Managing Sciatica Pain During Pregnancy

December 20, 2021

There are many potential complications that you may face during pregnancy and it’s likely that you will experience plenty of aches and pains. After all, your body is going through some huge changes.

Sciatica is a common pregnancy discomfort that many women have to deal with, and it can be incredibly painful. It is caused by a compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve runs from your pelvis down through your buttocks and back of your thigh and it can cause a range of symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling in various parts of the leg and foot.

Symptoms usually start in your lower back, but can then spread to other areas such as:

•Your buttock- most common area affected by sciatica

•Around the back of your thigh

•Down through the calf and onto your foot- this is called ‘foot drop’ where you have weakness so you cannot lift up/hold up the front part of your foot. This makes walking difficult because you tend to drag one foot behind you or you may even hop on one foot

There are several things that you can do to help relieve the pain of sciatica:

Try Heat Or Cold Packs

Both heat and cold packs can help to relieve the pain of sciatica. The heat helps to soothe the muscles and the cold packs numb the area to take some of the pain away. Try using a heat pack for around 20 minutes at a time or you can use an ice pack for 5-10 minutes every hour. 

See A Chiropractor

A chiropractor can help to realign your spine and may help to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve. There is a lot of pressure on your body as your baby grows and a pregnancy chiropractor can help you ensure that you are equipped to deal with these changes. Having regular sessions with a chiropractor will also improve your recovery after giving birth.

Wear Supportive Shoes

You may need to invest in a supportive pair of shoes during pregnancy. You want to be wearing the right type of shoes because your feet are likely to swell as your pregnancy progresses. If your shoes are not supportive, all of the impact is absorbed by your back and this can lead to an increase in pain. But nicely cushioned shoes will take a lot of the pressure off and help you stay pain-free. 

Stay Active

Some light exercise can help you keep your muscles strong and improve your posture, which will reduce sciatica pain. However, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Speak to your doctor or midwife before starting any new exercise routine. low-impact activities like walking and swimming are fine and will help a lot. But if you push yourself too hard, you risk injuring yourself and making the pain worse. If you ever feel any pain when exercising stop and consult your doctor. 

Sciatica is an incredibly common problem during pregnancy and it can make things very uncomfortable. However, by following these simple steps, you can get relief and reduce pain.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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