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Pregnancy sciatica? Is that another pregnancy ailment? Yes, another yes. The rounder the belly and the crazier the screaming hormones, the more likely you are to have a pinched sciatica. The sciatic muscle runs from your spinal cord to your foot. When it becomes pinched you can experience nerve pain in your lower back, legs and/or feet. This is also known as gestational sciatica. A long term for a nasty pain, that's something for sure. In this blog, we'll tell you all about it - from what it is to how to treat it. Pain is no fun, so read on to find out what you can do about it. 

What is gestational sciatica?

Pregnancy sciatica is a pregnancy ailment where you experience pain that comes from the sciatic muscle in your back. If this muscle becomes pinched, then you may experience nerve pain. This manifests as annoying pain in your lower back, legs and/or feet. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It goes from your spinal cord, through the buttock to the back of the leg, down to the foot. The pain can come on suddenly and shoot from top to bottom. The pain can sometimes be so intense that it makes it impossible to walk (Pregnancy Portal, 2020). 

This is how you recognize pregnancy sciatica

Pregnancy sciatica can manifest as a burning and weak feeling in your legs, cramping in your muscles or tingling in your legs, feet or toes. Your muscles feel weak and you have severe pain in your lower back. This can vary from person to person, but the ishiass muscle runs from your back to your foot. So somewhere in these places you can feel the pain when the sciatic muscle starts protesting (Pregnancy Portal, 2020). 

The cause

During pregnancy, certain joints become more flexible and extra hormones are racing through your body. Because of the flexibility of the joints, certain nerves can become pinched more easily. This happens frequently with the sciatic muscle in pregnant women. More pressure is put on the roots of this muscle and this causes the pain. Whoever made up the rhyme: pain is nice, will now be punished. Because pregnancy sciatica is definitely not nice (Gezondheidsplein, 2020)! 

How to treat. 

Let's get straight to the point: this is often not treated because it should go away by itself after you have given birth. Does the pain become too much for you and can you no longer stand it? Then go to the family doctor. The family doctor will probably refer you to the acupuncturist, the physical therapist or prescribe you painkillers. Only take painkillers with a prescription from your doctor; not all painkillers can be taken during pregnancy (Pregnancy Portal, 2020).  

And now? 

You may be thinking now: did I end up reading it for nothing, because treatment is often not offered? With this blog we want to make you aware of this pregnancy ailment and where you can feel the pain. And again: does the pain become too much or can you no longer walk? Raise the alarm and don't let it pass you by. You are in control of your body! 

Health Square. (2020, April 22). Pregnancy Sciatica.

Pregnancy Portal. (2020). Pregnancy sciatica: nerve pain and low back pain.