How To Relieve Sciatica During Pregnancy

Sciatica is not one of the fun symptoms to have during pregnancy. This can be painful and even cumbersome for pregnant women who are just starting their 9 months. In addition, getting rid of the pain requires not only treatments and medication but also adequate stretching or massage. Below are some tips on how to relieve sciatica during pregnancy.

If you have been experiencing sciatica during pregnancy, there are some simple things that you can do to help relieve your discomfort. Attempting to relieve sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy can be tricky. If you’re suffering from it, you may find that your symptoms, which include pain in the lower back and down the legs, get worse as you get farther into your pregnancy. To keep your symptoms at bay and avoid worsening pain, try these tips when lying down:

Sciatica during pregnancy is frightening, but you don’t have to endure it. We’re here to help you ease sciatica pain and live a joyful life. Some pregnant women experience higher levels of pain while they’re on their feet. One way to reduce this pain is to elevate your hips by placing a pillow under them. This can help reduce pressure on your spine and hip bones, as well as ease discomfort caused by sciatica.

Stretching is an important part of managing your pain. Here are some simple stretches you can do: Knee to chest stretch: Lie on your back with two pillows under your knees and one behind your head. Pull the knee of your affected leg toward your chest while keeping both hips on the ground. Hold this position for 20 seconds and then switch sides. Cat-Cow stretch: Begin on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Press into the palms, arching your back, then drop both shoulders down toward feet while tucking tailbone and relaxing face (cow). Reverse to get in a push-up position with arms straight, torso lifted up off floor, shoulders down away from ears (cat). Repeat five times per set three times per day up to five sets each time

What Helps Sciatica Pain While Pregnant

It’s hard to imagine being pregnant and dealing with sciatica pain. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find relief. Learn what helps sciatica pain while pregnant. Help reduce sciatica pain while pregnant with this cushion and support combination. The cushion is contoured to provide a comfortable seating experience, but the ultra-soft foam provides firm support that helps you maintain good posture and spinal alignment. The curved design of the cushion works in tandem with the iNeck pillow, which provides additional upper body ergonomic support to further reduce your back pain and neck strain during pregnancy.

Sciatica pain during pregnancy is common, but there are ways to ease it. Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain in the lower back, buttocks and hips that originates from irritation of the nerve roots at the lower back. There are many different reasons why sciatica can develop during pregnancy (including increased pressure on your spine and pelvis) but fortunately there are simple exercises and stretches that you can do to help relieve or prevent sciataca pain.

The primary symptom, as mentioned above, is pain that starts in your lower back and radiates down your legs. Some other symptoms could point to sciatic nerve pain, though:

  • Leg pain
  • Poor bladder control
  • Numbness, tingling, or pins and needles in your legs
  • Burning sensation in your lower extremities
  • Pain that worsens with coughing, moving, or sneezing

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should let your doctor know at your next appointment. They’ll be able to provide some safe ways to relieve your pain or some over-the-counter pain medicine. Until then, here are some great stretches you can try at home to ease the pain. 

Stretches for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Light back stretching is a great way to relieve sciatic nerve pain. If you’re further along in your pregnancy, remember to avoid any stretches that involve lying on your back—this causes your uterus to press against a large vein that leads to your heart, which can make you feel lightheaded or weak. 

Seated Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis muscle is deep in your glutes, and spasms in these muscles can lead to sciatica pain. 

  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground
  • Lift your left leg, and place your left ankle on your right knee
  • Lean forward slowly, keeping your back straight
  • You’ll start to feel the stretch in your lower back and glutes
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
  • Repeat with your right leg

Child’s Pose

This yoga pose is popular for a reason—it’s meant to be restful and restorative, as well as to give your back and thigh muscles a good stretch. Prenatal yoga in general is an excellent, low impact way for you to stay active, and relieve pain, while pregnant. 

