There is no way around it, being pregnant can bring with it wide range of aches and pains. From leg cramps severe enough to wake you from a sound sleep to lower back pain that just doesn’t seem to go away, pregnancy can be more than just a little bit uncomfortable. Some women suffer from sciatic pain in pregnancy that makes it even more painful.
There simply is no mistaking sciatic pain in pregnancy – it is unlike any of the other aches, pains and irritations of pregnancy. Sharp and shooting pain that originates in the lower back or groin and shoots down one leg is a sure sign that one of your pregnancy complications is sciatic nerve pain.
Some women are more likely to suffer from sciatic pain in pregnancy than others. Pregnant women who sit or stand for extended periods of time or who engage in frequent lifting often see more incidents of pain. Women who have suffered from sciatic pain in a prior pregnancy are also more likely to have it. Finally, excessive weight gain during a pregnancy will often cause increased pressure on the nerve.
Sciatic pain in pregnancy is caused by a combination of inflammation of the sciatic nerve and increased pressure from the growing baby on the same nerve. Obviously, there is little that can be done to ‘cure’ sciatic pain short of delivery. If you are experiencing this type of pain, it is important to discuss the matter at your next prenatal visit. Your doctor may recommend several courses of action to help alleviate your sciatic pain in pregnancy.
- 1. Changes in sleeping position – many women find relief by sleeping on the side opposite to the pain. If you are experiencing shooting pain in your left leg, sleeping on your right side may alleviate the pressure on the nerve enough to ease your pain.
- 2. Using a ‘Belly Sling,” available at many baby stores, may ease some of the pressure on the nerve itself.
- 3. Prenatal yoga may ease the pressure associated with pregnancy on the lower back and sciatic nerve. Your doctor may suggest a class or your childbirth class may have resources.
- 4. Prenatal massage can be a great way to relieve tension in the lower back and ease some of your sciatic pain in pregnancy. Massage by a professional familiar with pregnancy massage may ease the inflammation and pressure on the Sciatic Nerve and thus temporarily alleviate the pain associated with it.
- 5. For cases of sciatic pain in pregnancy that are particularly severe, several visits to a physical therapist may be the answer. Simple exercises and changes in the way you sit, sleep and walk may ease some of the pain.
In many cases, the pain of a pinched Sciatic Nerve can be eased, but never completely cured. Unfortunately, until the day comes when you finally deliver, you may always suffer from some degree of uncomfortablness from sciatica. Work closely with your doctor and coaches to find ways to make yourself more comfortable.