In this article, we have collected everything you need to know about low back pain during pregnancy and we have written in simple language.
If you are pregnant and have back pain or sciatica has disabled you, read our article.
Doctors say more than 75 percent of pregnant women will experience back pain.
Back pain in pregnancy increase as the pregnancy continues and the number of weeks of pregnancy increases.
Sometimes back pain after childbirth lasts for several months.
Two types of back pain are common in pregnancy, meaning that pregnant women are more likely to experience two types of back pain during pregnancy.
- Low back pain
- Pain in the back of the pelvis
Sometimes you may experience a combination of two types of back pain.
Why do we get back pain during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, changes occur in a pregnant woman’s body that prepare her to carry the fetus for nine months. One of the changes is an increase in progesterone.
Progesterone keeps the uterus relaxed and prevents uterine contractions so that the fetus can grow inside the uterus and not be expelled.
Progesterone also relaxes the ligaments and other muscles of the mother’s body.
The pelvic floor muscles relax.
Body ligaments, including the supporting ligaments of the spine, also relax.
The same changes cause back pain in pregnancy, Joint pain is also more common during pregnancy.
Sciatica is a slang term for lumbosacral radicular syndrome.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the human body. The delicate roots of the spinal nerve that protrude from the lower vertebrae of the spine join together on each side of the spine to form the thick trunk of the sciatic nerve at the lower back of our body. The sciatic nerve travels from the lower back to the buttocks and back of the thighs, providing the sensation and movement of these parts, it also branches off at the back of the knee, and these branches will extend to the back of the heel and underfoot and under the toes.
Any pressure on any part of the sciatica along its path can cause shooting downward pain along with numbness and burning and decreased muscle strength.
Sciatica in pregnancy is a throbbing pain that originates from the lower back and shoots up to the back of the leg on the same side.
Sciatica can be limited to the lower back only, or can sometimes cause pain in the back of the thighs and legs without back pain.
Sciatica during pregnancy can turn into a deep, dull ache that intensifies when standing, sitting, or sleeping. This pain can sometimes become so severe that it interferes with daily activities.
Symptoms of sciatica in pregnancy
- Permanent or temporary pain in one or both sides of the lower back
- Permanent or temporary pain in one or both sides of the buttocks
- shooting and burning pain from the lower back to the buttocks, back of the thighs and back of the legs
- Tingling and numbness
- Weakness in the legs
- Difficulty walking, sitting and standing
Persistent, severe, and debilitating pain should be reported to your doctor.
Causes of sciatica in pregnancy
We said that any factor that can put pressure on the path of sciatic nerve from the roots of the spinal cord to the tips of the toes on the trunk and sciatic branches causes shooting pain that goes downhill.
Stress factors during pregnancy include:
Fetal growth and increase in uterine size and uterine pressure
Fetal head pressure
Abdominal distention and increased lumbar arch or lordosis
Edema and fluid retention in pregnancy
These factors can cause pressure to the sciatica.
Sciatica is usually associated with the last months of pregnancy.
You need to know that contrary to popular belief, Common back and lower back pain in pregnancy has nothing to do with sciatica.
Pain of sciatic nerve is not a common phenomenon in pregnancy, and if a pregnant woman goes to the doctor with a pattern of sciatica, a ruptured disc between the lumbar vertebrae must be ruled out first.
Overweight and increased pressure on the intervertebral discs during pregnancy puts a young woman at risk for a protruding disc or herniated disc and in some cases a ruptured disc.
So, if you are pregnant and you have sciatica that prevents you from walking, be sure to see a doctor for a check-up, and back pain should not always be considered as a normal pregnancy process.
To reduce sciatica in pregnancy, which is more common in late pregnancy, it is recommended that:
- Pregnant women should be careful about gaining weight.
- Do not lift heavy objects.
- Be sure to have physical activity and mobility.
- Avoid sitting and standing for long periods of time.
- Wear shoes with appropriate heels. Avoid wearing flat shoes or high heels.
- When sleeping, lie on the side that does not hurt. Bend your knees and place a small pillow between your knees.
- When standing, place one foot from time to time on a low height or step.
- When sitting, place your feet on a small four-legged stool.
- Use hot and cold compresses on the sore spot.
- Do stretching exercises and yoga.
- Walking in the pool and swimming is also suitable.
- All your exercises must be approved by your doctor.
- Avoid crossing your legs.
- Do not stick your knees together when standing.
- Do not stand on one foot.
In addition to the above methods:
- Standard physiotherapy
- Acupuncture can also help
- Pregnancy massage therapy
- Yoga and Pilates
- Acetaminophen is allowed to relieve pain if prescribed by your doctor and only in the prescribed dose and amount.
What should be considered when severe sciatica during pregnancy?
If you have severe sciatica and are pregnant, read the following:
- During pregnancy, X-rays to diagnose lumbar disc are prohibited, and it is best not to have an MRI in the first trimester.
- If you have pain and you are in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, it is better not to take painkillers, instead of taking medicine, it is better to stop strenuous activities, drive less. Use topical analgesic gels such as Piroxicam or Diclofenac gel.
So the best treatment and solution is to prevent sciatica.
- If you have a history of sciatica and lumbar disc pain, be sure to start standard physiotherapy six to nine months before pregnancy.
- Do appropriate exercises to strengthen the muscles adjacent to the spine and pelvis.
By strengthening and creating balance between the above muscles, the possibility of severe sciatica pain will be reduced.
This way you have a more comfortable pregnancy and you will be less bothered.
- If you are pregnant and you have a lumbar disc herniation, rest. Of course, not absolute rest, but two days of bed rest in the acute phase is enough. After this period, you should start physical activity little by little.
- Walk regularly and know that your homework will not be considered a sport.
- Exercise should be at least half an hour and you should sweat a little.
- It is recommended to avoid any massage and manipulation of different people.