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Sciatic nerve pain??

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004: Sciatic nerve pain??
By Emdee on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 04:44 pm:

I just found out I am pregnant with #2--probably about 6-7 weeks along. Ever since last week I have had this pain in my backside that gets worse if I sit or lay for extended periods. It gets so bad that some mornings I literally can't turn over without intense/ sharp pains shooting through to my leg. I always thought sciatic pain was in your third trimester, but that is all I can think it is since I haven't had any injuries there lately. Any suggestions on how to deal with it? Any experiences with it? Does it eventually go away? I want to be active and walk alot, but I think that aggrevates it the next morning. Also, isn't tylenol okay, just not motrin? My first appt is another 2 weeks away, so I thought I would get any suggestions before then! Thanks

By Emily7 on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:15 pm:

Drink more water, walk, & stretch. Tylenol is okay to use.

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:30 pm:

First, talk to your doctor and perhaps get a referral to an orthopedic doctor. Your gyne/ob or the orthopedic doc may recommend exercises, but because you are pregnant you should only do this with medical advice.

Now, for temporary comfort - if you sleep on your back, try putting a firm pillow under your knees. Try to sleep on your back, and you should have a fairly firm mattres - though if a firm mattress is not comfortable, try a firm mattress with a 1 or 2 inch foam topper for softness. When you are sitting, be sure to sit in straight chairs which provide plenty of support - forget soft chairs, recliners, etc, for the time being. Roll up a large bath towel - fold it the long way in thirds or quarters and roll it up. Fasten this to the chair with straps, or whatever you can find, so that it provides support for your back just below the waist. You can find this kind of roll - lumbar roll - foam with a washable cover and straps for fastening to chairs or car seats - in many medical equipment supply places. When you are sitting, try putting a low stool under first one foot and, after half an hour, the other foot. The pillow and stool change the pull on your back and leg muscles, which should provide some relief. Try to sit in chairs where your knees bend comfortably at the edge of the chair. I am short, so I use a firm pillow to provide support for my back and shorten the distance between the chair back and front edge. Sit with your knees comfortably bent and your feet firmly on the floor - if your feet don't reach the floor, use a footstool.

Be very careful about bending and lifting. Don't bend your back, use your knees. Try hard not to lift things, especially child #1. When my back was bad, rather than lifting the child I would sit down to take the child on my lap, or even sit on the floor or kneel down to the ground.

If you have to turn, turn your whole body from your feet on up instead of turning at the waist or hips. If you have to reach up for something, position yourself so that you are reaching up straight in front of you instead of to the side, and try using a stool or stepstool so that you can climb up instead of reaching up.

You may have a strained muscle - try heat, a half hour at a time, and see if this relieves it. If it does, try heat 3-4 times a day to help soothe the muscles. Tylenol for pain, but nothing else until you talk to your doctor, and follow the dosage directions strictly.

When driving, be sure your car seat is positioned to reduce the strain on your back - check the position of the seat, use the lumbar roll or buy a special support made for car seats. My car is a sporty kind of car with semi-bucket seats which instead of being firm are hollowed out so you sink back into them. I put a couple of back supports meant for carseats under the carseat cover to fill in this hollow and give good back support. I am very careful to be sure the seat is positioned so that I am not straining my legs or back to reach the steering wheel, brake or gas pedal.

Forget gardening, housework which requires bending, and similar stuff for a couple of weeks. Your child won't notice, probably, and your dh will (I hope) understand.

Wear "sensible" shoes - not sandals, not heels, but sneaker type shoes that fasten firmly to your foot and give good support. If you have a panty girdle (does anyone have those anymore) wear it as it will help give support. Oddly enough, one of the things that helps back pain is supporting and strengthening the stomach muscles, as there is a sort of "girdle" of muscles from the back to your stomach that support your lumbar spine.

Back pain is the pits. Everything you do affects your back and hurts. I would strongly recommend that you ask if you can get in to see your doctor sooner - tell them you are having severe sciatic pain that is interfering with your actions of daily living. One of the things that happens with this kind of pain, for me at least, is that because I am hurting most of the time, I get very snappy - b*****y, in fact.

And the problem with pain, as my wonderful orthopedic doctor explained to me, is that pain causes inflamed nerves, which causes more pain, which causes more inflammation, and so on in a vicious spiral. Which is why it is so important to try to prevent the pain and, with your doctor's advice, to deal with it.

By Andi on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:34 pm:

I've had the same thing my WHOLE pregnancy...one more week to go!!! I take tylenol for the pain and the only other thing I can do is just deal with it. I know how you feel and trust me, I know it's not plesant. I take long hot showers and let the water hit my back and that seems to help some but when the pain is really bad I just take 2 Tylenol and try not to walk to much.

By Trisa on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 07:08 pm:

Well as many of you know I have had sciatic pain
for months. And Im not pregnant! Taking a nice warm bath does make it feel better. So does those heated wraps they sell now. They cost alot for all the more you get in a pack but its well worth it! I feel for you because it really does hurt.

By Karen~moderator on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 07:42 pm:

And......just want to throw this in......icing your back works for some people - like me. LOL I've used those gel packs that you keep in the freezer for my back and neck for years. For some people, ice works better, which makes sense because it helps with inflammation, and actually encourages blood flow, which aids in healing.

Is one of your legs shorter than the other? Most people's are like that, but in some of us, it's enough to make the difference it takes to throw your spine out of alignment. You can get a heal lift to put in your sneakers or other *closed* shoes. I got mine at Phidippides. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes in the sciatic pain.

Sorry you're feeling so badly, hope you feel better soon!

By Tink on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 09:46 pm:

I don't know how much it will help now but, as you get farther along, it may feel good to get into a hands-and-knees position. This is what I did to pull the weight of the baby off of my pelvis and sciatic nerve. I had the most scrubbed floors in the state because I wanted something to do while I was down there! :)

By Feona on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 06:38 am:

Swimming should help too. Ask doctor if it is okay to do.

I had sciatica for five years. Swimming was the only thing that helped during the five years. Chiro helped a bit. Accupunture helped a bit. Rolfing cured it.

By Feona on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 06:38 am:

Don't carry anything heavy! No strenuous chores. It all makes it worse.

By Emdee on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 10:47 am:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will definitely try them. Hey, at least I can use this as an excuse for my dh to help with the house!! It does seem better at night if I sleep on the opposite side. My last pregnancy was very eventful, so I guess I should have been expecting this. Andi, good luck with your delivery! I am sure you are ready after having this the whole time.


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