The sciatic nerve, the largest in the body, starts from the lower back, runs down the buttocks and branches down the back of the legs to the ankles and feet. In most cases sciatica — sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in the back or buttocks and radiates all the way down the backs of your legs.
Sciatica usually occur during the third trimester, when both you and your baby are bulking up (it can develop earlier, but it’s not common). Most women typically experience pain just on one side, though you may feel it in both legs. Sciatica can be constant or intermittent, depending on the amount of pressure placed on the nerve — so pain may increase as you put on more weight and retain more fluid.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO RELIEVE SCIATICA
- Use a heat pack pressed on the spot where you feel the pain.
- Wear flat shoes or shoes with a very low heel.
- Avoid heavy lifting and longtime standing. Try more rest.
- Sleep on the side of your body that’s pain-free. For example, if you feel pain on your left side, lie down on your right side.
- Use a firm mattress with plenty of back support, and place a pillow or cushion between your knees.
- Swimming is an excellent ways to relieve pressure on your lower back, bottom and upper thighs.
- Try to gain weight slowly — a major jump in pounds could put undue pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Acupuncture and remedial massage (always with a trained and licensed practitioner) can help a lot.
In Acu8 Health, sciatica during pregnancy is commonly helped. Our experienced practitioners provide acupuncture and remedial massage to relieve the pain. For more information, please call 08 9387 3389.