Discomforts of Pregnancy: Sciatic Nerve Pain

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, providing sensory and motor function to the lower extremities. This nerve provides 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 runs under your uterus to your legs. The cause of sciatic nerve pain is thought to be associated with pressure on the nerve caused by the developing baby.

What can I do to 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. This may relieve the pain or prevent it from occurring.

You may experience relief by applying heat or cold to the troubled area. Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also relieve the pain.

It is important to contact your healthcare provider if the pain becomes constant, or increases in severity or frequency.

Reprinted by Pregnancy.org, LLC from Her HealthCare.