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Sciatica Pain in the 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

Alison Wood |12, February 2013


As you're out shopping for some baby supplies for your little bambino-to-be, you are stopped in your tracks.

"Ow!" You you shriek in unexpected pain.

A shooting pain just started in your lower back and went straight down you leg -- rather sharply.

"What is it that all about?", you wonder.

During the third trimester of pregnancy, numerous women experience shooting pain, numbness or tingling that begins in their lower back and stretches down to their feet. Medical professionals refer to this pain as Sciatica Pain.

This condition was named Sciatica Pain due to the fact that the pain is localized in the Sciatica nerve.

As your uterus grows during pregnancy, there is an increasing amount of weight put on the Sciatica nerve. When the baby turns into the proper position for birth, even more pressure may be put on the Sciatica nerve which may increase the intensity and frequency of Sciatica nerve pain.

This irritating pain that interrupts your busy day, can be frequent or intermittent. Some women describe it a an annoying nuisance. Others, as debilitating and unrelenting. The pain may also stick around after birth...but typically goes away during the first few postpartum weeks.

Try these pain-relieving methods to aid you in finding comfort during your days of Sciatica pain.

Turn on the heat!
Take a warm bath or apply a heating pad for a while. The heat will help numb the pain. Some women like to switch out heat and cold by using ice packs for a few hours, then applying hot packs. Try different methods to achieve the amount of relief you need to be comfortable.

Kick your feet up.
Schedule a little rest and relaxation during the day to shift around the weight of the growing uterus. Standing or walking keeps constant pressure on the Sciatica nerve. If days are long and require vast amounts of standing, try sneaking five-minute breaks here and there throughout your busy day. If you are cooking a meal, try using a high bar-stool that you can sit on while you cook. Or, just pull up a chair and sit down every few minutes while you're waiting for the lasagna to bake.

Massage it away.
Many women find relief through prenatal massage or acupuncture. Always seek out a licensed professional that is experienced in working with pregnant women.

Do some exercise.
Pelvic tilts are a great way to get some needed relief from the nerve pain while strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles. Here's a quick tutorial on the pelvic tilt.

1. Lie on your back with knees bent and place your feet firmly on the floor. This is a neutral position that works with the natural curve of the spine and causes the lower back to be slightly elevated from the floor.

2. Rock your hips towards your head as you exhale. As you do this, you will feel your lower back touch the floor.

3. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the neutral position you were in at the beginning.

4. Perform 5-10 reps or as needed throughout the day.

To prevent future problems with sciatica nerve pain, ensure you are getting consistent, calorie-burning exercise and are consuming a healthy, low-fat diet. Any added weight can place increased amounts of pressure on the Sciatica nerve.

Some pregnant women may be perfectly in shape and still experience Sciatica pain. This is due to the fact that the baby and the uterus is growing. If this is you, try the pain relief options above until the delivery of your little one.

Always check with your primary physician if the pain becomes more severe or debilitating. He may have some other options to offer for pain relief.

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