Sciatica During Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes many changes in a woman’s body as the body adapts to the baby’s growth. This natural adaptation can cause pain and body aches. Sciatica is one such nerve pain that happens during pregnancy.

Sciatica, or lumbar radiculopathy, is a radiating pain that moves from the sciatic nerve to the back of your thigh. The sciatic nerve in the lower spine is the largest in the body. It is the main nerve in the legs.

Sciatica Pain Symptoms

You will feel mild to excruciating pain and body aches because of sciatica. You may feel tingling in one part and pain in another area of your body.

The symptoms include −

  • You will feel a burning sensation around the lower back and buttocks

  • Moving pain from the pelvis to the back of your leg

  • An electric shock-like sudden jolt of pain

  • You will feel severe pain when you cough, sneeze, or be in a sitting position for long

  • You will experience weakness in muscle, numbness, or tingling sensation in one leg or foot

Sciatica Nerve Pain Causes

When the spine gets compressed, it pinches the sciatic nerve, and sciatica pain happens. It causes inflammation, numbness, and pain because of the herniated disk or bone overgrowth, typically called bone spur on the vertebrae.

Pregnancy-caused spinal compression affects your sciatic nerve. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin to relax your ligaments and help prepare your pelvis for the child's birth.

If you have loose ligaments and a growing uterus, it can displace the center of gravity to pinch the sciatic nerve, causing shooting pain down the legs.

The sciatic sensation can aggravate when you are pregnant. Sciatic problems and lower back pain during pregnancy are common. The sciatic issues grow in the third trimester but can happen anytime during pregnancy.

The baby's growth increases the weight on your body, increasing pressure on the joints and muscles. The position of the baby can cause compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatic pain comes in and out or persistently stays for some women. An uncomfortable pain for the mother, but the nerve compression will not harm the baby.

6 Ways to Manage Sciatica

Sciatic nerve pain needs a lot of rest to heal. You will experience discomfort because of this, but bring the sciatica pain under control. Doctors may recommend pain relievers that are available over the counter (OTC) to relieve excruciating pain. Take the medicines as prescribed to prevent any harm to your baby.

You may get exhausted because of constant body aches and pain. You can turn to home treatments that are easily accessible when you require them the most in the shortest time to ease your discomfort.

1. Hot Shower and Heating Pad

Heat works wonders for your muscles. Your muscles may get aggravated, carrying extra body weight. The heat helps tighten the muscles. You may try pressing a cold pack on the lower back of your body and the rear pelvis to get more relief during pregnancy.

2. The Gentle Movement of Your Body

Taking adequate rest during pregnancy is tempting. We extend to curl up when your body is in pain. However, we encourage gentle movement. It can help you in the long run. Go for a light walk, or take up yoga under the guidance of a specialist to soothe your muscles and relax your mind. It can help divert attention from the pain. Avoid twisting or bending during yoga. Under the guidance of a trainer, take up light swimming.

3. Paying Attention to the Pain

Read books, watch TV, or keep yourself engaged in the activity you enjoy. It can help you pay less attention to the pain if it is not unbearable. Listen to your body and the activities affecting the sciatica nerve. Shun heavy lifting and take frequent breaks if your routine activities involve a long period of standing.

4. Daily Massage from a Therapist

Taking a gentle massage can help soothe nerves and muscles. It reduces stress and improves blood circulation. It helps regulate and balance hormones.

5. Visit a Therapist

A professional and experienced therapist can understand your body's requirements and evaluate health conditions. She can apply body stretches and exercises to build strength so you can manage your sciatic nerve pain.

6. Sleep on your Side

Sleeping on the right side during pregnancy is critical. Rest your body on the side that does not hurt while sleeping or resting by lying down. It takes the pressure off the stressed nerves. It is better to aid your sleep with the whole body soft pillow to support your legs and hips.

Post-delivery Sciatic Care

Even after the delivery, continue with practices if sciatica persists. Most women are relieved from sciatic pain after delivery of the baby, but some develop postpartum sciatic symptoms because of a weak back and abdominal muscles. Continue strength-building gentle exercises and take enough rest immediately after giving birth. If you still feel persisting sciatic nerve pain, see your doctor.


Doctors can recommend specific and safe exercises to manage sciatic nerve pain. Medications specific to sciatica can relieve the pain. If the pain becomes unbearable, contact the gynecologist or your health specialist. The best way to manage sciatica is to visit your doctor for a mandatory regular checkup to keep sciatica well-managed and under control. There are ways to manage your sciatic nerve pain through home treatments, and you can get instant relief from the sciatic nerve pain.

Updated on: 28-Apr-2023


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