  • Kneel on a soft surface, like carpet or a yoga mat
  • Touch your big toes together and spread your knees apart to make room for your belly
  • Keep your back straight, and rest your forehead on the floor
  • Reach your arms out straight, past your head, while you inhale
  • Sit back on your legs, bringing your bottom towards your heels, while you exhale
  • Keep taking deep breaths, stretching your arms farther forward with each breath
  • Walk your hands back slowly to return to a kneeling position

Standing Hamstring Stretch

This stretch will help you maintain flexibility in the muscle surrounding the sciatic nerve, which will reduce irritation. 

  • Stand upright with both feet on the ground
  • Raise your left leg and place is on a stable object, like a bench, footstool, or chair
  • Keep your leg straight and your toes pointed upward
  • Gently bend forward until you feel the stretch in your hamstring
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds
  • Repeat with your right leg

Other Remedies for Sciatic Nerve Pain

A gentle massage over the lower section of your back can do a lot to help relieve inflammation and discomfort around your sciatic nerve. It’s best to go to a professional masseuse, who’s experienced in pregnancy-specific massages. A lot of spas even offer special mom-to-be massages to help relieve all of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy, while also making sure you and baby are safe. 

You can also use a tennis ball to give yourself a massage at home. If you’re early on in your pregnancy, you can lay on your back with the tennis ball under your lower back to roll out the tension. As your pregnancy progresses, we recommend you do this while sitting against the back of a chair.

Make sure you avoid sitting for long periods—if you have a desk job get up and take a walk regularly. It’s also a good idea to use heat packs on your lower back or buttocks while you’re sitting, to help keep tension from forming in those muscles. Being mindful of your posture while sitting will also help reduce irritation around your sciatic nerve. Taking a warm bath, using over-the-counter pain relievers, or using a foam roller on your buttocks and lower legs are all great ways to ease the pain. 

As with any pregnancy ailment, sciatica needs to be taken seriously and monitored closely. The good news is that there are plenty of solutions for this condition, including sciatica remedies during pregnancy. Sciatica is a common condition among pregnant women, and it’s normal to experience sciatica pain while pregnant. Sciatica can cause severe back pain and leg pain and numbness due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica happens when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed by some kind of pressure on it, such as pushing too hard during a bowel movement or trauma from an injury, spinal stenosis or disc bulging. When sciatica develops in the later stages of pregnancy, it is often due to changes in the structure of your pelvis that happen with pregnancy.

Many women develop sciatica while they’re pregnant. Pregnancy can be a joyous time, but many women suffer with sciatica as nerves and muscles are strained, making it difficult to walk or even stay in bed. Many factors cause sciatica during pregnancy, including changes in weight distribution and hormone levels

What Can I Do To Help Sciatica In Pregnancy

Bending over to get a heavy object can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and lead to pain. Sciatica in pregnancy is often caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve and can cause mild to severe back pain. Good posture and moving with good form are key to preventing strains on the back, sciatica in pregnancy is often benign and usually resolves on its own after giving birth. There is also no evidence that suggests that lifestyle choices have any effect on the frequency or severity of sciatica in pregnancy. The best way to deal with this problem is to try and rest as much as possible and put your feet up whenever you can. If your symptoms don’t change after a few weeks, see your doctor so they can evaluate your condition and make sure everything is OK for mom and baby.

Pregnancy is a time of a lot of stress and strain on your body. Sciatica, or lower back pain, can make it difficult to sit comfortably or even stand up. If you’re pregnant and having sciatica, here are a few things that may help ease the discomfort. Sciatica during pregnancy can be due to the pressure from the baby on the sciatic nerve or in some cases, it can be due to degenerative disc disease. If you have been experiencing the pain which includes tingling, numbness and pain in your buttock and leg while walking, sitting or lying down, then try to avoid these activities. In case you are unable to do so, then try to do any of these activities that involve less stress on your lower back such as sitting on a high stool or using a recliner.

