Pregnancy is one of the major causes behind pain in the lower back in women, which is similar to sciatica. Sciatica is primarily caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. Typically, sciatica is the compression of the sciatic nerve roots in the lower spine. A condition known as pseudo-sciatica causes similar debilitating pain when the peripheral sections of the sciatic nerve are compressed.
As it is, pregnancy on its own has nothing to do with sciatica. Pregnancy leads to true-sciatica only in rare cases. It is the changes that occur in a women’s body in late pregnancy that may lead to sciatica-like pain. Either of these changes can cause sciatica type pain:
- The uterus presses the sciatic nerve.
- Abdominal and lower muscles become tense and put pressure on the nerve.
- The vertebrae compress due to the extra weight of the fetus.
- Postural changes that accompany pregnancy.
Rarely during pregnancy a spinal disc may be damaged which can also lead to sciatica.
Sciatica pain mostly occurs in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet. Typical sciatic pain can have the following symptoms:
- Pins and needles
- A shooting pain
- Pain extending from the lower back to the legs along the buttocks
- Numbness in leg or foot
Whether due to pregnancy or otherwise, pseudo sciatica is mostly associated with postural defaults such as:
- Sitting cross legged for long periods.
- Sitting in a chair that does not support the back properly
- Sitting on a wallet
There may be cases of pregnancy causing tension in the piriformis muscle, which in turn may pinch the sciatic nerve.
If sciatica is actually diagnosed during pregnancy, sciatic nerve treatment should only be done under the supervision of a specialist qualified to treat pregnancy-related sciatic pain. Painkillers have side effects and should not be taken without consulting your gynecologist. Any recklessness in this respect can cause irreparable damage to the fetus.
Sciatica alternative remedies play an important role in treating both typical sciatica and pseudo-sciatica. Pregnancy is a delicate matter, and the primary concern should be of the safety of the child that is developing within your body. Even alternative remedies that are generally safe should be taken under medical supervision. Herbs are normally touted as safe but indiscriminate use of even the safest herb can be harmful. Exercises, yoga or any other therapy should also be undertaken under constant guidance from a therapist.
Swimming and a very gentle stretching exercise program are two of the safest measures of getting relief from back pain during pregnancy. In addition, avoid getting too tired, learn to relax yourself, always sit straight or try applying a hot or cold pack to the affected area.