I've had horrible lower back pain start and it feels so much worse today. It starts in my lower back and races down my left butt cheek and thigh. My SIL says it's sciatica and that she had it through her pregnancy. Is there anything that can be done at home to ease the pain and discomfort?? How does someone even get sciatica?
Nicole...I have big problems with my sciatic nerve!! I've never been told I have "Sciatica", and don't know exactly what all that consists of...but my doc told me my back pain is from my sciatic nerve being pinched. I was told it's most likely due to my posture changing from the growing belly. I've been dealing with this since about Week 19...today starts Week 25 for me. You may recall all my complaining on the September Mommies thread about not sleeping...this is why.
Some days I can get out and do light work around the house & yard...other days my back is locked up and I'm in bed all day.
Some days it's worse than others...but it's always terrible at night for me...no matter how good of a day I've had. I only sleep a few hours a night because my back is in complete pain. I prefer being sleep deprived because it's not as painful as it is to lay down and try to sleep. The sleep is catching up with me now, because I'm falling asleep during the day now...taking 2-3 hour naps every day...which I hate because I can't seem to get anything done.
My doc recommended Tylenol...but tylenol is not strong enough to even take the edge off this pain.
He also recommended a heating pad...and that has helped a lot. It still doesn't help me sleep well at night, but it does ease up the pain when I'm using it. I've tried strapping the heating pad to my back with an ace bandage. That works for a while, but when you have to go to the bathroom, you are strapped to the pad. Also, my back gets terribly sweaty and that's pretty uncomfortable. The heating pad is worth it for the relief it does provide.
I've tried working very hard on my posture...that hasn't helped at all.
Another thing that kind of helps...I'll sleep in the spare bedroom periodically. I'm to the point where I'm ready to move in to the spare room now. Having a bed to myself allows me to freely roll around into a new sleeping position. With my husband in the same bed, if I need to change positions, I have to sit up or pick myself up and roll over staying in the same spot. Having to do that seriously hurts my back. If I'm by myself in the bed, I can roll around into any position that works without worrying about crowding out my husband...and I can get myself into any position I want. It's not a painless night, but it's much less painful. I think this explains why my naps during the day are much better than any night time attempt to sleep.
That's all I've got. Hoping there are others out there with any new ideas!!!!
I had a friend who is a nurse and had sciatica during her 2nd pregnancy. It is from the baby putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. I don't think it has anything to do with posture because changing your position or standing up straighter doesn't help. Anyway, she was in physical therapy which really helped her. I had back problems and was in physical therapy during my 2nd pregnancy, but they were not due to sciatica. I could not have survivied without the pt. It is a lifesaver and most of the time it is covered by your insurance if you get a doctor's referral. You may want to ask your doctor about physical therapy to help you through the pregnancy and sciatica.
Thanks Gayle and JM. My DH has just gone to the pharmacy to speak to the pharmacist about anything that may help me through the weekend (heating pad, bath soaks, etc). I've been hobbling around the house all day! I've read online that it could take between 6-12 weeks for sciatica to clear. I can't imagine being in this much pain for that long! How do you do it Gayle?! The thing that bugs me is how quickly this came on. I literally just woke up this morning and couldn't walk. My friend says it could be because I start out sleeping on my back at night. I'm not yet big enough that sleeping on my back is uncomfortable but she says the baby could have pinched my siatic nerve. I'm going to soak in a warm bath tonight and see if that helps.
Again thanks for your replies. I've always felt for you Gayle with your back pain...now I feel for you even more!! Bless your heart!
Nicole...just hang in there. You are soooo nice to give me sympathy!!!!!!!!!! I try to explain this pain to my husband and he doesn't really get it at all. He thinks I'm just whining. You have my sympathy too because I know it's terrible.
I agree with your comment about how quickly it comes on. Mine came from nowhere too. I didn't feel it coming on the day before. I wasn't over-working myself. Hopefully, yours will go away or ease up so you can acually get around. I think my first episode had me in bed for 24 hours, and then I was up and around the next day. Every couple weeks I'll have an episode where my back locks up and I cannot get out of bed, but generally, I'm just having a dull pain all day that is actually tolerable until I sit too long or go to bed. Haven't slept since the first episode.
I don't think it's due to sleeping on our backs...especially this early on...and considering I've had this since Week 19. I still sleep on my back, and am at the same level of pain now that I always have been since it started. 95% of the time, my back is the most comfortable position I can find with my legs propped up on 2 pillows (and the heating pad on high!). I asked my doc about sleeping on my back, and he said it's fine...but around week 28 it's supposed to get more uncomfortable because the weight of the baby & uterus is heavy enough around then to cause pressure on the spine. He says my body will tell me when it's time to quit sleeping on my back. I'm not going to think about that until the time comes.
In addition to being preggers, I broke my back in the lower lumbar section a few years ago and constantly get sciatica, so I know what youre going through. My 2 things that fix it for me are accupuncture or physical therapy. They are both safe to do during pregnancy. My accupuncturist actually was referred to me by my OB because she specializes in pregnancy and womens problems. Talk to your OB and she what she says, I highly reccommend both. Im not ure how bad yours is, but mine gets to the point where I cant walk and even have trouble going to the bathroom and these remedies clear it up for me within a few days without any pain medication or drugs. You shoud check it out, good luck!
HI, I'm 35 weeks today and have the same problom .The only thing that works for me is white flower tree oil you can find it at a heath store it comes in a small orintal box and is safe to use during pregnacey .
Oh how I remember the pain! What really helped me was sleeping with a body pillow. I would sleep on my side and place the pillow in between my knees while i wrapped myself around the rest of the pillow ( my DH got jealous that I preferred the pillow over him!) It provided such relief for me. You can get the pillows for $20. So worth it!
I have a herniated disk that potrudes into my sciatic nerve... pregnancy makes it MUCH worse.
I was given permission by my OB to take hot soaks in epsom salt water. It helps quite a bit. I did this 2 or 3 times a week through 2 pregnancies and had healthy babies. I was told to just be aware of my body temp and if I got too flushed feeling to get out of the tub.
I feel for you. I've had sciatica so bad I could barely walk. I looked like I had a busted hip or something.
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005
I soaked in a warm bath for about 20 min the other night and felt a bit better. Yesterday AM I woke up with a dead leg (my left leg)! It was cramping so bad...the sciatica is on my left side. I'm going to call my midwife on Tues and ask about finding someone who specializes in pregnancy massage. A neighbor of mine suggested that.
I've been using a hot water bottle at night and that seems to help a bit. Along with easing the ache the heat lulls me off to sleep. My dad actually prefers cold packs though (he has some major back problems).
Tomorrow I'm going to call my GP and see him. I've read that sciatica is actually caused by a slipped/protruding disc in the lower back and that it really isn't pregnancy related at all. Who knows. All I know is that it feels like bolts of lightening are racing down my leg from my lower back.
I want to thank everybody again for posting your tips and advice. You all are fab!