Leg Pain in Pregnancy

Most pregnant moms get used to the ebb and flow of random aches and pains. Leg pain in pregnancy is tough enough.  If the sciatic nerve gets aggravated, that leg pain turns into a searing constant ache.

Unlike normal pregnancy pains, sciatica feels like a sharp, shooting, or tingling feeling that radiates from the buttocks down the back of the leg to the feet.

What causes pregnancy sciatic pain?

Usually sciatic pain is caused by a slipped or ruptured disc, arthritis or spinal compression, but for a pregnant mom her growing belly is the culprit.

The sciatic nerve runs under the uterus.  It sits beneath a muscle called the piriformis which is located under the glutes.  As baby grows, more pressure is put on that sensitive area.  Plus, an expanding belly means the center of gravity is shifting.  This can cause the piriformis muscle to tighten up and irritate the sciatic nerve.

The third trimester can bring a host of new pregnancy symptoms and that is when most moms experience sciatic pan.

How to treat sciatic leg pain in pregnancy

Try the following to bring relief:

  • Get off your feet and lie on the side of the body that doesn’t hurt.  If the right leg is experiencing sciatic nerve pain, rest on your left side.
  • Apply warm compresses to the area.
  • Certain exercises such as swimming may temporarily relieve the belly of pregnancy weight and offer relief.
  • Ask your doctor about taking an anti-inflammatory.
  • See a chiropractor.  A chiropractor will check the alignment of your pelvis and spine which balances your posture and takes pressure off the sciatic nerve.  A chiropractor may also be able to show you exercises you can do at home that help relieve pain.

The good news is that any leg pain you’re experiencing will go away once you deliver and your body returns to its pre-pregnancy state.

If you’re pregnant and would like to learn how chiropractic can help you have an easier pregnancy and delivery, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Dr. Megan Afshar is a chiropractor in the Greenville, South Carolina area, specializing in pregnancy and pediatric care.  Do you need to add a chiropractor to your birth team?  Click here to find out why you should consider it.