Pregnancy is associated with many changes in a woman’s physical condition. Adding sciatica to your physical problems during the first trimester of pregnancy will definitely be a painful experience.
Pressure on the sciatic nerve or the branches that make up the sciatic nerve causes low back pain that spreads to the back of the thighs and knees, weakens the muscles in the back of the leg, and sometimes numbness and tingling in the pain.
This condition is known as sciatica. In this article, more about “Sciatica pain Pregnancy first trimester” will be discussed
Increased uterine volume during pregnancy and pressure on the sciatic nerve
As your gestational age increases and you pass through the first weeks of pregnancy, the size of the uterus will gradually increase as the fetus grows.
The sciatic nerve below the waist can also be depressed during uterine enlargement and pelvic contractions, causing symptoms known as sciatica.
Weight gain during pregnancy and pressure on the sciatic nerve
On the other hand, increasing the mother’s weight during pregnancy by putting too much pressure on the vertebrae of the spine may cause the disc to protrude from the space between the lumbar and lower lumbar vertebrae, which is called a herniated disc, and the protruding disc can squeeze the nerve branches that make up the sciatic nerve.
As the volume of the uterus increases and the mother gains weight, the muscle deep in the pelvis and lower back adjacent to and in front of the sciatic nerve may become stressed and spasmed, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing piriformis syndrome in which pain results. Due to the compression and inflammation of the sciatic nerve, it is usually present only in the lower back and sometimes extends to the buttocks and upper thighs.
Sciatica in the first trimester of pregnancy
As the volume of the uterus increases and the mother gains weight, the muscle deep in the pelvis and lower back adjacent to and in front of the sciatic nerve may become stressed, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing piriformis syndrome in which pain results.
Due to the compression and inflammation of the sciatic nerve, it is usually present only in the lower back and sometimes extends to the buttocks and upper thighs. There will be pain when standing and sitting, and in chronic cases even when lying down. Although the risk and severity of sciatica increase with the progress of pregnancy and fetal weight gain, sciatica may also occur in the first trimester.
Signs and symptoms of sciatica in the first trimester of pregnancy
These symptoms include:
- Pain along the sciatic nerve pathway from the lower back to the buttocks, back of the thighs, and back of the legs
- Temporary or permanent pain in one side of the buttocks or one leg
- Sharp and shooting pain
- Burning pain in one half of the buttocks or lower back and behind a thigh
- Difficulty walking, standing and sitting
- Numbness, tingling in the sciatic nerve
- Feeling weak in the muscles of the back of the thigh and the back of the leg
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant and have one or more of the above symptoms.
Prevention and treatment of sciatica in the first trimester of pregnancy
Overweight of you and the fetus and the pressure from the enlarged uterus, pressure of the fetal head below the waist, increase in the lumbar arch during pregnancy, etc. will cause back pain, especially in the middle and late of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, sciatica is usually caused by excessive pressure on the vertebrae of the spine and protrusion of the disc between the vertebrae.
To avoid sciatica during pregnancy in the first trimester of pregnancy, pay attention to the following recommendations:
- Avoid being overweight.
- Avoid sitting and standing for long periods of time.
- Be physically active.
- Your shoes and heels should be suitable for your pregnancy; you should not wear high heels or completely flat during pregnancy.
- When lying down, lie on your side without pain, bend your knees and place a pillow between your knees.
- Put pillows under your stomach and back.
- When standing, try to place one foot on a short stool or ladder.
- Ask your doctor for proper stretching exercises.
- You can use hot compresses and cold compresses on the painful area, whichever relieves you the most.
- Do not forget to walk in the pool.
- Avoid crossing your legs.
- Pay attention to the proper and physiological posture of your body and do not do things that disturb the normal and standard state of the skeleton and put pressure on the vertebrae.
- Be in a position where the weight of the fetus is removed from the painful areas, for example, on the palms of the hands and knees and move back and forth.
- A very soft mattress is not suitable for you.
- During pregnancy, X-rays to check the condition of the lumbar vertebrae are prohibited.
- MRI may be done in the first trimester, but it is best not to do it.
- It is better not to use painkillers in the first eight weeks.
When the pain is severe, rest, drive less, but do not move as the condition gets worse. With the reduction of the acute phase of pain, start appropriate stretching movements and exercises with the approval of your doctor.
It is better not to take acetaminophen and diclofenac and all painkillers in the first eight weeks.
What can we do to avoid sciatica in the first trimester of pregnancy?
If you have a history of lumbar disc herniation and are planning to become pregnant, it is best to see a physiotherapist six to nine months before pregnancy to get the right exercises to strengthen your abdominal, lower back and spine muscles. You will also have an easier pregnancy and an easier delivery. During pregnancy, try to avoid heavy work.
This does not mean complete rest and complete immobility. During pregnancy, do not forget to walk regularly. Walking should be in open space and at least half an hour at a speed where only a little sweat sits on your forehead.
Avoid referring to non-specialists or people who say they do sciatic nerve massage and sciatic vein massage.