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Pregnant? Here's What You Should Know About Your Risk for Sciatica

Apr 04, 2023
Pregnant? Here's What You Should Know About Your Risk for Sciatica
Pregnancy is a joyous time in most women’s lives, but it’s not without complications. One which is commonly overlooked is the increased risk of developing sciatica. Learn more about it here.

For many women, being pregnant is as remarkable as it is challenging. Hormonal changes and your growing baby bump can trigger the development of several medical conditions, including sciatica. 

Sciatica is a condition that causes significant pain and discomfort in your lower back and legs. It occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your legs, becomes inflamed or compressed, resulting in pain, weakness, and numbness.

This condition can develop in men and women alike. However, pregnant women stand a higher risk of developing it. 

At Liberty Pain Associates in Flower Mound, Alliance/Keller, and Fort Worth, Texas, we offer skilled and highly personalized care to people living with sciatica and other conditions causing chronic pain. Our triple board-certified physician, Sathya Bhandari, MD, has more than 20 years of medical experience effectively treating and managing sciatica pain. 

Learn more about how pregnancy and sciatica pain are associated and what you can do to minimize your risk.  

What causes sciatica in pregnant women?

Pregnant women are more prone to developing sciatica for many reasons. The first is the natural weight gain that occurs when you are pregnant, especially around your stomach. This extra weight puts pressure on your sciatic nerve, compressing it and causing pain and inflammation. 

Hormonal changes are also expected during pregnancy. They are necessary to prepare your body to house your baby adequately. However, these changes cause the muscles in your pelvis to relax, sometimes putting too much pressure on your sciatic nerve. 

Another thing that could cause sciatic pain to develop is your baby's position. As your baby grows, how they are positioned in your belly can put pressure on the sciatic nerve if set in a way that presses against it.

How can pregnant women reduce their risk of developing sciatica?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent sciatica when pregnant. However, you could do a few things to minimize your risk. They include:

  • Exercise regularly to keep the muscles in your legs and back strong.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities that could strain your back and legs unduly.
  • Maintain good posture as often as possible to take unnecessary sciatic nerve pressure.
  • Stretch gently to keep your back and leg muscles flexible, taking pressure off your sciatic nerve.

If you are experiencing severe pain or numbness in your legs and back, you must seek immediate medical attention. Other signs of severe sciatica include loss of bladder control, fever, chills, warmth, or swelling along your back and legs. 

For some women, developing sciatica when pregnant is unavoidable. The good news is you don’t have to live with the debilitating pain that accompanies the condition. Get long-lasting, safe, and effective treatment for your pain by booking an appointment with us at Liberty Pain Associates. You can do this online or by calling 972-355-9038.