While nearly every woman experiences back pain during pregnancy, some women suffer from a particularly painful back problem called sciatica. Sciatica is pain that starts in the lower back, moves through the buttocks and radiates into the leg. “We think sciatica probably occurs because of the way the baby is lying in your uterus,” says Wendi M. Carns, MD, FACOG, obstetrician and gynecologist at Saint Francis Medical Center.
“We see sciatica pain most commonly in the third trimester,” continues Carns. “A woman is experiencing a lot of pressure at that point, and the pain occurs because of nerve compression.”
One of the best ways to relieve the pain is to get down on all fours and rock back and forth—a process which encourages the baby to move. You can also try alternating lying down with short walks. If the pain becomes severe, physical therapy may help.
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