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    I’ve been getting sciatica in most of my pregnancies and thought I was getting away without it this time because I’m so close to the end and have been fine until now. Not anymore. It started up yesterday and has been really excruciating. I only have a couple of weeks left to my due date, but with pain like this, that seems like forever. Anyone know of any tips? It’s not constant pain but it’s triggered by a change in position–usually from sitting to standing. Getting up from a bed can take me as long as 10 minutes because it’s so painful. I have to figure out how to shift my weight from the bad hip onto the okay one and then stand up. It’s awful.

    always here

    b’shaa tova!! oy, Mother in Israel~ I feel your pain 🙁

    – wear flat shoes.

    – change body positions until you’re more comfortable.

    – speak with your dr./ob.

    hoping to hear good news, iy’H! 🙂


    You might benefit from some physical therapy or massage.


    Roll to your side and use a cane to help you into a sitting position. Then use the cane to divert the pressure from your legs while standing up. Some people have to get over the shock that they might have to use a cane when they are young, but it works. You can buy one at most larger pharmacies.


    Thanks to all of you. I’m going to try out some of your advice.

    Always here, a heating pad sounds like it’s worth a try since I haven’t tried it yet. Thanks for the suggestion. Getting off my feet is what I try not to do since I’m fine when I’m standing. It’s getting up from sitting that really hurts, so I try as much as possible not to sit down in the first place. I do wear flat shoes. I might bring it up with my OB–nothing to lose by trying.

    Aries–Massage is what I’ve found to be most helpful. PT sounds like a good idea–I have to see if I can get it approved. Thanks!

    Ezrat Hashem–The thought of using a can doesn’t scare me at this point because the pain is so bad that I would try anything. I’ve been using a stroller to walk outside–leaning on the handlebar takes my weight off my hip. Thanks for your advice.


    Sorry to welcome you to the club.I have been there in your condition but now am not in your condition and have a ongoing sciatica.

    Chiropracter did not help but i did go for accupunture, so far only once. The accupuncture described it as a tight muscle issue and gave me stretching exercises to do. However, before i do exercise, i should keep a moist heating pad on top of body rather than back because that is where the heat could get to muscle area quicker. I also went to an othropedic who took scans and said i must have stretched a muscle. He too told me about the stretching and gave me an anti inflammatory drug. B”H, so far today i am slowly feeling some relief and could sit for longer time.

    Refuah Shelaima!

    always here

    B’H I never had sciatica problems during pregnancies, but I did have my 1st attack a couple of days before my older daughter’s wedding, almost 8 yrs. ago. I was picking up my daughter’s tiara in Boro Park, & was sooo crippled in pain– couldn’t walk 3 steps!!– that I called my future son-in-law to please come pick me up (in a car). altho’ I have numerous bulging discs, including ALL lumber discs, my L5-S1 is in the worst shape, but B’H, I only have back problems– no pains shooting down my leg(s).

    OTOH, my younger daughter, @ age 17, suffered with shooting pains down her legs & it turned out she had a herniated disc & had subsequent surgery. now at almost 22 (& married over a year), she is again having the exact same problem; it turns out she has a herniated disc there again! 🙁 .. she’s seeing someone about it, but after it’s resolved SHE IS SOO NERVOUS ABOUT GETTING PREGNANT!!.. she wonders if she’s having these horrible back problems as a ‘regular’ person, how much will she suffer pregnant?! B’H, she’s getting some reassurances from her doctors & physical therapists.

    we all should only hear good news, iy’H!



    Sciatica Treatment

    Self-Care at Home

    Pain from sciatica often limits your activities. Here are some home treatments for sciatica:

    * Do not bend, lift, or sit in a soft, low chair; your pain will get worse.

    * Unless you are allergic or should not take them for other reasons (if you take a blood thinner such as Coumadin, for example), over-the-counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bufferin or Bayer Aspirin), or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) will probably help ease the pain.

