The good news is sciatica is not very common in pregnancy. However, lower back pain and sciatic-like symptoms are fairly common. In fact, over 50 percent of women have back pain during their pregnancies often caused by muscle tension as joints become more flexible in preparation for childbirth.

Back pain in Pregnancy

The ailments and injuries that can occur in pregnancy are wide ranging and awareness of most is low until it happens. The most common pregnancy ailment is morning sickness, which in reality is nausea that can happen at any time of the day and usually occurs from the fourth to the sixteenth week of pregnancy. Sciatica is a much rarer symptom of pregnancy, although many pregnant women do struggle with back pain, especially in the early stages.

The main reason women suffer back pain in pregnancy is because their posture starts to change as the baby grows and their centre of gravity moves, putting more pressure on the lower back. This becomes exacerbated the more we rest and sit. In other words, lack of movement makes the problem worse. Pregnant women are often made to think sitting down is the safest thing they can do. In fact, sitting can easily cause pelvic misalignments. As the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs under your uterus into your legs, the pressure of a baby growing in your uterus can cause compression of the nerve and this is when pain is caused.

Some women describe the pain as a stabbing pain, while others describe it as a burning sensation or more as tingling or numbness that runs from the lower back down through the legs. In most cases the sciatica is mild and although is definitely uncomfortable, it usually clears up after giving. And just because you experience in one pregnancy, it does not mean that you will experience again in subsequent pregnancies.

You will hear “every pregnancy is different” as much as you will hear “every baby is different”. The thing is, it’s true! If you do encounter any back pain in your pregnancy, you should always seek medical advice. Your doctor is likely to recommend one or more of the following remedies:

 

  1. Stay active and keep moving

Pregnancy sciatica usually becomes worse the more you stand or sit for long periods of time. The best remedy for this is to try to keep moving. If the pain is too intense it’s better to lie down rather than sit or stand. The dilemma pregnant women face in trying to increase their activeness is making sure they don’t overdo it and also get plenty of rest.

Walking is a great way to get the balance right as this helps to open and loosen the pelvis, without over exerting yourself. Walking outside also gives you the benefit of capturing natural vitamin D, which is particularly important in pregnancy as your baby needs it for the healthy development of their bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system.

 

  1. Make an appointment with a physiotherapist

Seeing a physiotherapist is the best way to get a full assessment of what’s going on with your pelvis and find out what’s causing the pain. They will give you advice on how to address it and suggest suitable prenatal exercises to help ease your pain.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated & Eat ProteinStay hydrated to remedy back pain in pregnancy

What you eat and drink really does matter during pregnancy matters. It can even play a role in your pregnancy sciatica. Staying hydrated from drinking water and eating protein are a vital part to staying well. If you do not consume enough nutrients and drink enough water, it can lead to back pain, including sciatica.

 

  1. Yoga & MindfulnessPractising yoga and mindfulness to help relieve pregnancy sciatica

The benefits of practising yoga during pregnancy offers so many fabulous benefits. It can help improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, increase strength, flexibility and endurance in preparation for childbirth. It can also help relieve sciatica pain. Out of all the activities pregnant women are advised to do to stay healthy, prenatal yoga is right up there as the one best for stretching and mindfulness.

 

  1. Massage

Prenatal massage is a wonderful, relaxing way to ease aches and pains, including sciatica pain. It also helps reduce swelling that can be a common side effect of pregnancy. Not only that, it’s a great way to lift your mood and make you feel amazing about your pregnancy, even if it is only temporary. And when you're growing an entire human baby in your womb, you absolutely deserve it!

 

  1. Ice

RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is a common treatment for sport injuries. The element of ice is often debated when it comes to back pain, as some people prefer heat treatment. For women dealing with pregnancy sciatica, ice is recommended over heat due to the fact that it helps with inflammation.

 

  1. Heat

In treating sciatica pain, ice is usually recommended over heat, but if it is not helping to improve matters, or if it is making it worse, stop immediately and reconsult with you doctor. They may then suggest using heat treatment as a means of offering alternative relief. This could be anything from a hot shower to a rice heat pad.

