Sciatic Nerve Pain

sciatic nerve painSciatic nerve pain is a common concern during pregnancy. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, delivering sensory and motor input to the lower part of the body. This nerve provides nerve impulses and communication to the majority of the leg. Sciatic nerve pain is a random intense pain that occurs at any point and throughout your legs.

What causes sciatic nerve pain?

As noted above, this nerve travels under your uterus down to your legs. The cause of sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy is believed to be attributed to pressure on the nerve caused by the weight of the developing baby.

How may I treat sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?

The easiest treatment is to focus your sleep and rest positions. Ideally you will lie on the the side of your body that is on the opposite side of the pain. This may help relieve the pressure on the nerve. It may also prove beneficial to avoid lifting heavy items. You should also limit standing for long periods. If you experience pressure while standing, try elevating one foot and resting it on something. You may also find that swimming eases or reduces the sciatic nerve pain.

You may experience relief by applying heat or cold to the troubled area. Your health care provider may recommend acetaminophen to relieve the pain.

It is important to contact your health care provider if the pain becomes constant, or increases in severity or frequency.

Last Updated: 09/2008

Compiled using information from the following source:

Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W., M.D., et al, Part 3.

American Pregnancy Association,

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