    * Try a cold pack to see if it helps the pain. If you don’t have a cold pack, use a large bag of frozen vegetables; it makes a good first aid cold pack. Or have someone close to you massage you in a triangular pattern with an ice cube over the sore areas. The person should move the ice cube if your skin gets too cold (this may melt several ice cubes).

    o After the cold massages, try alternating with heat from an electric heating pad to see if it helps the pain. (Do not sleep with a heating pad on your back. It could cause a bad burn.)

    o If you don’t have an electric heating pad, put a hand towel under hot water, wring it out, and place it on your back. Some physical therapy experts believe that moist heat penetrates more deeply and gives better relief of pain. (Do not use wet packs with your electric heating pad because electrical shock may result.)

    * You may feel better lying on your back on a firm surface with a pillow under your knees. Another option is lying on your side with a pillow between your knees to keep your back straight. Also, you might find that a recliner chair is helpful.

    * Take it easy, but do not lie in bed for longer than two days because this has been shown to actually worsen the condition. Do activities you are able to tolerate, and do not expect to feel better overnight.

    Sciatica Medications

    If you are suffering from sciatica, the doctor will almost certainly prescribe or give you some medication for the pain. If your pain is severe, you may need strong medicine such as a narcotic (Codeine, Vicodin, morphine) for relief.

    Sciatica Surgery

    If, despite doing everything you are instructed to do, the pain continues and your CT or MRI shows a problem with the disc or bone, you may need back surgery. This should not be performed until you have tried all other methods of treatment, and you should probably get at least two opinions before deciding on surgery as a last resort.

    Other Therapy

    * Physical therapy is often prescribed for sciatica.

    * You may receive special instructions from your doctor on dealing with back pain. Some suggest complete bed rest — getting up only to go to the bathroom. Others suggest you sleep on the floor or put a board under your mattress for support. Some will tell you to use heat, others cold. You may also get information with pictures of back exercises and stretches you are expected to start when the pain improves. (These patient education sheets come from different sources and may have conflicting information.)

    * Current research recommends that you stay active, within limits imposed by your pain. If you can avoid reinjuring yourself, you should try to stay at work. If the pain forces you to rest, do so, but avoid staying in bed just because you have back pain.

    * If you are not improving after a week or 10 days, talk with your doctor about alternative therapies. Millions of people get some relief by visiting physical therapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors. Others find that relaxation techniques and acupuncture work for them.

    * Studies have shown that exercise therapy is helpful to treat back pain that persists for more than a few weeks. Good exercises for sciatica include walking, yoga, Pilates, and other specialized exercise programs.

    * Recent studies in Europe and Scotland show that injection of botulinum toxin (Botox) gives relief to many people suffering from long-term sciatica. There are, thus far, not enough cases or completed studies to make this more than an experimental procedure.


    Common sense should tell you what to do.

    * Continue the simple home care measures for easing the pain. Use pain medicines, both over the counter and those prescribed for you by your doctor.

    * Avoid reinjuring yourself. Pain will be your guide. If you hurt too much, back off on what you are doing and rest. Go slowly, if necessary, but try to keep active.

    * Using a cane or a crutch for support will be helpful until the pain is under control.

    Sciatica Prevention

    * Proper lifting techniques in keeping your back straight while bending your knees to pick up items often help avoid mechanical back problems.

    * Keep flexibility and muscle tone by performing stretching exercises. These will help keep your back from bothering you. Maintaining your weight within your recommended limits for your height will go a long way to maintaining a healthy back as well.


    Lia, what kind of stretching exercises? I can’t take an antiinflammatory because I’m in my 3rd trimester. I don’t think Tylenol would touch this either.

    Always here–I can relate to that not being able to walk 3 steps. I find the pain to be completely paralyzing. I understand your daughter’s fear of becoming pregnant too. I wish I had something encouraging to tell her but right now I’m more inclined to agree with her fear.


    From the Mayo Clinic website:

    Back pain during pregnancy: 7 tips for relief

    By Mayo Clinic staff

    No. 1: Practice good posture

    Stand up straight and tall.

    Hold your chest high.

    Keep your shoulders back and relaxed.

    Don’t lock your knees.

