What exactly is sciatica ?
Sciatica is a medical word that refers to a collection of symptoms rather than a single issue.
The sciatic nerve originates in your lower back and runs down the back of your legs before branching out to your feet. It lets you to experience feelings in your legs and move your muscles.
The majority of instances of sciatica are caused by back swelling or pressure, which causes pain in the sciatic nerve. It generally occurs when one of the spongy discs between your spine’s bones slips out of place or is damaged.
The way the nerve operates can sometimes be altered, resulting in limb weakness or pins and needles. Sciatica can occur with or without back pain, and it can cause pain to radiate down one leg.
During pregnancy, the body goes through a number of changes. Your body must adjust as your baby develops. This can sometimes result in strange aches and sensations.
Sciatic nerve discomfort is a common complaint among pregnant women. It’s also known as sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy, and it’s characterized by a “radiating pain” that radiates down the back of your thigh from the sciatic nerve, which is located in the lower spine. The sciatic nerve is your body’s biggest and the major nerve in your legs.
Is it true that if I’m pregnant, I’m more prone to have sciatica?
No, being pregnant does not make you more susceptible to sciatica. Aches and pains in the pelvis and back are common during pregnancy, although they are unlikely to be caused by the sciatic nerve. Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is more likely to be the cause, as it is considerably more frequent and shares some of the same symptoms as sciatica.
Your baby pressing on a nerve does not cause sciatica, and pregnancy does not increase your chance of injuring a disc in your spine. The most common causes of sciatica include heavy lifting and activities that cause your entire body to shake, such as operating equipment.
While you’re pregnant, you’re unlikely to be doing the type of heavy-duty job that causes sciatica. Another reason PGP is more likely to be the source of your aches and pains is because of this.
Long periods of sitting and bad posture, on the other hand, can cause low back discomfort and sciatica, so being active throughout pregnancy is a good idea.
I’m not sure how I’ll know if I have sciatica ?
You’ll experience a shooting, scorching pain that comes and goes and usually affects only one side of your body. Pain in your lower back, back of thigh, and down the outer side of your leg to your foot and toes is possible. If you have lower back pain, the pain in your buttocks and leg is frequently worse than the discomfort in your lower back.
You can also have tingling, numbness, or pins and needles in your leg or foot. The discomfort might be localized or broad. Sciatica can be extremely wearing and cause more constant pain than PGP or back pain. Work and family life can be difficult when the pain is at its worst.
Your GP may be able to diagnose sciatica, or she may refer you to a physiotherapist.
Sciatic Nerve Pain Symptoms
Sciatica causes aches and pains that range from minor to terrible. You may have tingling in one section of your body while experiencing pain in another. Among the signs and symptoms are:
- A burning feeling in the buttocks and lower back
- Pain that runs down the back of your leg from your pelvis
- A sharp flash of pain that has been likened to an electric shock.
- When you cough, sneeze, or sit for lengthy periods of time, the pain gets worse.
- In one leg or foot, numbness, muscular weakness, or tingling
What is the treatment for sciatica?
Your doctor may recommend some easy exercises and stretches to begin with, or she may refer you to a physiotherapist right away.
Exercises to improve your pelvic floor, belly muscles, and back will be demonstrated by your physiotherapist. She’ll also demonstrate how to enhance your posture. She may want to monitor you during your pregnancy to make sure your nerves are functioning properly.
Approximately half of persons with acute sciatica feel better in 10 to 2 weeks, and the majority (75%) recover in four to 12 weeks. However, for some people, the symptoms might last a long time.
Although there isn’t much proof that paracetamol is an effective pain reliever for sciatica or low back pain, you can take it. Other drugs, or combinations of medications, may be suggested by your doctor or pharmacist. When you’re 30 weeks or more pregnant, it’s advisable to avoid taking ibuprofen.
Acupuncture, osteopathy, and chiropractic are among more therapies you might try, however there isn’t much proof that they assist with sciatica.
If you decide to try a supplementary treatment, make sure you go to a licensed professional who has expertise treating pregnant women.
Is there anything I can do to assist myself?
what can i do to relieve sciatic nerve pain while pregnant ?
- Apply a heat or ice pack to the uncomfortable area while keeping your skin covered with a flannel or towel. Some people benefit from alternating between warm and cold temperatures.
