Sciatica nerve is the longest nerve in the body. Starting in the lower back and moves through the hips and down the lower limb. It provides sensation to the muscles of the back of the thigh, lower part of the leg and foot. The nerves moves under the uterus to the legs when a woman is expecting. The pain is caused by the developing baby which results in numbness and weakness in leg or foot.
Sciatica is caused in pregnancy due to tension in muscles and unstable joints, piriformis syndrome, position and weight of the baby (during second and third trimesters), stretching of ligaments, increase in relaxin which is a pregnancy hormone, etc.
- Numbness in the foot
- Continuous pain in buttocks and legs
- Trouble while sitting
- Difficulty in standing for long
The best and the simplest way is to lie on the side which is opposite of the ache due to sciatica nerve. Applying hot and cold compress to the area can do the trick. Lifting heavy objects should be avoided. Standing for continuous hours should be avoided too, however, you can elevate one foot to rest on something. Swimming can also help stretch the muscles of the legs and hips.
Some exercises which involves stretching are beneficial in treating sciatica during pregnancy. Some of the exercise are table stretch, hip flexor stretch, hamstring foam rolling, seated piriformis stretch, etc.