that gets thrummed every time I move.
It hurt more when I moved, but the worst pain occurred when I got up from a chair or sat down.
It turns out that when the nerve is compressed, it becomes irritated, and the tissue around it can become inflamed.
I instantly understood what my chiropractor had told me about how every part of my body was connected and why it’s important to address an issue through multiple wellness techniques. Compressing this one little nerve made me hurt all the way down my back and to my toes.
The city might never sleep, but my leg did
The pain radiating down my leg alternated between tingling, numb, and sharp. It’s a strange feeling to describe — the closest example I have is when your foot falls asleep and is waking up. It is tender, a little painful, but tingly and weak.
Seeking pain relief
Visiting a chiropractor in NYC wasn’t on my sightseeing list, but to enjoy my trip, I knew I had to find some relief from the pain.
Chiropractors are mostly known for providing neuromuscular pain relief for people suffering from chronic pain, but they’re skilled in a wide variety of techniques.
I specifically searched for a chiropractor that offered pregnancy massage.
A well-kept secret is that chiropractors can provide massage with treatment, and it’s usually covered by your insurance.
In my experience, the massage therapists who work in the chiropractor’s office tend to be highly trained professionals.
After a thorough exam and diagnosis which confirmed sciatica as the cause of my pain, the doctor recommended a combination of spinal adjustments and massage for immediate pain relief.
While massage isn’t recommended for women pregnant in their first trimester, pregnancy care massage can ease the pain in your second and third trimesters.
Certified Massage Therapists are trained in a wide variety of massage techniques, including pregnancy care massage.
I was also given some exercises I could perform in the hotel to keep my range of motion and prevent pain during my trip.
The best recommendation was to avoid flip-flops and get some sturdy walking shoes for the rest of my pregnancy.
Although being in pain on my trip wasn’t ideal, I considered myself lucky that the chiropractor was able to deliver non-invasive, medication-free pain relief.
The situation confirmed what I knew, which is that one tiny nerve can throw your whole body out of whack, and it takes more than one solution to address pain.