In the last 2 1/2 years according to a survey a dozen women who had sciatica during pregnancy, half of whom were over 6 months pregnant. The number of cases of sciatica has increased in recent years in pregnancy, with the complication becoming more frequent during the second and third trimesters.
For pregnant women, pregnancy can bring a number of changes that can affect their health and cause sciatica. Sciatica is not usually a cause for concern and can often be resolved with specialist treatment. However, sciatica during pregnancy may need more attentive management.
Pregnancy can change the position of the pelvis, which can increase pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can make it harder to maintain a comfortable position, and therefore sciatica may occur, especially if the mother is lying down or sitting.
It is thought that the sciatic nerve may run into the spinal cord, which is the source of pain, but there are no studies that prove this. Sciatica during pregnancy may be more common during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Pregnant women who suffer sciatica should be advised to walk on their toes to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
What Does Sciatica Mean?
Sciatica may cause pain when you sit or lie. Many people describe the pain as shooting or stabbing. Sciatica is often painful but not always debilitating. Treatment can include anti-inflammatory medication. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary. Medical conditions If you have a medical condition or injuries which makes you more prone to developing sciatica, they may make your pain worse.
Symptoms Of Sciatica
Symptoms include an achy lower back, pelvic pain, lower limb pain, and leg weakness or numbness in the leg.
- Constant pain in one side of your buttocks.
- Pain from sciatic nerve path,from buttocks to thigh and then to leg.
- Unable to stand ,walk and sit.
Worst of all, sciatic pain is not a pregnancy-specific condition; it can be experienced by women of childbearing age without experiencing pregnancy, though if this happens, the condition may get worse.
The first time you get sciatica, you may not even know what’s happening. The pain may come and go, or it may not come at all.
But if it continues for several weeks, it might be a signal that you have sciatica during pregnancy, and that a recent or even long-ago trauma has caused a flare-up in your back and the muscles around your sciatic nerve.
Causes Of Sciatic Pain
Although a lot of people with sciatic pain have long-term pain conditions like osteoporosis or an injury, a medical condition called stenosis can cause acute sciatica in some people, especially when other conditions like stress or pain killers aggravate the pain. Sciatica can also be caused by other conditions, including:
Frequent straining, Excessive bending and lifting, Back injury Stress, Low back pain, Compression, Massage .
The stress that accompanies pregnancy can cause sciatica because tension on your muscles, ligaments, and fascia are changing, which can damage your back and nerve fibers.
This can result in muscle spasms and disc shearing, which can lead to sciatica. If the nerve is damaged, sciatica can be devastating because the nerve’s main job is to send signals between the spinal cord and the rest of the body.
Medical researchers are now taking a close look at possible treatments for sciatica during pregnancy. Current research has suggested that acupuncture, along with the use of spinal epidural injections, can improve sciatic nerve pain in pregnant women.
How To Treat This Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Piriformis Stretch By Seating Position
Time required: 5–10 minutes
Safety precautions: do not fall over, be sure to keep a supportive place to support yourself as you stretch Another great exercise is the Plank. To begin, lie on your back with your legs straight. This stretch will help loosen the muscles in the core that support your back. You can hold this pose for 30 seconds or longer.
Equipment needed: none Target muscle: abdominal muscles Time required: 10 minutes
Safety precautions: a firm surface to support your back, and be sure to have a firm back (you can use a pillow or a towel if this is not a problem for you)
Starting from the floor, use one hand to stretch your lower back by standing on your toes and applying pressure to the floor with your other hand. Once your lower back is free, reach your arms overhead in a V position.
Time required: 10 minutes Safety precautions: be sure to use support, bend your knees slightly to avoid back pain, and have a firm back. The Wall Pose is a great exercise to stretch out the hamstrings and can improve your posture. This will take about 10 minutes to complete.
Stretching With The Help Of Table
This is a good exercise during pregnancy.
Equipment : table
Muscles to be targeted: low back, spinal stabilizers, hamstrings
You can also perform these yoga poses while standing: Gomukhasana or Mountain Pose Kasipasana or Warrior Pose Dhanurasana or Half Lotus Virabhadrasana I or Spider Pose You can also do this pose by sitting on a chair or stool. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the top of the chair and bend your elbows to touch your wrists. Place your forehead on the back of the chair.
This pose helps in relieving sciatic pain during pregnancy.
Position: Sits on knees with legs bent and feet flat on floor. Extend one leg behind you, while sitting and setting the foot of the extended leg on top of the foot of the sitting leg.
While in this elevated position, place the other foot flat on the floor. Bending from the hips, reach one arm behind and around the back of the seated leg (or turn your body so the bent knee touches your chest), and interlace your fingers. Press your forearms into the floor behind the knee, and reach forward to touch your forehead with the back of the bent leg, or return to seated position.
