How to Manage Sciatica During Pregnancy
Aches, pains, and overwhelming fatigue are normal aspects of a pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, and that's hard enough to deal with. But some women have it worse.
SYMPTOMS OF SCIATICA
When pain becomes considerably more severe, it could be sciatica, a condition which is quite common during pregnancy. Sciatica can result in agonizing pain that is debilitating and disabling – it makes it painful to sit, stand up, get out of a car, walk, and even sleep. The pain worsens when coughing, sneezing, and sitting on soft surfaces or for an extended period of time. Sciatic nerve pain can feel like tingling, numbness, burning, or stabbing pain, originating in the lower back and extending down to the hips, buttocks, down the backside of the legs and to the feet. Usually the pain is on side, which is characteristic of sciatica.
CAUSES AND PROGNOSIS
During pregnancy, sciatica can be caused by different factors. In the third trimester, as the baby starts to move into the birth position, the uterus may be placed directly on the sciatic nerve and the resulting pressure can inflame the nerve and lead to severe symptoms. The sciatic nerve could also shift and get pinched because of increased pelvic pressure and the loosening of ligaments as the body prepares for childbirth.
Although the third trimester is the most common time to get sciatica during pregnancy, it can occur earlier if you have a history of spinal disorders. A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of sciatica in general. In a second pregnancy, there are more symptoms and they occur earlier than the third trimester and are more exaggerated than before. While sciatica is not a dangerous condition, it can be quite painful and uncomfortable and the symptoms can last from a few weeks to up to six months after delivery!
MANAGING THE PAIN
Exercises like squats and various stretches are the primary treatment recommended to help pregnant women manage sciatica. In case of a complicated pregnancy, or if you don’t feel up for exercising, a known drug-free pain-relief method is kinesiology taping.
Normally, using kinesiology tapes would require an expensive visit to a chiropractor but SpiderTech’s tapes are precut and come with instructions for easy application. All you have to do is peel and stick them on.
You can easily apply SpiderTech’s tapes on your lower back, buttocks, hips, and behind your legs. They will work all day long to help reduce pain and inflammation by lifting the skin to create a small space between the muscle and dermis layers of your skin and take pressure off the area where they are applied. You’ll be able to move easier, there’ll be no hassle of reapplying or waiting for the treatment to work, and no side effects either. And if you have very sensitive skin, SpiderTech has you covered too with its Gentle line of tapes.
TAPING TECHNIQUES FOR SCIATIC NERVE PAIN
Depending on where you’re experiencing the most discomfort, you can use one of SpiderTech’s taping techniques shown in the pictures below. These techniques are used specifically for providing relief from different types of sciatic nerve pain.
The first taping technique as shown in Picture 1 is a lengthwise strip running along the buttocks, and going down behind the leg, branching into a V-shape at the area directly behind the knee, along with an additional strip running across the “sitting bone.” This taping technique is for you if you feel like you’re in pain all over. If your pain travels across your lower back and buttocks, to your thigh, and the inside of your leg, crossing into the back of your foot and to your toes or if your toes feel numb and you have trouble lifting your foot to walk, then the taping technique in Picture 1 will probably help you the most.
If you’re experiencing sharp pain in the buttock area extending from the back of the thigh, or your calf, and possibly even to your ankle, the best taping technique for you will be a strip running across the piriformis muscle and a SpiderTech X band on the buttocks, as shown in Picture 2.
If your pain is localized in the lower back, hip, and pelvic joints, and made worse when you cough or sneeze or exert yourself, and if you’re having trouble walking, sitting, and even sleeping as a result of this pain, the taping technique shown in Picture 3 might be most useful to you. It involves applying a tape across the lower back and then several bands in a flower shape that are applied by crossing one over the other.
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