Signs of sciatica and how to manage it when you’re a busy mum

Sciatica pain

Your daily duties mean that you are constantly rushing around from one task to another, without any free moments to yourself. But, when you are experiencing lower left back pain, middle back pain, and/or upper back and neck pain as well, then it’s normal to feel extremely stressed and confused, especially when you don’t know anything about the signs of sciatica. This article will go through the signs of sciatica and how to manage sciatica symptoms when you’re a busy mum.

How to diagnose sciatica

Sciatica is a condition that tends to begin with a herniated disk in your lower spine. These disks are meant to cushion the bones of your spine, but sometimes they can shift out of place and become herniated. This is typically due to an injury of some sort. Once that disk moves, it can then place pressure on the sciatic nerve, which then leads to the pain you are feeling.

Typically, the pain will begin in the lower back where the disk has herniated (which may be located in your lower back muscles and feel like muscle spasms) and then move to your hips, buttocks, legs, and feet. The pain will be felt on both sides of your body. It’s also normal to feel numbness, weakness, and tingling in your feet and legs. Pain can range from mild all the way to severe and can fluctuate from day to day.

So what do I do if I have sciatica?

If you have recently been diagnosed with sciatica, there is no doubt you have a whole lot of thoughts racing through your head right now. What does sciatica mean for you? How long will sciatica last? What kind of treatment will you need to pursue? And how will sciatica impact your life physically? So without further stress, below are some tips and information on how you can better cope and manage sciatica.

Speak to your doctor

The first thing you need to do is speak with to your doctor or a sciatica specialist, who will typically recommend physical therapy for sciatica that includes painkillers, stretching, walking, and in some cases, herniated disk surgery may be necessary when you have weakness, in your back and the other treatments are not working. It may be necessary to remove a part of the disk that has prolapsed.

Other treatments your doctor may discuss will be setting up cognitive behavioural therapy and corticosteroid injections.

You can also find some beneficial information on the websites of the clinic’s who specialise in this treatment. For example, Wimbledon Clinics have recently published an article which discusses the common myths associated with sciatica which may be worth reading if you need more information. 

Typically sciatica is short-term

You will also want to remind yourself that regardless of how much discomfort you are in on day one, usually it is a short-term issue. As long as you follow your treatment plan and listen to the doctor’s instructions, the pain tends to resolve within a few weeks. Each week should get better and better, with less pain.

The only time this isn’t the case is if you suffer from chronic sciatica, which means it comes and goes or lasts for more than three months.

Keep moving

As mentioned, one of the treatments your doctor will recommend is that you get moving, which may involve herniated disc exercises. This doesn’t mean heading to the gym or jog around the neighbourhood. Instead, you want to focus on just staying active and not letting your body sit still for too long. As a busy mum, staying in motion is probably par for the course. Invest in some specialist shoes for back pain which will help your body align correctly while you are moving about.

If you give in and sit down to rest for a bit, this is typically when the pressure and pain will start to build up again, and you’ll end up feeling a more discomfort, as this is when inflammation tends to pop up. The movement will help keep inflammation at bay.

Make use of cold and hot packs

In the first few days of your sciatic pain, it can also be helpful to use cold packs on your lower back. This will help to cut down on the amount of inflammation that develops. After the first few days, you can then switch to hot packs, which will ensure that everything stays loose and you can move about.


Sciatic nerve stretches can help to ease the pain and provide some relief. Yoga for sciatica is especially useful and poses like the reclining pigeon pose, sitting pigeon pose, forward pigeon pose, knee to opposite shoulder, sitting spinal stretch and standing hamstring stretch can help to relieve sciatica symptoms.

Ask the family to pitch in and help

Finally, it’s essential that you aren’t going about everything on your own and trying to be super-mum while dealing with sciatica. Speak to the family, let them know what you’re dealing with, and ask for everyone to help out with chores around the house.

Signs of sciatica healing

These tips above will help you get on the road to recovery where you can be pain-free once again. It’s important to continue with stretching, strengthening your back and taking necessary treatment if you are still experiencing pain after treatment so that you don’t suffer in silence. Speak to your doctor again if your sciatica symptoms do come back, even if they have disappeared for a while, as it may be necessary to pursue other stronger forms of treatment to manage sciatica.

Leyla Preston (602 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/