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How to Ease Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy

How to Ease Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy

What is sciatica nerve pain?

Sciatica nerve pain is pain from the lower back through your hips and buttocks to your lower leg. It’s an irritation of your sciatic nerve which is located around your lower spine and ends in the thigh.

The sciatica nerve is the largest in your body. It makes you feel sensations like pressure, heat, and pain in your lower back, legs, and feet. Its primary function is to send signals to and from your thigh muscle.

You can experience sciatica pain on the outside of your leg in the back or front. It usually affects only one side of the body but in some cases can affect both. Patients often describe it as shooting pain which can range from mild to severe.

What can cause it?

Sciatica related to age is the most common form. Herniated disk and bone spurs can occur with increasing age. 

Obesity can also affect the sciatica nerve due to the increased weight and pressure on the nerve.

During pregnancy, especially in the later stages, the weight of the baby can put pressure on the sciatic nerve which can cause sciatica pain.  

It can also be caused by Trauma, Tumor, Spinal Stenosis, Piriformis Syndrome, or Spondylolisthesis. Risk factors that can contribute to getting sciatica are degenerative arthritis to the lumbar spine.

Symptoms and What to Look For.

Common symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Pain in one side of your leg or buttocks
  • Lower back pain
  • Numbness or tingling in your legs
  • Sudden shooting pain from your lower back to your leg
  • Sitting down causes pain

Prevention

Exercise regularly and focus especially on stretches. Keep your core strong to assure proper posture and good alignment.

Posture is important. It is recommended to choose a good seat with proper support. When you lift something heavy, keep your back straight and don’t twist and lift at the same time.

Ways to relieve sciatica pain:

Usual treatments include massages, physical therapy, or chiropractic care. However, self-treatment stretches are extremely helpful for pregnant women experiencing sciatica.

1. Child’s pose

This is a very relaxing stretch also used in yoga classes. Stretches the spine. Relieves neck and lower back pain and stretches hips thighs and ankles.

  1. Kneel on a mat or any soft surface.
  2. Move your knees out and your feet together until your big toes touch.
  3. Bend down and reach your arms above your head.
  4. The forehead should touch the mat.
  5. Relax your arms.
  6. Repeat multiple times a day.

2. Hip flexor stretch

Also, a yoga pose that stretches your hip flexor and turns on your glutes.

  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Move one leg in between your hands.
  3. Your leg should be at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Now slowly shift your weight forward.
  5. Arms can stay on the ground or by your sides.
  6. Repeat on both sides.
  7. Repeat multiple times per day.

3. Seated Piriformis stretch

This stretch can ease knee and ankle pain and help against sciatic nerve pain.

  1. This pose starts seated on a chair.
  2. If your right side is affected place your right ankle on your left knee.
  3. Try and keep your back straight.
  4. No lean forward until you feel a stretch in your buttocks.
  5. Repeat on both sides.
  6. Repeat multiple times a day.

4. Table stretch

The table stretch is great for stretching your lower back and the back of your legs as well as your buttocks.

  1. Stand with your feet a little wider than your hips.
  2. Face a table or chair.
  3. You must keep your back straight.
  4. Lean forward with your hands holding onto the table or a chair.
  5. Slightly pull your hips back.
  6. You should feel a stretch.
  7. Moving side to side will increase the stretch even more.
  8. Repeat multiple times a day.

5. Standing hamstring stretch

This stretch, as the name says, stretches your hamstring and muscles around the sciatic nerve.  

  1. Stand straight.
  2. Place your right leg onto something steady like a bench or a chair.
  3. Flex your toes upwards and slowly bend forward reaching your fingers towards your toes.
  4. Repeat with the opposite leg.
  5. Breathe and repeat multiple times a day.

6. Reclining pigeon pose

This pose is commonly used in yoga and helps open the hips.

  1. Lay flat on your back.
  2. Bring your left leg up so it’s at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Lift your right leg and place your ankle on your left knee. Grab your left thigh with both hands.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

7. Forward pigeon pose 

This yoga pose stretches your hips and lower body and increases the flexibility of lower back muscles as well as hip flexors.

  1. Start on all fours. Move your right leg forwards so it’s between your hands.
  2. Bring your right knee to the ground.
  3. Your right foot should be right in front of your left knee.
  4. Stretch the left leg back so your left knee is on your mat and release the toes.
  5. Shift back so the weight is on your legs rather than your arms.
  6. Now slowly bend your upper body forward.
  7. Repeat on the other side as well.

These stretches help reduce inflammation and work against sciatic nerve pain. Long periods of sitting aren’t recommended so take breaks to get up and move around. Exercise caution and patience when stretching.  

Some medications help with inflammation and relax your muscles which are also a treatment against sciatica nerve pain. Be sure to talk to a doctor about what’s best for your body.

This entry was posted in First Trimester, Pregnancy, Second Trimester, Third Trimester . Bookmark the permalink.
Cynthia Suarez

  • Apr 30, 2021
  • Category: News