During pregnancy, you take on lots of new physical burdens, cares, and concerns, in addition to happy emotions of hope and love for your future child. Your added physical challenges during pregnancy can include sciatica, a painful condition caused by a pinched sciatic nerve felt in your low back and legs.
You might have been living with sciatica before becoming pregnant. Many people also develop sciatica during pregnancy due to changes in pressure on the lower spine as the fetus grows bigger and heavier.
Dr. Beejal Y. Amin supports patients with sciatica during pregnancy from his self-named practice in Oak Lawn, South Holland, and Orland Park, Illinois.
Your sciatic nerve connects your lower spine to your hips, buttocks, thighs, and legs. Just like other major nerves in your body, pinching or compression of the sciatic nerve results in uncomfortable symptoms.
Pregnancy can often cause sciatic nerve compression.
Patients often describe the pain associated with sciatica as shooting. Additionally, sciatica can cause numbness and tingling in your lower back or either one or both your legs. Sciatica pain can be intermittent, seeming to come and go almost at random. However, for some people, sciatica pain is fairly constant.
Sometimes, the best treatment for sciatica is surgery. That’s not likely the case if you’re pregnant, with all the additional complications your condition creates for surgical outcomes. And, if your sciatica is related to your pregnancy, the problem likely won’t persist after your labor and delivery.
For pregnant people, coping with sciatica is a matter of pain management and physical support. Sciatica symptoms often worsen as you complete the third trimester of your pregnancy. You need to put together your pain relief plan now!
Talk to Dr. Amin about natural, low-impact strategies for sciatica pain relief that won’t interfere with your pregnancy. Sciatica doesn’t impact your baby at all. But, care for yourself during the challenging months ahead is essential.
You can use a variety of techniques to relieve your sciatica symptoms during pregnancy. That includes over-the-counter pain relief medications as recommended by Dr. Amin. However, you also have non-medical pain relief options.
Heat therapy is often effective for pain relief. You can use a heating pad on your back or hips, or take a warm shower or bath. Ice packs are another temperature-based pain relief option.
Sciatica pain typically responds well to changes in position. Sitting or lying down may take pressure off your sciatic nerve, relieving your symptoms. You might find that you benefit most from lying on the side of your body that’s not affected by sciatica pain. Use cushions to improve your posture and comfort when reclining.
Some expectant mothers appreciate gentle yoga for stretching and pain relief. Dr. Amin can recommend gentle at-home physical therapy stretches and moderate exercise that may similarly help with your sciatica. Pre-natal massage is another good pain relief option.
You should avoid heavy lifting as much as possible during your pregnancy so as not to further compress your sciatic nerve. A pregnancy support belt may be beneficial for your sciatica symptoms. And, skip out on anything other than flat or low-heeled shoes for the duration of your pregnancy.
If you’re struggling to deal with sciatica while pregnant, let Dr. Amin and his team help you lighten the load. For expert advice and treatment, consult with Dr. Amin today. Schedule your appointment by calling now, or request an appointment online.