    Good posture also means sitting with care. Choose a chair that supports your back, or place a small pillow behind your lower back. Keep your upper back and neck comfortably straight. Consider propping your feet on a low stool.

    No. 2: Get the right gear

    Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Wear maternity pants with a low, supportive waistband. You might also consider wearing a maternity support belt. Although research on the effectiveness of maternity support belts is limited, some women find the additional support helpful.

    No. 3: Lift properly

    When lifting a small object, squat down and lift with your legs. Don’t bend at the waist or lift with your back. It’s also important to know your limits. Ask for help if you need it.

    No. 4: Sleep on your side

    Sleep on your side, not your back. Keep one or both knees bent. It might also help to place one pillow between your knees and another under your abdomen, or use a full-length body pillow.

    No. 5: Try heat, cold or massage

    Use a heating pad to apply heat to your back, or alternate ice packs with heat. Rubbing your back also might help. Better yet, ask someone to rub your back for you or schedule a professional prenatal massage.

    No. 6: Include physical activity in your daily routine

    No. 7: Consider complementary therapies

    Some research suggests that acupuncture can help relieve back pain during pregnancy. Chiropractic treatment seems to provide comfort for some women as well. If you’re considering a complementary therapy, discuss the options with your health care provider first. He or she may want to confirm that your back pain isn’t caused by an underlying condition.

    Know when to consult your health care provider

    However common, back pain during pregnancy isn’t something to ignore. Consult your health care provider if your back pain doesn’t respond to the self-care strategies described above. Medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) isn’t necessarily out of the question, but it’s important to check with your health care provider first.


    O man… R we saying sciatica can cum with pregnancies? I bh never heard of it but now im scaaaaaared!!


    Thanks, Health. I actually don’t have back pain. The pain starts at the top of my hips and radiates down my thigh until just above my knee. Some of those tips might be helpful though. The meds are one that I can’t do at all though.


    Refuah shelaimah, I’m not in your situation now now but have been there in the past and still remember the pain. Heating pads and pelvic tilts area good starting place.Stand with your back against a wall and try to press the small of your back to flat to the wall then slide low bending knees and back up the wall to standing alternately go on your hands and knees in a crawling position then arch your back up then down. (these are kind of hard for the 3rd trimester so maybe have someone around to pull you up if you get stuck.) I’ve found that wearing a maternity belt can really help.If you have access to a pool my midwife suggested not swimming but holding on to the side and doing leg lifts and stretches.Hopefuly the baby fill shift positions soon and it will ease .


    MiI – “I actually don’t have back pain. The pain starts at the top of my hips and radiates down my thigh until just above my knee.”

    What you probably have is sciatica, so all the above posts would apply.

    This is from

    “What is sciatica?

    Sciatica is pain in the lower extremity resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain of sciatica is typically felt from the low back (lumbar area) to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and extends through the buttock area to send nerve endings down the lower limb. The pain of sciatica is sometimes referred to as sciatic nerve pain.

    What are causes of sciatica?

    While sciatica is most commonly a result of a lumbar disc herniation directly pressing on the nerve, any cause of irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve can reproduce the symptoms of sciatica. This irritation of nerves as a result of an abnormal intervertebral disc is referred to as radiculopathy. Aside from a pinched nerve from a disc, other causes of sciatica include irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone, tumors, muscle, internal bleeding, infections, injury, and other causes. Sometimes sciatica can occur because of irritation of the sciatic nerve during pregnancy.

    What are sciatica symptoms?

    Sciatica causes pain, a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling radiating from the lower back and upper buttock down the back of the thigh to the back of the leg. The result is leg pain. Sometimes the pain radiates around the hip or buttock to feel like hip pain. While sciatica is often associated with lower back pain (lumbago), it can be present without low back pain. Severe sciatica can make walking difficult if not impossible. Sometimes the symptoms of sciatica are aggravated by walking or bending at the waist and relieved by lying down. The pain relief by changing positions can be partial or complete.”


    Rockymountains, I am going to try those exercises as soon as someone gets home because I will definitely need help–my stomach seems to get in the way of everything. Thanks for the tips!

