Sciatica is inflammation of the sciatic nerve ; the pain is localized to the back of the thigh but may radiate upward, affecting the buttock and hip, and downward, affecting the calf and sometimes the foot. It feels like a very intense twinge that makes walking difficult and can be very limiting.
In pregnancy , sciatica pain is very common and occurs more commonly in the third trimester when the uterus, now very voluminous, compresses the sciatic nerve and the weight of the baby is felt.
Sciatica in pregnancy must above all be prevented
It is possible to prevent sciatica , as well as other problems commonly associated with pregnancy, with a proper lifestyle. Prevention is always the first of cures.
> Avoid excessive weight gain. Being overweight favors the onset of sciatica and other annoying problems typical of pregnancy. Weight gain should not exceed 9-12 pounds .
> Pay attention to posture . For example, if the expectant mother is often seated, because she may be doing office work, it is important that she gets up frequently to take a few steps; it is also advisable to keep a low stool under her feet to stand with her legs slightly raised. from the ground; if you, on the other hand, you often stand, you should maintain a correct posture, that is, avoiding pushing the pelvis forward, accentuating the natural curvature of the lower part of the spine; you should also take regular breaks to sit and / or lie down .
> Avoid shoes with very high heels , but also completely flat ones, for example ballet flats. The perfect heel is 3-4cm .
> Avoid lifting weights and making sudden movements .
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How to deal with sciatica
If it is no longer just a question of prevention, because sciatica is already present, what can be done? The first piece of advice is of course to talk to your doctor , who will be able to give all the necessary information. In general, however, to relieve sciatica in pregnancy, it is useful:
> Measure rest and physical activity . Sciatica is a very intense and annoying pain and therefore pushes you to stay still and rest; it’s fine, especially in times when the pain is acute, because you need to relax the muscles; however, when the pain gives some respite it is important to do some movement, lightly but constantly, for example swimming and walking are recommended.
> To help you rest , sleep lying on your side with a pillow between your legs. The supine position should be avoided as it can cause excessive pressure on the spine, increasing the discomfort of sciatica pain.
> Warm compresses and a nice warm bath can help relax the muscles and thus relieve pain.
In some cases, the pain is so disabling that medication may be required . The use of medicines during pregnancy is always a delicate matter that must be discussed with your gynecologist.