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HELP! Sciatica is SUCH a pain in the bum!

(10 Posts)
FluffyCoo Sat 07-Nov-09 18:23:56

It's getting stupid now! I can barely dress myself (well, my lower half!) and I keep getting the most breathtaking shooting pains! My yoga class didn't touch it, have been out walking today, but that seems to have made it worse sad.

I'm off to have a soak in the bath , but if anyone has any suggestions at all for alleviating some of the pain, I would be so, so grateful!

Tangle Sat 07-Nov-09 19:01:50

Have you seen a physio, pref one that specialises in women's health? I started getting sciatica and saw one, and she sorted me out in one session (and showed DH how to keep on top of things). It does depend on what's causing it, but mine was purely muscular. What she told me was that as your pregnancy progresses it gets harder and harder for your abdominal muscles to provide any core stability (especially in 2nd or further pregnancies) so assorted muscles in your back, buttocks and thighs start trying to compensate - and the sciatic nerve runs through most of them. As the muscles are doing work they're not designed for or used to they tend to get tied in knots (literally!), which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve causing the pain we know as sciatica.

For me, at least one of the muscles on one side of my back was incredibly tight such that my left hip was a good inch or more higher than my right. Once she'd released the tension my hips were level and the pain had gone. She supplied me with a maternity support belt, which is helping. She also told me to start really thinking about my posture when sitting and standing (try and be symetrical, hips higher than knees and not leaning back when sitting) but to lie down as much as possible when I don't have to be doing - and to use a small towel or similar in my waist so that my back doesn't sag (also worth considering in bed if your mattress isn't quite right - get DP to check the alignment of your spine when you lie down).

It is important to see someone that knows what they're doing as it is possible for sciatica to have more structural causes (such as slipped disks) so being able to correctly diagnose the cause before treating is quite important.

Sorry this turned into such an essay, but hope there's something in there that's useful to you. Hope you feel better soon - sciatica's miserable.

WobblyPig Sat 07-Nov-09 19:01:55

Try a TENS machine or acupuncture.

holytoast Sat 07-Nov-09 19:10:24

I get this have done for two years due to a roller skating incident! - defo see an osteopath or physo - I did - one exercise I was given to relieve it, if just for a while, is lie on my back, with one leg straight up in the air, foot horizontal, and flex the foot by pointing toward the ceiling and then back horizontal again - support the leg with hands either side, around the knee - do that a few times - hurts at first, as it stretches the muscles etc in your leg, thight and bum, but slowly gets easier and eventually pain in the bum goes away for a bit - unfortunately you can't do it in the middle of tescos! (although preferable to what I do at the moment, which is massage my bum while going ouch ouch ouch!

I am 4 months pregnant - am dreading all of this getting worse - and am now planning lots of osteopath visits and yoga to try and prevent it - but its not looking good so far! so you are not the only one with a massive pain in the bum...

napa Sat 07-Nov-09 19:14:46

I soooo know what you mean. I am only 13 weeks and sciatica started a few weeks ago.

I have seen a physio and they suggested a few exercises so it might be worth trying to get a referral to see a physio, but for me the only thing that makes it better is a good nights sleep.

I am sleeping in a nest of pillows, including one between my knees and that seems to help along with making sure when i move it is carefully - from lying, turn onto my side, then sit up then stand up straight, both feet on the ground before walking.

for me last pregnancy the only thing that cured it was having the baby though!

FluffyCoo Sat 07-Nov-09 20:09:50

Thank you so much ladies - some brilliant information (thanks Tangle) and suggestions in there! Due to see MW on Thursday, so I'll see what she says re referral to physio (my GP is an arse so would rather get MW on side first!). Have some holidays this week so should be able to take it easy in the meantime.

Napa, if you don't mind me asking, did you find that it caused you problems when you went into labour - in terms of restricted movement?

Tangle Sat 07-Nov-09 20:20:41

Do you need to go through the NHS or do you have PHI/could pay? If you're suffering and want to see someone sooner you might want to have a look at the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women's Health - if you go to the "Contact Us" page there's an option to find a physio in your area (email with your postcode), which may save you a bit of discomfort.

The lady I saw was in GL11, if that's any use (and she's of the "gentle" school of physio, rather than "soundproofed rooms so the next patient can't hear the screams" variety ). I was about 26 weeks when I saw her.

FluffyCoo Sat 07-Nov-09 21:07:08

Ah, that's fab thanks! If I keep getting as much aggro as I have been, it'll be money well spent...

Hope all you fellow sufferes are managing to beat it into submission!

KateM77 Sun 08-Nov-09 16:21:06

I have sacralization, which essentially means I have excess bone fusing some of my lower vertibrae together and means that there's only a very small hole for the nerve root to go through. The result is lower back pain and sciatica. Normally I can control the pain by exercising and keeping some core strength, but with my pregnancy I'm obviously exercising less and the pain is getting worse. I'm only 14 weeks at the moment and am dreading what it'll be like by the time I give birth.

I do have some exercises I can do which a physio gave me. One is to lie on your back, put your leg straight up and flex yor foot, put a belt round your foot and pull your leg back a little way towards your head approx 20 times. Another is to lie on your side and do side leg raises with your foot flexed and pointed slightly towards the ceiling, hold the leg up for a count of 10 and repeat 10 times on each side.

I've also got an intrasound machine which helps when the pain is bad. You can get it from Boots online and it's fine to use when pregnant as long as you don't use it on your abdomen.

Hope this helps and that you find some relief from the pain soon - I can fully sympathise!

FluffyCoo Sun 08-Nov-09 22:54:44

Thanks Kate - your condition sounds like misery though you poor thing! Am hoping that my aches and pains are purely baby-related and will go away at some point. My main concern - like you - is how to get through the rest of pg (although fortunately I only have to cope for another 12 weeks before Mat leave starts) and whether it will be a problem when I go into labour - i.e preventing me from being as active as i would like.

Spent the day "pottering" - sitting for a bit, mooching around for a bit, sitting again and so on, the only hideous pain I got was when trying to put tights on (DH is suddenly on a steep learning curve re ladies under-garments) and when I tried to sit on the floor to do some stretches. I'm thinking that it might be an idea to see my GP sooner rather than later - think I'll try to get an appointment tomorrow.

Thanks to all again for the advice and sympathy xx

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