    Health–I have no doubt that what I have is sciatica, hence the title of this thread. 😉 Changing positions sometimes helps, but sometimes I’m too paralyzed to get out of the painful position. Every time I make the mistake of sitting on the couch, I’m stuck and can’t get off my hip. I have to try to lie down and roll off the bad hip and then somehow get off the couch. It’s not always easy.

    always here

    feelin’ for ya, Mother in Israel, & wishing you well!


    MiI – I already addressed this:-

    “Pain from sciatica often limits your activities. Here are some home treatments for sciatica:

    * Do not bend, lift, or sit in a soft, low chair; your pain will get worse”


    Constipation can cause Sciatica. If this is so try a cup of either Peppermint, or Fennel Tea. Fiber(Fruit, Vegetable, Whole Grain)is helpful to eat to help relieve Costipation. Papayas are delicious and can help a faulty digestive system.

    always here

    Mother in Israel is, as she says, towards the end of the pregnancy; the baby is more than likely pressing on her sciatic nerve.

    altho’ a nice cuppa wouldn’t be bad 🙂




    Health, I did see that but it’s easier said than done. I have a bunch of young kids and do have to sit down with them sometimes. I sat down on my son’s bed this morning to dress him and couldn’t get up after that. On Shabbos, I sat on the couch to read them a story and couldn’t get up. It’s easy to say not to bend or lift but life does have to go on. When there’s help available, I do take advantage, but sometimes I get myself into a mess and then pay the price.

    Yank, this is definitely not constipation related. Someone is just sitting in a bad spot on my nerve and no matter how much I ask him/her to move, s/he ain’t going nowhere. I feel flip flops inside me all day and night, but s/he is staying firmly planted right in that spot.

    And I don’t drink peppermint or fennel tea anyway. 🙂

    always here

    Mother~ we women/mothers understand: when the baby starts to shift into the proper birth position in the third trimester, it can rest directly on the nerve, causing a major pain in the butt (and back, and legs). …. sending my empathetic love & spiritual strength to you! 🙂


    Thanks, always here!


    MiI – “I sat down on my son’s bed this morning to dress him and couldn’t get up after that. On Shabbos, I sat on the couch to read them a story and couldn’t get up. It’s easy to say not to bend or lift but life does have to go on.”

    You can sit on a normal chair. You can bend and lift properly using your knees and keeping your back straight. It’s the easy way out to slouch on the couch and bend at the waist, but you pay for it. Most people I know take the easy out, but when there is a big weight gain like in pregnancy, you will suffer. The best policy is to train yourself to have proper posture all the time, so when you become pregnant you’re already used to doing the right thing. It’s never too late to change -no matter what the age!


    Thanks, Health. I do have good posture normally. Sitting on a straight chair is fine for some situations, but have you ever dressed a sleeping child sitting in a chair? It’s either his bed or the couch for that. I supposed I could sit in a chair when I read to my kids, but it’s so much cozier to sit with them on the couch. I do bend and lift using my knees when I can, but my stomach often block my vision that way and I can’t see what I wanted to pick up! I end up leaning forward from the waist so I can see what I’m doing. My stomach is pretty huge this time and that seems to complicate things.


    MiI -” but have you ever dressed a sleeping child sitting in a chair”

    When my kids lived with me, I don’t ever recall dressing them while sleeping, only undressing them. If this is a daily occurance, then there is a problem. Kids should wake up and then get dressed for the day.

    “I end up leaning forward from the waist so I can see what I’m doing.”

    Once you visualize it before you bend, just feel for it in the stoop position. DO NOT bend with your waist.

    There are definitely activities that you shouldn’t be doing. Most activities can be done like described above; for the few that can’t, this is where your older kids and hubby come into play.


    My kid is usually awake but is 2.5 and doesn’t dress himself yet. Even when he’s awake, I can’t dress him standing up.

    Visualizing and feeling usually does work. Occasionally things disappear and I find myself bending. My kids and husband do help but they’re not always around–they’re out of the house most of the day. When it’s only me and the 1-year-old, then things can get fun.

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