It is not very pleasant to suffer from sciatica in normal times, but when you're pregnant, it's even worse! However, this painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve is relatively common during pregnancy. But how to relieve when many drugs are prohibited during this period? Our advices.
Sciatica, what is it?
Sciatica, or sciatic neuralgia in medical language, results from a compression of one of the two sciatic nerves in the human body. These nerves, among the largest in our body, run behind each leg to reach the bottom of the spine. When they experience irritation, they induce a sharp pain felt between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae (L4-L5) or between the fifth lumbar and the first sacral vertebra (L5-S1). This sensation can extend in the buttock, the thigh or even to the foot.
Do you suffer more sciatica during pregnancy?
One would think that the weight of the baby in the stomach increases the risk of suffering from sciatica. However, it is not. Most pregnant women usually complain of localized back pain in the lower back, pelvis and pelvis, but not in the area of the sciatic nerve. We speak of "false sciatica". When sciatica is proven, it results mainly from a disc disease that causes edema around the sciatic nerve or, more importantly, a herniated disc Underlying. It also happens that neuralgia arises from ligamentous compression. But in general, pregnant women who suffer from sciatica have most likely suffered before.
What are the symptoms ?
Pain is the most convincing clinical sign of sciatica. This is often described as throbbing, radiating and unilateral. It can also induce very unpleasant burning sensations and be increased by the sitting position. Other characteristic symptoms include:
- numbness of the lower limb,
- muscle weakness
People with sciatica relieve the pain felt by taking analgesic medicine more or less strong. But in pregnant women, the drug panel is rather limited in this area because many molecules are dangerous for the fetus. Apart from paracetamol, which may sometimes be recommended by the doctor, the therapeutic solutions remain derisory. Only physiotherapy offers an effective and safe alternative to relieve sciatica during pregnancy. Most of the time, physiotherapists put in place drill to strengthen the pelvic floor but also the abdominal and dorsal belt to help the muscles support the weight of the baby. Wearing a pregnancy belt can also effectively extend the benefit of these sessions.
Some practical tips
Some tips can relieve the pain felt:
- apply an ice pack to the affected area,
- favor the wearing of flat shoes or small heels,
- avoid stationary postures,
- to practice a regular and adapted physical activity,
- support her belly with cushions,
- do not carry heavy loads,
- be careful to maintain a straight back posture while seated.
The pains of sciatica do not stop miraculously with the birth of baby. If the weight is no longer in the belly of the mother, he is now in his arms! Again, it is important to ensure, in particular, its posture for breastfeeding. Given the number of hours spent feeding the child, it is essential that the position taken does not subject the sciatic nerve to a severe test. This is also the case for the change of baby. You should avoid leaning over a bed but rather change the diapers on a changing table to the correct height. The resumption of a sporting activity can also be an effective solution to regain its shape.
Read also: Childbirth: How to prepare it with alternative medicine?