Pregnancy And Sciatic Nerve Pain
You knew pregnancy was going to suggest a great deal of firsts– like feeling the extraordinary first flutter of baby moving in your belly. But back pain that simply will not disappear? That might not have been rather the experience you had in mind when you first imagined yourself with that proverbial pregnancy radiance.
While a bulk of mothers-to-be experience some dull, throbbing pains in the middle of the back or the butt, a little portion come to grips with the searing pain of sciatica during pregnancy– an agonizing but thankfully temporary condition.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve, the biggest in the body, begins in the lower back, runs down the butts and branches down the back of the legs to the ankles and feet. In most cases sciatica– sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that begins in the back or butts and radiates all the way down the backs of your legs– happens when this nerve gets compressed by bulging, slipped or burst discs, arthritis, or by a narrowing of the spine (likewise called spine stenosis). However seldom, women experience sciatica as a short-term side effect of pregnancy.
Causes of Sciatica During Pregnancy
Contrary to popular belief, sciatica is not normally brought on by pregnancy. However if you’re one of the couple of who do experience this pain while pregnant, you can blame it on the typical suspects:
- Weight gain and enhanced fluid retention can put pressure on the sciatic nerve where it passes through the pelvis, compressing it (ouch!).
- Your expanding uterus may also weigh down on the sciatic nerve in the lower part of your spine.
- Your growing belly and busts shift your center of mass forward and stretch your lordotic curve (the dip simply above your butt). This can cause the muscles in your butt and pelvic area to tighten up and pinch the sciatic nerve.
- Another possibility? When the baby starts to shift into the correct birth position in the third trimester, his head can rest straight on the nerve, causing a significant pain in the butt (and back and legs).
How will I know if I have sciatica?
You will have a shooting, burning pain that reoccurs, and frequently impacts simply one side. You may feel pain in your lower back, at the back of your thigh and down the external side of your calf to your foot and toes. If you have lower back pain too, the pain down your butt and leg normally feels even worse than the lower back pain.
You may also feel tingling in your leg, and numbness or pins and needles in your leg or foot. The pain may be patchy or extensive. Sciatica can be very wearing and cause more consistent pain than PGP or back pain.
When You can Expect Sciatica?
Sciatica will more than likely happen during the third trimester, when both you and your baby are bulking up (it can establish earlier, but it’s not common). The majority of women normally experience pain simply on one side, though you may feel it in both legs.
Sciatica can be continuous or intermittent, depending upon the quantity of pressure positioned on the nerve– so pain might enhance as you place on more weight and keep more fluid. And it can stick around for a few months approximately after you’ve delivered, up until you’ve shed the excess weight and fluid pressing on the nerve.
How to treat sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?
A lot of women experience sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy. Learn typical methods to treat this pain.
See your GP or midwife and ask to be referred to a musculoskeletal physio therapist. Ask if you can see a physio therapist who specialises in women’s health.
Your physiotherapist will reveal you exercises to reinforce your pelvic floor, belly muscles and back. She will likewise show you ways to enhance your posture. She may wish to keep an eye on you throughout your pregnancy to examine the function of your nerves.
About half of individuals with severe sciatica feel much better within 10 days to two weeks, and many (75 per cent) recover within 4 weeks to 12 weeks. However for some people the symptoms can continue to be for much longer.
You can take paracetamol to alleviate sciatica pain. Ask your doctor or a pharmacist about how much to take and for how long. Your doctor will probably recommend you not to take ibuprofen during pregnancy, particularly if you are in the third trimester.
Other treatments you might try include acupuncture, osteopathy and chiropractic, although there is an absence of proof about how handy they are for sciatica.
If you opt for a complementary treatment, ensure that you see a registered specialist who is experienced in dealing with pregnant women.
Self-help tips for pain relief
- Utilize a warm compress on the spot where you feel the pain.
- When you can, pause– leaving your feet and resting in a comfy position can ease some leg and lower back pain.
- Sleep on the side of your body that’s pain-free. For example, if you feel pain on your left side, lie down on your right side.
- For extra comfort in the evening, use a firm mattress with plenty of back support, and position a pregnancy pillow or a regular pillow between your legs to assist keep the pelvis in much better alignment and take some pressure off the sciatic nerve.
- Do some pelvic tilts with your Kegels– they’ll help strengthen your core muscles and can help reduce swelling.
- Swimming can also take off some of the pressure, because the buoyancy of the water briefly eases the spine of the pregnancy weight.
- Acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments or restorative prenatal massage (always with a trained and certified specialist), can in some cases assist. A customized physical therapy routine could likewise provide some relief.
- Aim to put on weight gradually– a significant jump in pounds might put excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve. Women who were a normal BMI prior to getting pregnant ought to intend to gain only approximately two pounds in the first trimester, about 8 more pounds in the 2nd trimester and an optimum of 20 more pounds in the 3rd trimester, for 30 pounds overall weight gain in pregnancy.
- If the pain is severe, speak with your doctor, who may recommend acetaminophen in a dose that will soothe the pain however keep you and baby safe.
Last modified: August 29, 2016