Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sciatic Nerve Pain in Pregnancy

The sciatic nerve (also known as the ischiatic nerve) is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back, runs through the lower back and extends into the lower limbs. This important nerve fiber provides sensory and motor function to the lower extremities. It also produces sensation to the back of the thigh, lower part of the leg and the sole of the foot. Sciatic nerve pain is a periodic severe pain that occurs throughout your legs.

What causes sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?

The sciatic nerve lays just below your uterus and continue down to your legs. The cause of sciatic nerve pain is believed to be associated with pressure of the growing uterus on the nerve caused as the baby grows and develops.

How can I treat sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?

-The simplest remedy is to lie on your side, opposite of the pain. This may help relieve the pressure on the nerve.

-Avoid heavy lifting and minimize standing for long periods of time.

-If you experience pressure while standing, try elevating one foot and resting it on something.

-Get on your hands and knees and do several repetitions of pelvic rocks. This get the baby off the nerve.

-Make swimming a daily exercise routine. This will allow you to exercise and stay fit while allowing the water to support the baby's weight.

-You may experience relief by applying heat or cold to the troubled area.

-Some 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.