A Pain In The Back!

Two of the most common pregnancy niggles are backache and sciatica. But how do you know which is which, because they do share a few characteristics?

This guide should help you out…

Understanding backache in pregnancy Understanding sciatica in pregnancy
  • Your centre of gravity and posture change
    during pregnancy, putting strain on your
    back.
  • Progesterone, one of the pregnancy
    hormones, causes your back’s ligaments to
    relax, which can cause backache.
  • Strain on the joints between your pelvis
    and hip bones (common in pregnancy) may
    contribute to lower backache.
  • Backache can be associated with bladder
    and kidney infections’.
  • Women often don’t take care when
    bending and picking up weighty objects,
    making lower back injury and pain more
    likely.
  • The sciatic is the largest nerve in the body
    and arises from the spinal column into the
    lower back. Pressure on this nerve will
    lead to pain and inflammation, called
    sciatica.
  • The softening of ligaments due to
    increased progesterone levels may lead to
    a slump in posture, placing pressure on
    the sciatic nerve.
  • In pregnancy, the body’s centre of gravity
    in pregnancy changes, further
    contributing to compression and irritation
    of the sciatic nerve.
  • Occasionally inflammation of this nerve
    may be caused by other conditions.

Recognising Sciatica

Whereas general backache of pregnancy may be experienced in a variety of ways, related to the
cause, the pain of sciatica is very easy to recognise and includes these common symptoms:

  • Dull ache in the buttock
  • Sharp shooting pain down the back of the leg and in the foot of the affected side
  • A lame or numb feeling down the affected leg
  • Burning or tingling in the toes and certain areas of the leg
  • Sensitive skin
  • Limited range of motion in the foot
  • Chronic sciatica can lead to loss of muscle power and size

What Helps For Backache?

Prevention is better than cure, and it’s all about building your strength and posture, so do yoga,
walk, dance or swim regularly, before and during pregnancy, if all is well with you and Baby. These
tips will help a great deal if you still experience discomfort:

  • Ask you partner or a massage therapist to give you a back massage using arnica oil
  • Cross your hands in the small of your back and press up against a wall
  • Go down on all fours for instant but temporary relief
  • Sit on an exercise or birth ball for an extended period
  • Try to correct your posture by pulling in your tummy and buttocks, keeping your shoulders
    back and down and your chin slightly tilted upwards
  • Wear a pregnancy belt
  • Take the tissue salts Calc fluor and Ferrum phos to improve ligament elasticity and strength

What Helps For Sciatica?

Good muscle tone will help prevent this too! Take these tips as well:

  • See a physiotherapist if symptoms persist
  • Rest frequently during an acute attack
  • Massage the affected area with Arnica oil to help relieve pain, inflammation and the burning ache.
  • Wear a pregnancy band to support the entire abdominal and lower back region, contributing to less pressure and better posture.
  • Take Ferrum phos to relieve inflammation and burning pain, and Kali phos and Mag phos for soothing nerve pain, repairing nerves and treating muscle cramps