Sciatica or Leg Pain

Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve.  This is the major nerve that comes out of the back and runs through your pelvis and down your leg.  It allows you to move and supplies sensation to your leg.  With all the changes taking place with your body, especially in the pelvis, it is easy for the sciatic nerve to get irritated during pregnancy.  This is called sciatica.

There are many ways to treat sciatica when you are not pregnant.  These include medications, injections and sometimes surgery.  However, none of these options are appropriate during pregnancy.  Physical therapy can sometimes be helpful, sitting in an easy chair with your back flexed and your feet up can also make it feel better temporarily.  Walking on a regular basis can ease sciatica, but not always.  Tylenol is felt to be safe during pregnancy for an occasional episode of sciatica, but is not a good idea to take regularly.  Occasionally in late pregnancy an epidural steroid injection, which is an injection of cortisone, into your back around the nerve can be performed safely without consequence.  This can ease the inflammation around the nerve.  Before deciding if an epidural steroid injection is appropriate for sciatica a pregnant woman must consult her OB.

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