Written by Pradeep
During pregnancy, different types of pain bother the expecting mother. It is better to know the reasons and symptoms of these pains so that managing the issue will be relatively easier. Continue reading to know more about Sciatica in pregnancy, a nerve pain caused due to an irritated sciatic nerve. This dull or sharp pain varies in intensity. More often it goes through practicing some safe stretches. There are some treatment measures also to alleviate this issue.
In This Article
Sciatica, otherwise called the lumbosacral radicular syndrome, refers to a group of symptoms brought about by compression and aggravation of the sciatic nerves. Sciatica pain commonly starts from the low back, passes through the back of the thigh, and branches out towards the knee. Sciatic pain can be either a deep and dull pain or a shooting and sharp pain. It can likewise range from mild to severe. It usually disappears with treatment.
The answer is No! You are not prone to sciatica if you are pregnant. It is common to feel a few aches and pain in the back and your pelvic area which is more likely to be caused by pelvic griddle pain than sciatica.
Pregnancy does not put you at a greater risk of damaging a disc in your spine, which is a common trigger for sciatica. But sitting for long periods and poor posture can cause sciatica. So it is advisable to stay active and stretch out during pregnancy.
The signs and symptoms of sciatica are, most of the time, almost identical to those of pelvic girdle pain (PGP). The only thing is that sciatica pain is more severe. The pain can remain constant or come and go at irregular intervals. Here are some of the common symptoms of sciatica:
Women are more prone to sciatica during pregnancy if they:
Completely preventing sciatica is not possible as there are various causes that cannot be controlled by the pregnant woman. However, the following measures help to reduce the chances of developing sciatica during pregnancy.
Even though 50% of pregnant women recover within 6 weeks and nearly 90% of pregnant women recover within 12 weeks, some pregnant women take a longer time to recover from Sciatica. Recovery completely relies on severity. Extremely severe sciatica in pregnancy can last more than six months after delivery.
A musculoskeletal physiotherapist who is focused on women’s health can help you to manage sciatica in pregnancy. He usually advocates:
Stretching helps to relieve sciatic pain by lessening muscle strain and increasing movement in the hips, lower back, and legs. Sciatic pain may turn out to be more terrible if you remain sitting or standing for long periods of time. So make sure you alter the positions all through the day.
Even though stretches and exercise help to relieve pain and to cure sciatica, when you are pregnant, you should select exercises and stretches that will not harm the normal course of pregnancy. Here are some of the exercises and stretches recommended during pregnancy to treat Sciatica. Perform it under supervision only:
This exercise, as the name implies, tilt or bends the pelvis up, thereby, helping to align the body and lower back. Lie with your back on the floor. Relax. Now raise the knee until the feet are flat. Tighten the abdominal muscle and slowly bend the pelvis up. Hold on for some time and slowly come back to normal position
Squats during pregnancy help to relieve the symptoms of sciatica.
Child pose is a simple stretching exercise, in which the lower back portion and the rib cage of the body stretches. Sit straight on the floor, bending the knees. Slowly stretch both your hands on the floor, bend down your head, nestle your oversized belly between your thighs. Bend as low as possible. Keep on in the posture for about two minutes and slowly come back to the previous position.
Tailor sitting is an exercise highly recommended for sciatica in pregnancy. It helps to stretch muscles in the lower back and thighs, as well as stretch the sciatic nerve.
The torso twist stretches the sciatic nerve without bringing about additional pressure on the body. As it is performed by sitting down, there is no risk of tumbling and hurting your baby. Sit straight on the floor or chair. Now slowly turn the back and upper torso to one side. You can support yourself with the left hand while you turn the left side and the right hand while you turn the right side.
This is a popular yoga pose, which effectively relieves sciatic pain during pregnancy. Go down on your knees on the floor. Stretch the left leg behind as far as possible. Slide right knee forward. Placing a rolled towel or yoga block under right hip will provide more space for the belly and helps to stretch easily.
Some labor positions may trigger sciatica pain so it is advisable to consult a physiotherapist on how to manage sciatica during labor. Also, using a birth pool can help with sciatica pain as it will make moving easier for you.
We hope all this will help you manage sciatica in a better way during and after pregnancy. Did you experience Sciatica during pregnancy? How did you manage it? Do share your experience in the comments section below.