How To Prevent Sciatica Pain in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a journey that many women take. Unfortunately, this journey can be full of difficulties, the most common of which is sciatica.Many pregnant women suffer from sciatica pain that can be so bad it makes them immobile and in extreme cases can even cause fainting episodes or seizures. Sciatica is extremely painful and can make your life miserable both during and after pregnancy, but fortunately there are some great techniques that you can use to prevent these attacks.

Unlike your average pregnancy back pain, sciatica is a sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in the back or buttocks and radiates all the way down the backs of your legs.

The sciatic nerve, the largest in the body, starts in the lower back, runs down the buttocks and branches down the back of the legs to the ankles and feet. In most cases, sciatica happens when this nerve gets compressed by bulging, slipped or ruptured discs, arthritis, or a narrowing of the spinal cord (also called spinal stenosis).

But rarely, women experience sciatica as a short-term side effect of pregnancy.

What causes sciatica during pregnancy?

You can blame sciatica during pregnancy on the usual suspects:

  • Weight gain and increased fluid retention can put pressure on the sciatic nerve where it passes through the pelvis, compressing it.
  • Your expanding uterus might also press down on the sciatic nerve in the lower part of your spine.
  • Your growing belly and breasts shift your center of gravity forward and stretch your lordotic curve (the dip just above your butt). This can cause the muscles in your buttocks and pelvic area to tighten up and pinch the sciatic nerve.
  • Your baby’s head can rest directly on the nerve when he starts to settle into the proper birth position in the third trimester.
  • A herniated or slipped disc caused by the extra pressure of your growing uterus can be the culprit, although this is less common.

What you need to know about sciatica during pregnancy 

Sciatica will most likely occur during the third trimester, when both you and your baby are bulking up (it can develop earlier, but it’s not common). Most women typically experience pain just on one side, though you may feel it in both legs.

sciatica causes occur in pregnancy due to the extra weight of the baby, and the extra pressure that it puts on the lower back and pelvic area. If you are experiencing sciatica pain in pregnancy, there are things that you can do to prevent sciatic nerve pain from getting worse. Sciatica is a major pregnancy concern that affects around one in five pregnant women. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage sciatic pain and prevent it from happening. This article reviews the most common exercises and tips for dealing with sciatica during pregnancy, as well as other options for managing your sciatica symptoms.

When you’re pregnant, your body is going through changes that just aren’t normal. One of the biggest changes is the increase of hormones and fluids, which can cause sciatic nerve pain and back pain during pregnancy. You may already be feeling a bit sore and stiff, but you don’t have to suffer. There are plenty of things you can do to cut down on the pain and keep moving. Sciatica pain can be relieved quickly by applying pressure to the sciatic nerve itself or at strategic points in the body that may help relieve pressure on the nerve. These techniques, which include deep breathing and stretching of the spine, are discussed below.

What Helps Sciatica Pain While Pregnant

If you are experiencing sciatica pain during pregnancy (or any other time), this pillow can help. It gently massages your hips and lower back to relieve tension, and it’s small enough to travel with you in a suitcase or duffle bag. Due to the abdominal pressure and increased weight, the sciatica pain may be exacerbated during pregnancy. Therefore, if you suffer from this condition and are expecting a baby, it is important for you to know about sciatica relief during pregnancy.

Learn about the symptoms and causes of sciatica as well as tips for managing back pain during pregnancy. One of the most common causes of sciatica pain is a slipped disc. The spine is a complex structure of bones, discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves. A slipped disc occurs when one or more sections of your intervertebral discs separate from each other causing nerve compression. The pressure on the nerves in your back can cause pain that travels down into your lower extremities and legs. Sciatica is essentially irritation to the sciatic nerve that passes through the lower back area near the sciatic foramen and exits through exit foramina at L4/L5 or L5/S1 discs to innervate lower extremity muscles. During pregnancy, there are many changes to your body and this can affect how easily you recover from any injury such as a slipped disc.

Sciatica can be constant or intermittent, depending on the amount of pressure placed on the nerve. Pain may increase as you put on more weight and retain more fluid.

And it can stick around for a few months or so after you’ve given birth, until you’ve shed the excess weight and fluid pressing on the nerve.