How to do it: Begin in seated forward bend, with feet hip-width apart and arms fully extended behind you, fingertips slightly touching the floor. With your body lifted off the floor, interlace the fingers behind you. Relax the lower back into a neutral spine and bring the bottom of the extended leg forward so that it presses gently into the buttocks.
With weight evenly distributed on your arms and shoulders, draw your right hand around the back of your left thigh and interlace your fingers. Push your hips forward until your torso and legs form a straight line. The palms of your hands should remain facing the floor. Pull your left hand to the right hip bone, interlace your fingers, and slowly roll your torso over to the left, and slowly roll back to the right. Repeat the stretch for the right leg, and then repeat on the opposite side.
To perform this stretch, lie on your back on the floor with your legs.
Place your right hand on the floor just below your right knee, with fingers interlocked behind you. Rest your left hand on top of your head. Place your feet together and bend your right knee, keeping your feet flexed and heels flat. Hold the stretch for about 5 to 10 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position.
To do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on hips. Fold forward at the hips, as if you’re sitting in a chair and reach for the floor. Pushing your hips forward and slowly roll forward, twist your torso and lie down until your head is below your knees.
Allow your shoulders to roll forward, as well. Roll back onto your feet and repeat on the opposite side. This modified version of a seated calf stretch promotes healthy tissue repair and improves range of motion in the hips and glutes.
Hip flexor stretch
Try to use your abdominal muscles and engage your core to provide support. This can make a big difference. When a hip flexor is tight, it can limit your range of motion, which can make things like walking, squatting, and lying down really difficult. Tight hip flexors can also create a painful bump in the front of the hip called the bony prominence. It’s called a bony prominence because it feels like a small bump that sticks out just above the hip.
Single Leg Hip Openers
Single leg hip openers Benefits: These simple exercises help to tone your lower body. How to do them: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders.
Squeeze your glutes and keep your knees bent. Imagine your ankles are around your head and your feet are at the bottom of your back. Shift your weight forward so that your right foot is in front of your left thigh. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.
Dumbbell lateral Glute Bridge
Dumbbell lateral glute bridge Benefits: This is a low-impact, body-weight exercise for the glutes. How to do it: Get on all fours. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders.
Keep your hands directly under your shoulders. Curve your body to the right by rotating your shoulders in the opposite direction to your hips. Pause for a couple of seconds at the top position. Then return to your starting position.
Glute and hamstring foam rolling
You can use it to ice the area after a workout, help relieve muscle cramps, and/or perform a glute-hamstring workout (a hamstring workout without the hanging leg raises). Learn more about glute and hamstring workouts here.
Adjusting your posture Try to sit tall and straight with your shoulders back and your core engaged. Take a stretch, called the Centering Stretch, and relax your hips and spine as you inhale, then exhale, and flex your right and left knees to soften the leg while you relax your spine. You can feel your inner thigh muscles working and your glutes start to lengthen.
adding lower body weight training to your routine When you have the right training, adding weight to your squats, lunges, and step-ups can really improve your glutes and hamstring.
We recommend taking your goal weight down by one or two pounds, which will still build muscle and help you burn calories, but won’t strain your legs like adding too much weight would.
If you’re a beginner, start by focusing on your technique: Look at yourself in the mirror and step up with your left leg. Then step up with your right leg. When you feel comfortable, try to add one more pound of weight on each side.
Try four to six sets. If you find you have an injury or muscular imbalance, talk to your doctor. Foam rolling You should warm up with foam rolling, especially before you start strength-training or more difficult workouts. Stick with long, slow strokes on your quadriceps and hamstrings.
Some More Much Needed Steps To Take Care Of Sciatic Pain
However, if stretching does not help your sciatic pain symptoms, see a doctor for treatment. Sometimes, a deep massage or chiropractic adjustment may be helpful for mild sciatic pain, especially in the lower back.
In most cases, however, yoga or acupuncture can provide a pain-relieving alternative. For more severe sciatica, treatments such as TENS therapy, injections of lidocaine or other painkillers, injections of corticosteroids, or spinal cord stimulators can reduce the intensity of pain.
Sciatica is a common condition that usually improves in time. Many different factors can cause sciatica, but rest, NSAIDs and pain relievers are usually the best treatment. Exercise can help relieve symptoms temporarily, but be careful when starting or stopping any exercise program.
If you suspect you have sciatica, don’t self-diagnose and don’t try to treat it without getting proper care. Make sure to tell your doctor what your symptoms are, including when they began, if any pain or numbness were experienced in your lower back or hips, and if you had a sudden onset or increase in the level of pain. It’s also important to let your doctor know if you have lower back or hip pain with numbness or tingling.