Sciatica pain is severe buttock and leg pain, often below the knee and in the foot, usually due to a disc prolapse in one of the lower lumbar segments. It can occur in pregnancy and cause significant pain and disability in the later stages of pregnancy and in early childcare.
Around 50% of women report they have lower back pain or lumbago at some time during their pregnancy and in some cases it can be severe and require resting. The causes can be either lumbar or sacroiliac and may relate to increased weight and adopting a new spinal posture to cope with the increasing abdominal size.
Joints may become more lax later in the pregnancy for hormonal reasons and along with ligamentous stretching this might account for pain during pregnancy.
Sciatica is uncommon and still likely to be due to a lumbar disc rather than the uterus pressing on a nerve inside the pelvis.
This kind of leg pain is very specific and sciatica symptoms are severe, surging pain which may be shooting or burning, present in one leg and often worse below the knee and in the foot. There may be changes in feelings (numbness, pins and needles), reflexes and muscle power in some cases. Lifting the leg up straight when lying down will cause a significant worsening of symptoms, which is one of the reasons why sciatica stretches are not an appropriate treatment.
A sciatica cure may be promised by many therapies but the evidence points to Mother Nature doing all the improvement as long as we don't get in the way. Sciatica treatment involves resting as needed, reducing activities, taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, keeping active as possible, pacing activity to avoid overdoing any one posture and using heat or cold as preferred. Nerve root blocks and surgery are considered for severe or persistent cases.