When you are pregnant, you often experience back pain since you are carrying extra weight on your front. There is no doubt that sciatica is a severe form of back pain one can experience. Fortunately, aches and pains that come with sciatica can be soothed in a number of ways like stretches, massage therapies, and other remedies.
Sciatic Nerve Pain during the pregnancy
Irritation of the sciatic nerve causes extreme lower back pain; the sciatic nerve emerges from your lower back spine and travels down your legs through your buttocks. It is a large and important nerve in the body that helps your lower back and your lower extremities like legs, and feet sense important feelings like pressure, temperature and pain.
Sciatica pain can arise during pregnancy as your growing baby tends to expand your uterus which might exert some pressure on the sciatic nerve; this pressure might result in irritation, inflammation, and pain. You’ll get to know the sign of sciatica pain as the shooting pain starts in your lower back that radiates down your legs. Women suffering from severe sciatica during pregnancy feel it difficult to walk. When you’re pregnant sleeping is already difficult, and this sciatica can make it impossible to sleep if it doesn’t get treated. Most of these pains are secondary to ligamentous laxity which happens in the woman’s body as a process to make the body ready for child birth and delivery. Most of these symptoms are short-lived and get better after the end of pregnancy.
Sciatica is also caused by several other conditions like a slipped disk, pinched nerve and muscle spasm deep in your buttocks.
Symptoms of sciatica pain
As stated above, you will experience pain that radiates from your lower back down your legs. The following symptoms may also indicate sciatica:
- The pain usually occurs on one side of your buttocks or leg
- Numbness feeling, tingling sensation, or pins and needles in your legs
- Burning feeling in the lower extremities
- Pain that becomes worse while coughing, moving, or sneezing
Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you encounter any of these symptoms. The doctor will be able to recommend some safe pain relief methods without using medicine since certain medications are not recommended during pregnancy.
Until then, you can ease the pain at home by performing these excellent stretches.
Seated piriformis stretch
The piriformis is a muscle located deep inside the buttocks area. If sciatica is caused when this muscle becomes tight, then this stretch will facilitate the release of tight muscles. Sciatic pain can be decreased by doing this.
During pregnancy, doing this stretch feels great. This stretching exercise helps to stretch your muscles in the back, buttocks, and legs.
Pregnant women who practise this pose experience relief from sciatica-like pain. Pregnant women can practice it comfortably after making a few changes.
Hip flexor stretch
In activities such as walking, the hip flexor muscles located in the front of the hip allow the leg to move forward. It is common for pregnant women to experience tight hip flexors. Pain can result from this because pelvic alignment and posture are affected. However, this stretch can provide relief from pain.
Glute and hamstring foam rolling
A foam roller is a piece of equipment used to massage your muscles. A foam roller is an excellent method for relaxing tight muscles that may contribute to pain. The roller works like a mini massage tool for sciatica pain caused by tight muscles and connective tissues.
Other Remedies for Sciatic Nerve Pain
By doing gentle massage around the lower back, you can relieve inflammation and discomfort caused around your sciatic nerve. It’s best to visit someone who has experience in doing pregnancy-specific massages. A lot of clinics are available to perform special massages that can provide relief from all of the aches and pains experienced by pregnant women. They are professionals and they make sure that you & your baby are safe.
An easy way to massage yourself at home is by using a soft tennis ball. If you have early pregnancy, lie on your back by placing a tennis ball under your lower back and roll out so that the tension can be relieved. In later stages of pregnancy, it is recommended to do this sitting in a chair by placing a ball against your back in the chair.
Try not to stay seated for long periods of time; if you’re working at a desk, stay active by getting up regularly and taking a walk. If you are seated for long periods of time, you may find it useful to apply heat packs to your lower back or buttocks to prevent muscle tension. It is also important to be aware of your posture as you sit to reduce irritation around the sciatic region.
Bathing in warm water, using over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like paracetamol may be useful. During pregnancy, strong analgesics and other medicines are not suggested unless recommended by your doctor. Physical methods like rolling a foam roller over your hips and the legs are effective ways to reduce the pain caused by sciatica during pregnancy.
To know more about treatment options, consult Dr. Surya Prakash, one of the best spine specialists in Hyderabad. He has more than 25 years of experience in treating problems caused by sciatica nerve irritation even during pregnancy.