 

  1. StretchingStretching to relieve back pain in pregnancy

Staying flexible helps prevent lots of pain and injury. Most of us are guilty of not being as flexible as we should be and being pregnant make it harder. When sciatica pain kicks in, even the gentlest of stretches will seem like the last thing you are able to do, but regular gentle stretches of your hamstrings and lower back should help ease the pain. A qualified physio will recommend the exercises that will be the most suitable for you.

 

  1. Bath Salts

Supporters of salt detox baths claim the minerals draw toxins out of the body and balance the body. The theory is that when you soak in a salt bath, the salt gets into your body through your skin. That hasn't been proven, but just soaking in a warm bath can help relax and soothe muscles and loosen stiff joints. Lots of people swear by Epsom salt baths for helping treat arthritis pain, swelling, bruises and sprains. And some pregnant women that suffer with sciatica pain swear by a bath at night before bed to relax and relieve symptoms.

 

  1. Sleep on your side

Side sleeping is important in pregnancy especially after the first trimester. It takes pressure off the spine and optimises blood flow to the baby. Sleeping flat on your back is not good for you or the baby; it can cause problems with backaches, breathing, the digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and decrease circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava). Sleeping on your is not only dangerous, it’s usually very uncomfortable with a big bump.

Lying on your side with your knees bent is the best position for supporting your hips and lower back. Placing a wedge-shaped pillow between your knees and under your bump keeps the pressure off the muscles around your hips and pelvis and eases the strain on your back. If you find lying on your side puts pressure on your hips, try leaning on a pillow or a rolled up small towel placed in the small of your back. Many women swear by full body pillows, specially designed to help you find a comfy position. Avoid sleeping on your stomach because it puts a lot of strain on your back.

 

Remember, it is very common to get backache or back pain during pregnancy. You should always seek medical advice before attempting to remedy the pain or if your pain worsens. 

The good news is sciatica is not very common in pregnancy. However, lower back pain and sciatic-like symptoms are fairly common. In fact, over 50 percent of women have back pain during their pregnancies often caused by muscle tension as joints become more flexible in preparation for childbirth.

Back pain in Pregnancy

The ailments and injuries that can occur in pregnancy are wide ranging and awareness of most is low until it happens. The most common pregnancy ailment is morning sickness, which in reality is nausea that can happen at any time of the day and usually occurs from the fourth to the sixteenth week of pregnancy. Sciatica is a much rarer symptom of pregnancy, although many pregnant women do struggle with back pain, especially in the early stages.

The main reason women suffer back pain in pregnancy is because their posture starts to change as the baby grows and their centre of gravity moves, putting more pressure on the lower back. This becomes exacerbated the more we rest and sit. In other words, lack of movement makes the problem worse. Pregnant women are often made to think sitting down is the safest thing they can do. In fact, sitting can easily cause pelvic misalignments. As the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs under your uterus into your legs, the pressure of a baby growing in your uterus can cause compression of the nerve and this is when pain is caused.

Some women describe the pain as a stabbing pain, while others describe it as a burning sensation or more as tingling or numbness that runs from the lower back down through the legs. In most cases the sciatica is mild and although is definitely uncomfortable, it usually clears up after giving. And just because you experience in one pregnancy, it does not mean that you will experience again in subsequent pregnancies.

You will hear “every pregnancy is different” as much as you will hear “every baby is different”. The thing is, it’s true! If you do encounter any back pain in your pregnancy, you should always seek medical advice. Your doctor is likely to recommend one or more of the following remedies:

 

  1. Stay active and keep moving

Pregnancy sciatica usually becomes worse the more you stand or sit for long periods of time. The best remedy for this is to try to keep moving. If the pain is too intense it’s better to lie down rather than sit or stand. The dilemma pregnant women face in trying to increase their activeness is making sure they don’t overdo it and also get plenty of rest.

