Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy

September 22, 2011

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imageSciatic nerve pain, or sciatica is pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain causes pain, tingling and numbness which travels down the buttock, hip and thigh. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs on both sides of your body from your lower back down the legs to the feet. You can experience this pain on one or both sides. This is not harmful to the baby, but is very unpleasant for the mother.

Causes of Sciatic Pain During Pregnancy

  • Pressure from the uterus- During pregnancy the baby’s weight can put pressure on your sciatic nerve, pinching it. This can cause some pretty excruciating pain. If the baby changes position this pain may ease on its own.
  • Poor Posture- slouching and poor posture can aggravate sciatica or allow it to develop.
  • Improper bending or lifting.
  • Crossing your legs frequently, especially only to one side.
  • Lack of exercise.

Preventing Sciatica During Pregnancy

  • imagePractice good posture- Stand with your hips and pelvis tucked in and your shoulders back and head up. Do not slouch or lean forward.
  • Practice safe lifting and bending. To lower your body, bend at the knees, not the waist. Use your thigh muscles to push yourself back up without using your back muscles.
  • Try a pregnancy support belt.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Take frequent breaks from sitting or standing. Walk often.
  • When you sit, elevate your feet slightly .
  • Get massages or chiropractic adjustments.
  • Practice pregnancy pain relief techniques.
  • Use a pregnancy pillow when you sleep.
  • Practice pregnancy yoga.

Treatment for Sciatica During Pregnancy

  • Use moist heat compresses.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Take acetaminophen for pain.
  • See a chiropractor, massage therapist or acupuncturist.
  • Have a friend or partner to practice hands on techniques on your body such as those in the Pregnancy Pain Relief book.
  • Exercises and physical therapy.

When You Should Call Your Doctor

  • Your sciatic pain is very intense.
  • Your sciatic pain is getting worse.

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