A pain in the a**

Sciatica; although it sounds like the title of a bad science fiction movie, is a real medical condition.

Pregnancy-related sciatica, occurs when a baby's head presses against the mother's sciatic nerves, which run down the spine and into the pelvis and upper leg area. It can occur at any point during a normal pregnancy, but it is most common during the second and third trimester, when the baby is larger and in a lower position in the abdomen.

Women with sciatica often experience shooting pains or paralyzing numbness in the lower back or buttocks area and sometimes down the backs of the thighs. The pain can be severe enough to limit a person's mobility almost entirely, and because it is caused by the position of the baby inside the womb, there's very little that can be done to relieve the situation entirely until the baby is born.

Since last Tuesday (so about 8 days ago), I have been unable to sit or stand, walk, bend, lift my legs, climb stairs, put on pants, or do almost anything, without pain shooting up and down my right hip, butt, thigh and lower back. It is all happening in the rear part of my body which distinguishes this pain from PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain), another kind of pregnancy-related back pain.

Although there is no cure for sciatica (it should resolve itself after the baby is born), there are some helpful hints from doctors...

Pregnant women suffering from sciatica should pay close attention to their posture, since slumping at a computer for several hours or standing with a baby on one hip can contribute to lower back discomfort.

In addition, pregnant women should always wear flat shoes or shoes with a very low heel, and be careful not to wear shoes that throw their weight backwards, as that may cause additional strain on the lower back and legs.

Many doctors also suggest sleeping on one side on a very firm mattress or even on the floor with pillows rolled up under the knees. When getting out of bed, they suggest, roll onto your side first and let the weight of your feet and legs dangling over the edge of the bed pull your body into an upright sitting position. This puts less stress on your lower back muscles, and you are less likely to trigger a painful muscle spasm than if you had pulled yourself directly into a sitting position.

And, when I searched for information about this condition (called 座骨神経痛 or ざこつしんけいつう) in Japanese, many women suggested acupuncture or other forms of natural medical care. Yoshi`s younger brother works as an acupuncturist, so I will try to see him tomorrow.


  1. It is important to remember that this is not the usual order of events in your body, so that is why it isn't common to get pregnant on your period. Some women can not actually get pregnant on their period, but others, due to the timing of their periods or the erratic nature of their ovulation, can get pregnant on their period.


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