Walking is a great way to get the balance right as this helps to open and loosen the pelvis, without over exerting yourself. Walking outside also gives you the benefit of capturing natural vitamin D, which is particularly important in pregnancy as your baby needs it for the healthy development of their bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system.

 

  1. Make an appointment with a physiotherapist

Seeing a physiotherapist is the best way to get a full assessment of what’s going on with your pelvis and find out what’s causing the pain. They will give you advice on how to address it and suggest suitable prenatal exercises to help ease your pain.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated & Eat ProteinStay hydrated to remedy back pain in pregnancy

What you eat and drink really does matter during pregnancy matters. It can even play a role in your pregnancy sciatica. Staying hydrated from drinking water and eating protein are a vital part to staying well. If you do not consume enough nutrients and drink enough water, it can lead to back pain, including sciatica.

 

  1. Yoga & MindfulnessPractising yoga and mindfulness to help relieve pregnancy sciatica

The benefits of practising yoga during pregnancy offers so many fabulous benefits. It can help improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, increase strength, flexibility and endurance in preparation for childbirth. It can also help relieve sciatica pain. Out of all the activities pregnant women are advised to do to stay healthy, prenatal yoga is right up there as the one best for stretching and mindfulness.

 

  1. Massage

Prenatal massage is a wonderful, relaxing way to ease aches and pains, including sciatica pain. It also helps reduce swelling that can be a common side effect of pregnancy. Not only that, it’s a great way to lift your mood and make you feel amazing about your pregnancy, even if it is only temporary. And when you're growing an entire human baby in your womb, you absolutely deserve it!

 

  1. Ice

RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is a common treatment for sport injuries. The element of ice is often debated when it comes to back pain, as some people prefer heat treatment. For women dealing with pregnancy sciatica, ice is recommended over heat due to the fact that it helps with inflammation.

 

  1. Heat

In treating sciatica pain, ice is usually recommended over heat, but if it is not helping to improve matters, or if it is making it worse, stop immediately and reconsult with you doctor. They may then suggest using heat treatment as a means of offering alternative relief. This could be anything from a hot shower to a rice heat pad.

 

  1. StretchingStretching to relieve back pain in pregnancy

Staying flexible helps prevent lots of pain and injury. Most of us are guilty of not being as flexible as we should be and being pregnant make it harder. When sciatica pain kicks in, even the gentlest of stretches will seem like the last thing you are able to do, but regular gentle stretches of your hamstrings and lower back should help ease the pain. A qualified physio will recommend the exercises that will be the most suitable for you.

 

  1. Bath Salts

Supporters of salt detox baths claim the minerals draw toxins out of the body and balance the body. The theory is that when you soak in a salt bath, the salt gets into your body through your skin. That hasn't been proven, but just soaking in a warm bath can help relax and soothe muscles and loosen stiff joints. Lots of people swear by Epsom salt baths for helping treat arthritis pain, swelling, bruises and sprains. And some pregnant women that suffer with sciatica pain swear by a bath at night before bed to relax and relieve symptoms.

 

  1. Sleep on your side

Side sleeping is important in pregnancy especially after the first trimester. It takes pressure off the spine and optimises blood flow to the baby. Sleeping flat on your back is not good for you or the baby; it can cause problems with backaches, breathing, the digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and decrease circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava). Sleeping on your is not only dangerous, it’s usually very uncomfortable with a big bump.

Lying on your side with your knees bent is the best position for supporting your hips and lower back. Placing a wedge-shaped pillow between your knees and under your bump keeps the pressure off the muscles around your hips and pelvis and eases the strain on your back. If you find lying on your side puts pressure on your hips, try leaning on a pillow or a rolled up small towel placed in the small of your back. Many women swear by full body pillows, specially designed to help you find a comfy position. Avoid sleeping on your stomach because it puts a lot of strain on your back.

 

Remember, it is very common to get backache or back pain during pregnancy. You should always seek medical advice before attempting to remedy the pain or if your pain worsens.