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How Pregnancy Increases Your Risk for Sciatica

How Pregnancy Increases Your Risk for Sciatica

Congratulations on your new little one! Your body’s shifting and shaping to accommodate your new growth, and with it, you may feel fluctuating emotions and possibly new pains. 

One of those pains can be related to sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, running from your lower back down each leg. As your baby grows, your posture changes, shifting your pelvis along with most everything else in your body. As a result of all these changes, you may have a pinched sciatic nerve. 

There’s nothing like a pinched sciatic nerve to make you feel uncomfortable! The pain spreads from the lower back, where the root lies, down the outer part of your leg and sometimes into the foot.

Dr. Bonaventure Ngu at the Premiere Spine Institute in The Woodlands and Humble, Texas, can help with your pain symptoms, including sciatica, while pregnant.

What does sciatica feel like?

Sciatica symptoms can vary from a dull pain to a shooting or burning sensation. Sometimes you may feel a tingling sensation or pain when standing up from sitting. 

The sciatic root lies within your spinal canal, the central tube of your spinal column. Your spinal column is made of vertebrae with discs between the vertebrae to cushion them. If one of your discs shifts out of place and presses on the sciatic nerve root, you’ll probably feel pain, along with tingling, numbness, and weakness. 

Why does pregnancy put your body at greater risk for sciatica?

It’s no surprise your body changes when you’re pregnant. Your center of gravity moves forward as you gain weight. This changes your posture and can put more pressure on your lower back and sciatic nerve. 

Additionally, your body changes hormonally during pregnancy; these hormones relax your ligaments and prepare your body for birth. At the same time, this can cause misalignment in your pelvis or other parts of your body and contribute to sciatic pain

How to protect yourself and minimize sciatic pain 

A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise is important. Walking and gentle stretching can help your body retain your flexibility and mobility. Stand and sit tall. Good posture reduces back and neck pain.

Don’t pick up heavy objects while pregnant, and wear shoes with good arch support.

As your body changes over the coming months, your sciatic pain may shift, and you may find physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or epidural steroid injections can help you feel supported during your changes. 

If you’re experiencing sciatic pain, Dr. Ngu can help you feel better at the Premiere Spine Institute in The Woodlands and Humble, Texas. Call us, or click here to schedule your appointment. 

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