Common Health Issues / Pregnancy Health + Wellness

Sciatica Pain During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica nerve travels from lower part of back through back portion of legs and lastly to feet. Sciatica is not a single snag but includes various problems that occur when pressure or infection results in pain on nerves travelling from back to legs.

Sciatica Pain in Pregnancy

Inflammation of sciatica nerves causes sciatica during pregnancy. Resulting pain occurs because of excessive pressure of protruded belly on nerves.

Causes of Sciatica During Pregnancy

Causes of Sciatica PainPregnancy is not a reason for sciatica pain. Main causes of sciatica during pregnancy are as follows-

  • An increase in fluid retention and excessive weight gained by a pregnant body starts putting force on sciatica nerves and thus leads to its compression
  • During pregnancy, uterus tends to expand so that it can carry the baby easily. This extended uterus presses sciatica nerves downward at lower spinal area
  • As the breasts and belly are growing it starts causing tightening of sciatica nerves
  • During third trimester baby starts shifting its position and sometimes his head is on sciatica nerves causing pain.

Must Know About: How to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

Symptoms of Sciatica in Pregnancy

Some common sciatica symptoms are as follows-

  • Feeling of tingling unresponsiveness that leads to a fiery sensation and acute pain
  • Mild pain occurs firstly in buttocks area and later shifts from back to legs to foot
  • Occurrence of irregular pain
  • Acute cramps in muscles
  • In rare cases, pain in groin area

How to Manage Sciatica Pain in Pregnancy

Managing and controlling Sciatica pain during pregnancy is easy with the help of few precautionary measures that are as follows:-

  • Bed rest is an important aspect for sciatica relief
  • Application of heating pad is also acceptable as pain reliever
  • An ice pack provides respite to sciatica patients
  • In some cases, doctors allow swimming as acceptable physical exercise
  • Walking is one physical activity doctors approve of
  • Wearing comfortable footwear is necessary for patients suffering from sciatica. Flat and comfy shoes help the leg muscles to relax and prevents any jostling in spinal area at the time of taking a walk
  • Maintaining posture correctly to prevent pain and hurt in spinal area
  • In order to provide support to back it is sensible to use customized pillows especially designed for pregnant women.
  • It is prudent to avoid lifting and carrying heavy objects as they can put unnecessary pressure on a pregnant body. This can cause adverse results.
  • Any activity that can harm mother and baby must be sidestepped
  • Sometimes a belt provides support to swollen belly
  • Avoid sitting in same place for a long time as muscles become stiff and can start causing discomfort
  • It is better to sit than stand and lie down than sit
  • Using pillows while sleeping gives a comfortable feeling
  • In case, pain is extreme, using crutches can provide reprieve

Treatment of Sciatica Pain During Pregnancy

One question that needs answer is how to treat sciatica. The main objective of a suitable treatment is minimization of pressure and pain on sciatica nerves and therefore some apt therapies are as follows-

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Although medicines are not prescribed by the doctors as they may harm the baby, but still in extreme cases, anti-inflammatory medications can be taken under the guidance of a medical practitioner
  • Osteopathic treatment
  • Massage therapies
  • Physical therapies under the guidance of a therapist
  • Exercises

Sciatica Back Pain Exercises


This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Stephanie McClane About Author

Stephanie McClane is a mother of three and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gathered throughout her pregnancies. After approaching her last two pregnancies from a more holistic prespective and having two natural births, she was inspired to share her experiences with other moms-to-be.