Pregnancy and Sciatica
Due to the amount of pressure put on the lower back during pregnancy Sciatica and/or lower back pain can be very common. A recent study has estimated that upto 50%-80% of women suffer from lower back pain during pregnancy http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12178-008-9021-8
Pregnancy can make you more prone to Sciatica due to a number of changes that occur in the pelvic area whilst pregnant. For example, increased relaxin hormones during pregnancy can cause the ligaments and structures which attach your bones and joints together to relax and stretch more than normal. These changes can increase your risk of conditions such as Piriformis Syndrome which can trap the sciatic nerve and lead to Sciatica. Your babies weight and position in the womb can also cause compression of the sciatic nerve and trigger Sciatica.
What is Sciatica and what are its symptoms?
Sciatica (also referred to as lumbosacral radicular syndrome) is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve located in your lower spine and thigh.
Sciatica can often cause occasional or persistent dull aches and sharp shooting pains in your lower limbs you may also have problems standing, walking or sitting. Pain can often range from mild to sever and tend to originate from your lower back and hips and will shoot through to your thighs.
Compression of the sciatic nerve can be brought on by a number of lumbar spine problems including bulging or a slipped disc. Sciatica can also be triggered by number of underlining conditions as well including stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, or spondylolisthesis.
How can this Support help with Sciatica?
If you are suffering from Sciatica during pregnancy it advised to do regular exercises and massages in order to help stretch and strengthen the supporting muscles around your legs, buttocks, and hip which will help reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve. If you are still suffering from Sciatica it is recommended to wear a post partum support to help fix lumbar spine problems that maybe causing pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Wearing a support can often help treat Sciatica by helping to correct your posture and realign the spinal column helping to stop the compression of the sciatic nerve.