- Maintain as much activity as possible to aid in your recovery. It’s fine to feel some pain while trying to conduct your typical activities, as long as you pace yourself. Avoid an activity if it makes your discomfort too intense or lasts more than a few hours after you’ve finished doing it.
- Keep an eye on your posture. Avoid sitting for lengthy periods of time. If you work at a desk, request a health and safety inspection from your boss to verify that your chair is adjustable and that you have the back support you require. A bolster cushion might assist in keeping your back slightly arched.
- Lifting anything heavy should be avoided. If you must lift something, do it with your knees bent and your back straight. Maintain a close proximity to the thing you’re raising.
- Make an effort not to sit stationary for lengthy periods of time. It’s doubtful that staying in bed for longer than a few hours will help.
- Sleep with a cushion or two tucked between your knees if you’re on your side. Sleeping on your side is also better for your baby, since it lowers your chance of stillbirth by the third trimester as compared to sleeping on your back.
- Put on a pair of soft, comfy sneakers. Your discomfort may be exacerbated by jarring your spine.
What effect will sciatica have on my labor?
Sciatica pain can be triggered by some labor postures, but it can also be relieved by others. Seek guidance from your physiotherapist. A birth pool might be beneficial since it makes moving around easier.
Will sciatica make it more difficult for me to care for my baby?
You’ll need to take care of your posture as you would with any back ailment. Try trying several positions when nursing to discover the one that is most comfortable for you.
Breastfeeding in a relaxed manner may also assist since your baby is supported by your body.
Instead of changing your infant on the floor, try using a changing station. Keep your back straight, bend your knees, and prevent twisting motions when lifting your infant.
Inquire with your midwife or physiotherapist about joining exercise courses to increase your overall health, strength, and flexibility. This will assist to keep your issue from becoming a long-term one.
More advise and suggestions:
- Learn how to relieve pelvic discomfort during pregnancy.
- Check out our pictorial guide on getting out of bed when pregnant.
- To help yourself feel better, try these pregnant stretches.
What Causes Pregnancy Sciatic Nerve Pain?
When the spine is squeezed in any way, sciatica develops. The sciatic nerve is pinched, resulting in inflammation, numbness, and discomfort. It’s usually caused by a herniated disc or an overgrowth of bone on your spine called a bone spur.
Pregnancy can also induce spinal compression, which can impact the sciatic nerve. The body produces a hormone called relaxin while you’re pregnant. It’s made to loosen your ligaments and get your pelvis ready for childbirth. Loose ligaments and a developing uterus, on the other hand, might cause your center of gravity to shift and squeeze the sciatic nerve, causing shooting sensations down your legs.
During your pregnancy, you may have more sciatic pain. Lower back discomfort and sciatica issues are quite frequent. Sciatica is most common in the third trimester, although pain can strike at any time throughout your pregnancy.
The weight of your kid increases as he or she develops, putting strain on joints and muscles that are already weak. The position of the newborn can sometimes cause sciatic nerve compression.
This discomfort might come and go, but for some women, it can be chronic. While it may not be pleasant for mom, you may be certain that the baby is unharmed by the compression and agony.
What to Do If Your Sciatic Nerve Is Inflamed
Sciatica heals slowly and needs rest. Pain is frequent, but severe pain is uncommon. Certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs may assist if the discomfort is unbearable. Before you take any drug, check with your doctor to make sure it won’t harm your baby.
It can be stressful to deal with chronic bodily aches, but there are several simple home remedies you can try to help relieve the pain:
- Use a hot shower or a heating pad to relax. Heat relieves tense muscles, which are frequently increased by bearing greater weight. A cold pack applied to your lower back and posterior pelvis might also be beneficial.
- Continue to go forward. Rest is crucial, and when your body suffers, it’s easy to curl up into a ball. In the long term, though, mild exercise is generally more beneficial. Going for a stroll might sometimes be beneficial. A pregnant yoga lesson can also help to relax your muscles and calm your thoughts. However, avoid excessive bending or twisting. Swimming and other low-impact sports may also be useful.
- However, pay attention to the discomfort. Pay attention to your body and notice any actions that cause your sciatic nerve to irritate. If your profession needs you to stand for lengthy periods of time, avoid heavy lifting and take frequent rests.