So, I've been experiencing these shooting pains in my booty (smile) ... it's true ... pain in my butt folks ... pain in my butt ... anyway, its almost as if the bones in my butt are separating ... if I had bones there ... like the muscles are separating ... it's really painful ... and sometimes ... often, the pain is shooting down both cheeks ... painful ... I asked some "further along" expectant mothers and guess what they told me ... "welcome to the wonderful world of sciatic nerve pain." What the heck! Sciatic Nerve Pain! Wow ... really?
What the heck is sciatic nerve pain anyway?
Sciatica Nerve Pain During Pregnancy
There are many interesting side effects of pregnancy, one of which is sciatica during pregnancy. While not solely a pregnancy related condition, sciatica does affect many women during pregnancy.
What is Sciatica and How Can It Affect Pregnancy?
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve that runs from the lower back to the back of the legs and feet. Typically this nerve allows feeling in the muscles of the legs and feet. There are times however when the sciatic nerve can become inflamed, whether from pressure in the back or injury. When this happens people experience sciatic pain. Sometimes persistent or chronic pressure to the sciatic nerve can result in weakness in the leg or surrounding areas, numbness or even tingling. Some women describe the sensation as similar to the feeling of pins and needles you get when your leg falls asleep.
Many women develop sciatica during pregnancy, though sciatica isn't a result necessarily of being pregnant. Pressure on the sciatic nerve during pregnancy can lead to backache or other discomfort. Some women assume that the baby presses on the sciatic nerve resulting in pain or discomfort. This is not necessarily however the case. Many times sciatic pain during pregnancy results from damage to a disc in the spine. This can cause inflammation in the tissues surrounding the never or result in direct pressure to the nerve (if for example, the disc has slipped out of place and is compressing the nerve). Women who are pregnant are more prone to disc injury, hence the relationship.
Many women will have developed sciatica at some point or another whether pregnant or not. It may be coincidence that they experience pain and discomfort during their pregnancy. Some women will feel pain or tingling in their back and leg while others will only notice discomfort in one or the other area. Some women experience pelvic pain during pregnancy which is sometimes mistaken for sciatic pain.
Typically the symptoms of sciatica in pregnancy include the following:
• Pins and needles in the lower back or leg, possibly the affected foot.
• Shooting or burning in the leg, buttock or lower back. And here it is ...
• Pain in the lower back or back of the pelvis that may extend into the foot.
• Numbness in the leg or feet.
Treating Sciatica During Pregnancy
Many times sciatica pain or discomfort disappears on its own. Sometimes this can take as much as six weeks or more however. Routine visits to a physical therapist may help relieve some of your symptoms. Manual therapy can often help relieve pressure and discomfort associated with pregnancy back pain.