Sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy is an irritating radiating soreness occurs along with sciatic nerve due to nerve compression. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body originates from the both side of the lower spine, runs close to the backside of the thigh bone down to the foot. Sciatic nerve connects the leg and foot muscles to the spinal cord and performs the sensory and motor function.
During pregnancy, a lot of physical changes happen along with hormonal changes. The physical changes include spinal narrowing, spondylolisthesis, and degenerative disc problems, etc. These changes may happen individually or combined shall put pressure on the sciatic nerve due to bulging of the area or herniated disc, causing sciatic nerve pain, which calling as sciatica.
- 1 How to detect sciatic nerve pain?
- 2 What are the symptoms of sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?
- 3 What causes sciatic nerve pain while pregnant?
- 4 The most common reason for sciatic pain is as follows:
- 5 What are the treatments for sciatic nerve pain?
- 6 How to relieve sciatic nerve pain while pregnant?
- 7 Conclusion:
How to detect sciatic nerve pain?
A qualified medical professional can identify sciatica by doing a physical examination of the patient. Using MRI and X-rays are also helpful to identify the issue and find the exact cause of the problem.
What are the symptoms of sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?
About 80 percent of women face back pain during gestation, which can be an indicative reason for sciatic pain. Patients will develop low back pain when they have sciatic pain. But pain due to herniated disc is infrequent. The following are some of the common symptoms:
- Consistent or irregular pain on the side of the leg of the buttock.
- Burning or severe pain
- Movement issues, for sitting, walking and standing
- Paraesthesia (Pins and needles)
- Leg and foot weakness
- Pain is running from buttocks down to the foot.
- Pain on sciatic nerve
- Difficulty in walking, standing and sit
What causes sciatic nerve pain while pregnant?
Sciatic pain occurs due to lumbar spine issues. Patients will have pain, irritation, numbness or tingling feeling when sciatic nerve face compression due to the inflammation in that area. The irritation may form due to herniated disc or bulge in that area. During pregnancy, a woman shall undergo various hormonal and physical changes including bone changes. When we say bone changes that may include the narrowing of the spine (stenosis), degenerative disc problems (osteoarthritis) and spondylolisthesis. Any of the symptom or all sign put together to cause sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, you may also have sciatic pain due to unstable joints and muscle tension. When you have piriformis syndrome, which is a problem occurs on one of buttock muscles may lead to sciatic pain during pregnancy. Similarly, if you suffer from sacroiliac joint pains or pelvic bone pain will be a reason for having sciatic pain during pregnancy. All these things may happen because of the increased production of hormones especially relaxin hormone. It will stretch and loosen the pelvic area, as a preparation for pregnancy and create impacts on ligaments and the structures.
The baby’s weight is another reason to have sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy, as it creates pressure on the hip joints and pelvis. Sometimes, the position of the baby also can create compression to the sciatic nerve.
The most common reason for sciatic pain is as follows:
- Spinal canal shrinking at the lower back (Lumbar spinal stenosis)
- Disc damage (Degenerative disc problem)
- Spasm in the back muscle or buttocks
- Lack of exercise
- Regular use of high heel shoes
- Sleeping on soft mattress
What are the treatments for sciatic nerve pain?
Depending on the severe nature of the sciatic nerve pain, doctor prefers to advise the treatment. The condition can treat by the non-surgical and surgical method. Non-surgical treatments are very effective if done properly with regular exercise and in 6 to 12 weeks’ time, patients can have significant improvements.
People suffering from acute sciatic nerve pain should undergo more advanced treatment including surgery as a final option which will effectively stop recurring the pain. The course of therapy may include steroids injections, physiotherapy, use of muscle relaxants and surgery.
How to relieve sciatic nerve pain while pregnant?
During pregnancy period, it is better to avoid using steroids and surgery unless it is inevitable. But, you have other useful natural option to treat the condition.
Lie on your side: It is one of the easy to do method to tackle sciatic never pain during pregnancy. You can lie on opposite side of the pain. Do not stand for an extended period. Sleeping on opposite side can relax the compression on the sciatic nerve and help to relieve the pain. Don’t engage into heavy lifting.
Swimming: Make it a practice to swim regularly, which can reduce the condition. The pressure from the water will help to reduce weight pressure of your baby.
Elevate one foot: When standing find difficult, and you feel a lot of pressure, you can lift one leg and allow it to rest somewhere.
Apply heat or cold: It is a preferable option to using mild heat or cold on the infected area. You can also try using acetaminophen as a topical application, which is a good reliever.
In addition to all the above, you can try the following stretch exercise, which is helpful to get rid of sciatic pain during pregnancy.
Other than conventional drug treatment, you can opt for the following to manage sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy.
1. Stretches for sciatic nerve pain: Muscular compressions are the main reason for sciatic nerve pain. Therefore, doing stretches and yoga can produce incredible relief to pregnant women suffering from sciatic nerve pain. Stretching will help to reduce compressed muscles. However, you must be careful in doing stretch, as it may sometimes aggravate the issue.
People who have a history of spinal problems will have issues if they continue doing stretches or yoga exercises. So as a safety precaution, it would be better to take stretch and yoga session under a qualified professional. It has observed that people can get significant relief from sciatic nerve pain after 4 weeks of regular stretch and yoga session.
Some of the comfortable stretch exercise you can do at home are Seated piriformis stretch, Table stretch, Pigeon pose, Hip flexor stretch, and Glute and hamstring foam rolling
2. Physical therapy for sciatic nerve pain: Under physical therapy, you can have different forms of therapy like massage, osteopathy, physiotherapy, and chiropractic. A professional therapist can do wonders, and if you suspect of having sciatic nerve pain, you must first prefer the service of a physiotherapist. The therapist can take care of the spinal misalignments, workout on the sciatic nerve pressure and muscle tension.
3. Use of herbs for treating sciatic nerve pain: Some herbs are effective in treating nerve pain. However, care required while using herbs. Use only those herbs which are safe and commonly using. Gotu Kola, an Indian herb is using effectively for treating nerve pain.
4. Do not sit for an extended period: People suffering from sciatic nerve pain should not sit for long hours as part of their job requirements or watching TV as a leisure activity. It can aggravate the back pain. Isometric exercises are good to relieve tensed muscle and loosen the inflamed areas. It can improve the condition and contribute more power to your legs. You can do this exercise at home without any instructor supervision.
5. Heating pads are a good option: Placing heat bags set with low temperature on the bottom back side for 15- 20 minutes are very effective. It would be easy to at home, and you can repeat as many times as possible, preferably after every three hours. Hot water can loosen tight muscles and increase blood circulation. When you apply hot water on the inflamed area, the accumulated fluid start moving away.
6. Apply ice pack: It works well with some people. You can try keeping ice pack at the back for 10-15 minutes ever alternative 3 hours and check if it works.
Read more : Things To Note When Pregnant Women Take A Bath
Sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy will be a hard experience women hate to face. You may find it difficult to consume over the counter medicines, like ibuprofen or Tylenol or Advil considering the safety of your unborn child. Similarly, doctors will be hesitant to administer steroids injection or even to perform surgery, and they may suggest you adapt some natural remedies. It would be better to follow the natural remedies, however, if you face severe sciatic nerve pain, then it would be better to consult with your doctor before you continue with your exercise or any other treatments.