Reducing the Risk for Back Pain and Sciatica During Pregnancy



Pregnant women have a lot of work to do before they even reach the stage of labor. But how do back issues factor into an experience that is already challenging for the body?


Preexisting back pain, sciatica, scoliosis, and even a previous spinal surgery can all complicate the potential for increased back pain during pregnancy. If you have experienced back problems prior to pregnancy, being aware of the risk factors involving back pain and sciatica can be helpful. Please consult Dr. Sharma for specific information for your spinal health history.


Women who are deconditioned, overweight, or smoke tobacco are more at risk of developing back pain or sciatica during pregnancy. This holds true even if they have not experienced back pain before.


Most spine specialists agree that women who have an active, healthy lifestyle—including regular exercise that continues during pregnancy—will have a much smoother pregnancy free of back and pelvic pain or radiating sciatica pain.


However, even if you have no prior history of back problems and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you can still develop back pain during pregnancy. Often, simple supportive and nonsurgical treatments are effective in treating the pain. In extremely rare instances, microsurgery to treat an acute lumbar disc herniation causing severe neurological symptoms could be required during pregnancy.


If you have had prior spinal surgery or recent back pain, it is a good idea to visit your spine specialist, Dr. Sharma. Some pains associated with pregnancy and childbirth are unavoidable, but you can take precautions and corrective actions to alleviate the additional spine problems that can occur.