The joys of pregnancy sciatica

On Thursday night, I started feeling a strange dull pain in my right hip. I didn’t think much of it and did my usual activities and slept in the usual position I have been in since the second trimester began, which is lying on my left side with a huge long pillow between my legs. I figured that I probably just pulled a muscle or had some other minor injury at the gym, and I’d probably be fine the next day after a night’s rest. The next morning, the pain was still there and felt the same, and I was able to use the elliptical and do some yoga. But during yoga, something felt really off in my right side. It just felt very tight, and I couldn’t quite explain it. And then during the day, I realized I had to limp occasionally to walk, which was really frustrating. And the real doozy was Friday evening trying to go to bed. I woke up at around 1:30am from shooting pains radiating down my hip into my knee. And I knew it had to be pregnancy related.

In the third trimester when a pregnant woman’s uterus is expanding the most for the growing baby, at the same time a hormone called relaxin is being released by her body, allowing her joints and ligaments to soften and make more space for the birth canal to widen to allow the baby to eventually get pushed through and be born. The potential side effect of this, though, is that the growing uterus can push against one’s sciatic nerve, causing all kinds of pains from the pelvic on downwards. The baby’s position in utero can also push down on sensitive nerves. It’s been said that yoga poses like child’s pose, figure four stretch, pigeon pose, and runner’s lunge are supposed to help and even eliminate the pain. But for me, other than child’s pose, they seem to have made my situation worse and my pain deepen. Child’s pose provides relief during the stretch, but once I am out of that position, the pain still seems to be the same unfortunately.

Chris helped me rearrange the pillows. We tried a cold ice pack to alleviate the pain. I ended up having to position myself nearly sitting completely upright to get comfortable before finally falling asleep. It was miserable. While changing positions constantly in pain, I thought back to the trainer at the gym who told me that I’d likely be pain and ache free throughout my pregnancy because I’d been so diligent about working out and keeping active, and I laughed to myself, realizing how wrong he was. Sciatica apparently does not discriminate like that. It can really affect anyone who is pregnant, including, unfortunately, me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.