What to Do If You Have Sciatica Pain During Pregnancy
Sciatica is a term to describe symptoms of pain, numbness, and weakness that begin at the lower back and radiate along the sciatica nerve into the buttock, thigh, and leg, sometimes including the foot. Sciatica is uncommon in pregnancy and usually doesn’t occur due to the growing fetus or bodily changes.
However, symptoms of sciatica may occur due to other underlying medical conditions the mother may have. When pregnant women experience sciatica, it is typically the result of a herniated disc in their lower spine that affects the spinal nerve roots. For some women, sciatica is more likely to occur later in pregnancy as the baby gets bigger and puts extra pressure on the nerve. Sometimes sciatica is caused by other conditions such as a slipped disc or a piriformis muscle spasm deep in your buttocks.
How to Relieve Sciatica During Pregnancy
Contact your doctor if you begin to experience sciatica symptoms such as poor bladder control, numbness or tingling in the leg, or a burning sensation in your lower extremities. A doctor will be able to provide safe ways to relieve pain. Along with any recommendations a doctor might prescribe, there are also at-home methods to relieve sciatica pain.
Pregnancy Safe Stretches
Stretching is a great way to relieve sciatica pain. However, it’s crucial to select stretches that are safe to perform while pregnant carefully. A woman further along in their pregnancy should avoid any stretches that involve lying on their back. Stretches that help relieve sciatica pain in pregnant women include:
- Seated Piriformis Stretch
- Child’s Pose
- Standing Hamstring Stretch
- Chest Stretch
Due to the changes a woman undergoes during pregnancy, back pain tends to be a common complaint. Exercising is a simple way to achieve comfort and relief during pregnancy. It’s vital to discuss any back pain symptoms with your doctor to ensure that exercise is appropriate for you.
Use Heat and Ice Therapy
When sciatica is acute, ice therapy helps numb the pain and relieve pain. Ice therapy decreases pain signals and reduces blood flow that helps relieve inflammation. For chronic or recurring sciatica, heat therapy is the way to go. The application of heat helps dilate blood vessels, improve blood and nutrient flow, and reduce muscular soreness, aiding healing. When sciatica is acute, ice therapy helps numb the pain and relieve pain. Ice therapy works by decreasing pain signals and reducing blood flow that helps relieve inflammation.
Going for Short Walks
Taking short walks improves function and stability in the lower back. The compressive forces that occur on the spinal discs while walking help supply nutritive fluids to these structures. Starting with five minutes and gradually adding five to ten minutes each week helps build the body’s tolerance.
Contact Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for Sciatica Relief
Sciatica and back pain symptoms should be addressed as quickly as possible and managed throughout the pregnancy. While sciatica is not a common occurrence in pregnant women, it is possible to understand underlying causes to help manage the symptoms and prevent future problems.
The medical team at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery are leaders in their fields and have dedicated their careers to ensuring patients have received the best possible treatment. At OLSS, you will find an efficient facility and caring experts focused on helping you. We understand that medical needs are different for each patient, which is why we individually tailor our treatments to each of our patient’s needs.