What you can do to relieve sciatica

  • Use a warm compress on the spot where you feel the pain.
  • When you can, take a break off of your feet. Resting in a comfortable position can ease some leg and lower back pain.
  • Sleep on the side of your body that’s pain-free. For example, if you feel pain on your left side, lie down on your right side. That’s still okay, even though the “best” sleeping position for pregnant women is typically said to be the left side.
  • For extra comfort at night, use a firm mattress with plenty of back support. You can also place a pregnancy pillow or a regular pillow between your legs to help keep the pelvis in better alignment and take some pressure off the sciatic nerve.
  • Try to avoid sitting for long stretches. Take frequent walking breaks and try alternating between your desk (or the couch) and a Pilates ball. 
  • Do some pelvic tilts with your Kegel exercises. They’ll help strengthen your core muscles and can help reduce inflammation.
  • Try swimming. It can take off some of the pressure, since the buoyancy of the water temporarily relieves the spine of the pregnancy weight.
  • Consider acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments or therapeutic prenatal massage. All can potentially offer relief, just be sure to work with a trained and licensed practitioner. Customized physical therapy regimens can be helpful too. 
  • Try to gain pregnancy weight at a steady pace. A major jump in pounds could put undue pressure on the sciatic nerve. Though the amount you should gain is specific to you, women who were a normal BMI before getting pregnant should generally aim to gain around 3 to 4 pounds in the first trimester, up to 14 more pounds in the second trimester and about 10 more pounds in the third trimester, for a total weight gain in pregnancy of 25 to 35 pounds.
  • If the pain is severe, talk to your doctor. She may recommend acetaminophen in a dosage that will take the edge off the pain but keep you and your baby safe.

What Makes Sciatica Worse In Pregnancy

Here’s how sciatica is more intense when you’re pregnant, and what you can do to manage the pain. It’s no surprise that sciatica worsens during pregnancy. Sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back down through the buttock into both legs. It controls things like movement and sensation in the buttocks, thighs, and feet. As your baby grows in your uterus, it is pressing against many nerves including these ones in your spine that lead to your legs and feet. This can cause pain and discomfort on one or both sides of your body from your lower back down through one leg — somewhat like an electric shock that starts at your rear end then travels down through one leg to your foot.”

Painful sciatica during pregnancy is often worsened by the increased pressure on your spine and pelvis caused by your growing baby. Sciatic pain can also be caused by a condition called sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which is more likely to occur in pregnant women due to the changes in connective tissues that happen naturally during pregnancy. …A doctor can determine whether the issue stems from your pregnancy or if it’s related to another condition like piriformis syndrome or pelvic girdle pain

The sciatic nerve is the main nerve that runs from your lower back to your legs. It can become irritated or pinched. Sciatica occurs when it becomes irritated or pinched from a bulging disc, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease. Sciatica has been found to be more common in pregnant women than non-pregnant women, with an estimated 9 percent of all pregnant women experiencing sciatica at some point in their pregnancy.

The first trimester of pregnancy may be one of the most important times to address sciatica, as the symptoms are likely to come and go. However, it’s important not to underestimate the potential dangers associated with a back problem during this time. The sciatic nerve runs along your glutes, thighs and down to your toes. Sciatica can cause pain in the glutes and thighs, as well as numbness or tingling in your legs. Sciatica is most common when you’re pregnant because of the hormonal changes that can happen in your body during pregnancy.

What Helps Sciatica Pain Pregnancy

What helps sciatica pain pregnancy? Sciatica pain is surely one of the worst pains anyone can feel. The condition can be excruciating, and it is often brought on by strain on the muscles that support your spine. However, there are many things you can do to help alleviate the pain caused by this condition.

Sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy is actually very common. Most pregnant women experience at least one episode of sciatic pain during their pregnancy. Sadly, this nerve pain, which is sometimes diagnosed as sciatica, is another annoying ache and pain you may have to deal with while pregnant. Good news is, there are some remedies you can try to help ease discomfort.

What causes sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, levels of the hormone relaxin increase. This hormone helps prepare your pelvis for childbirth by relaxing ligaments and widening your hips.  As your belly grows and ligaments loosen, your center of gravity shifts, which can cause the sciatic nerve to get pinched or irritated.

What does sciatic nerve pain feel like?

When this nerve gets irritated, it can cause a shooting pain sensation down the buttocks and back of the legs. It makes daily movement and sitting quite uncomfortable. Other signs of sciatica include a sharp pain on either side of the buttocks, numbness down your legs, or sharp lower back pain that increases upon sitting.

Remedies to help ease your sciatic pain

There’s technically nothing that can completely cure sciatica, other than giving birth itself. However, here are some stretches and remedies to help give you some relief. 

Sciatica stretches

1.Pigeon pose

Pigeon pose

This pose targets the hip rotator and flexor muscles.

  • Place your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Gently slide your right knee forward so it’s between your hands.
  • Slide your left leg back, keeping your foot faced up on the floor.
  • Place a yoga block or rolled towel under your right hip. This will make the stretch easier and make room for your belly. Repeat for opposite leg.

2. Bound angle pose

Bound angle pose

Sciatic pain is helped by poses that passively stretch the hip with the thigh externally rotated.

  • Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groin are tight.
  • Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together.

3. Child’s pose (wide)

child's pose pregnancy

This exercise opens the spine and relieves your hips of the weight from the baby.

  • With your face to the ground, slightly part your feet, with your toes to the ground and feet upwards.
  • Stretch out both arms as far as possible until you feel a nice stretch.
  • Make sure your big toes are touching each other.
  • Nestle your tummy between your thighs.
  • Gently lower yourself face down to the ground with your arms outstretched.

4. Modified warrior two pose/hip flexor stretch


This stretch really helps your hip flexors. Try a modified warrior two version with one knee on the mat.

  • Kneel on the floor on your hands and knees.
  • Step one foot in front of you so that your hip and knee are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your back hip and leg.

Other sciatica stretches include:

Table stretch – Stand facing a table with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Lean forward with your hands on the table. Keep your arms straight and your back flat. Pull your hips away from the table until you feel a nice stretch in the lower back and back of the legs.

Pigeon pose in a chair – This pose specifically targets the piriformis muscle. Try to find a chair in which you can sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor and your thighs roughly parallel to the floor. Place your right ankle near your left knee and try to relax your right knee toward the floor. Repeat on the left side.

Sciatica massage

Foam rolling your tight muscles or booking a prenatal massage may help ease your pain. Be sure and explain the pain you are experiencing to your therapist. Please note: It may be required you bring a doctor’s note clearing you for your massage. Check with your doctor before you book.

Applying heat

Try applying heat to the area where you are experiencing the most pain. Although it may just be temporary relief, it may help with your soreness. Be sure not to apply a heating pad directly on your belly for a long period of time.

Pregnancy girdle

Some women swear by pregnancy girdles for sciatic nerve pain. The girdle helps evenly distribute your pregnancy weight and can help with your posture.

The good news is that many pregnancy side effects, including sciatic nerve pain will go away after pregnancy. Hang in there mamma!

There are many ways to deal with sciatica pain during your pregnancy. Some of the most common treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and heat therapy. Although sciatica pain in pregnancy is uncommon, it does happen. Sciatic pain during pregnancy can be treated effectively, but it’s best to seek help from a medical professional. These doctors are trained in treating pregnant women with sciatica symptoms and can target the source of your particular problem and work on relieving your pain with the most effective treatment available.

When you’re pregnant, sciatica pain is extremely common. Learn how to get relief without taking medications that can be harmful to your baby or cause nausea with these natural remedies. Sciatica pain during pregnancy is one of the most common concerns among pregnant women and all too often, it is left untreated. If you have also been experiencing sciatica during pregnancy because of a slipped disc, then you are probably wondering how can Sciatica be treated in pregnancy?

Pain in the back, leg and foot is common during pregnancy because of your changing anatomy and weight gain. Sciatica is another ailment that may be difficult to deal with while pregnant. It’s nerve pain that can radiate from the hips to the feet or legs. If you have sciatica, you feel pain on one side of your body, typically in the buttock and thigh , or hip area. The pain may extend down the back of your leg to your ankle and foot

Why Sciatica Pain Occurs During Pregnancy

Sciatica pain occurs during pregnancy because the baby can engage in the pelvis. That is a very sensitive area for a woman Maternity, so sciatic pain may be experienced in late pregnancy or even postpartum.

As a woman’s body changes during pregnancy, sciatica pain can become more frequent and painful. Sciatica is a problem that causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the buttocks, lower back and legs. Sciatica can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness or heaviness in the legs. Sciatic nerve pain is usually caused by compression of the nerve roots that pass through the lumbar spine (lower back). This compression can result from disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, spinal injury, tumors and narrowing of spinal space at each level than normal.

Sciatica is the name for irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs along the lower spine and leg and is commonly affected by pregnancy. Sciatica pain is caused by a muscle spasm in which inflammation in the muscles compresses the sciatic nerve, causing it to fire off messages that create pain.

The pain comes from irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through the buttocks, along each side of the leg and into the foot. Sciatica is caused by a number of factors — but there’s evidence that pregnancy can worsen existing pain or even cause it in those who didn’t experience problems before. Sciatica is a form of arthritis that affects the sciatic nerve, a large nerve in the lower back that allows feeling in areas such as your legs and feet. Sciatica can cause pain in the lower back and legs, numbness, or weakness in those areas, too. Sciatica is not common during pregnancy, but it does happen.

Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs through the spine and down the back of each leg. It causes pain in the lower back, buttocks, or thighs. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed resulting in irritation of that nerve. Therefore sciatica can be triggered by any number of injuries to your spine or pelvis and can cause leg pain severe enough to halt your daily activities.

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