Try these stretches each day to relieve sciatica pain within a few weeks:

1. Seated piriformis stretch

Seated piriformis stretch gif for sciatica pregnancy stretch

The piriformis muscle is deep in the glutes, or muscles of the buttocks. Spasms in these muscles can cause sciatica pain. This stretch can help ease muscle tightness and reduce spasms.

To do the seated piriformis stretch:

  • Sit on a chair with feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift the left leg and place the foot on the opposite knee.
  • Lean forward slowly, keeping the back straight, until you feel a stretch in the low back and glutes.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the move with the right leg.

2. Child’s Pose

Childs pose yoga move for sciatica pregnancy stretch

Child’s Pose is a popular yoga position for people who are pregnant. This simple, restful pose will stretch the muscles in the lower part of the back and can help ease hip and leg pain.

To do Child’s Pose:

  • Kneel on a soft surface or yoga mat.
  • Touch the big toes together and spread the knees apart to make room for the belly.
  • Sit with the back straight.
  • Inhaling, reach the arms above the head.
  • Exhaling, reach the arms forward and place the palms on the ground.
  • Sit back, bringing the bottom towards the heels.
  • Keep taking deep breaths, stretching the arms forward a little more with each breath, feeling the stretch in the low back and shoulders.
  • Walk the hands back slowly and return to a kneeling position.

3. Standing hamstring stretch

standing hamstring stretch at the park

Stretching the hamstrings, which are the large muscles along the backs of the thighs, can release tension in the back, legs, and glutes. This stretch will help keep flexibility in the muscles around the sciatic nerve.

To do the standing hamstring stretch:

  • Stand upright with both feet on the ground.
  • Raise the left leg and place it on a stable object, with the leg straight and the toes pointing towards the ceiling.
  • Gently bend forward to stretch the hamstring muscle.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Gently place the foot back on the floor.
  • Repeat the stretch with the right leg.

4. Kneeling lunges

Pregnant woman performing a kneeling lunge stretch for sciatica

Kneeling lunges work by loosening the muscles in the hips. This can ease pressure on the nerves and the muscles surrounding the hips, including the back and leg muscles.

To do the kneeling lunge:

  • Kneel on a soft surface or yoga mat.
  • Step the left foot in front so that the thigh is parallel with the ground.
  • Exhaling, shift your body weight forward to feel a stretch in the hip and the leg.
  • Hold the stetch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the move with the right foot.

Gentle exercise

Doing gentle exercises during pregnancy can strengthen the abdominal and back muscles to reduce the risk of further pregnancy-related back pain.

People with sciatica can speak to a doctor before doing specific exercises to ensure they are safe.

Brisk walking, stationary cycling, yoga, and swimming are good options. Swimming can be especially beneficial for people who have pain in their lower back, as the buoyancy of the water can relieve pressure on the joints and muscles.

Learn more about how to exercise safely during pregnancy here.

Massage

Gentle massage over the lower section of the back can help to relieve inflammation and discomfort around the sciatic nerve. A person should ensure their massage only involves light strokes and stops if it feels too strong or painful.

When finding a masseuse, it is best to choose one who specializes in pregnancy massage or has experience in this area.

People can also try self-massage at home using a tennis ball. In the early stages of pregnancy, try lying on the floor with a tennis ball under the lower part of the back, and rolling it gently around.

In the later stages of pregnancy, lean back against a wall or chair support with the tennis ball between your back and the wall.

Other remedies

In addition to massage and stretching, there are other things that people can do at home to prevent or manage sciatica during pregnancy, including:

  • Avoid sitting for long periods by standing up and walking periodically.
  • Use heat packs on the low back or buttocks.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen.
  • Use a foam roller on the buttocks and lower legs. People can choose between foam roller brands online.
  • Keep good posture when sitting, especially at a computer. Try placing a support pillow at the back of the chair.

Medical treatment

If home remedies are not improving pain associated with sciatica, a doctor may recommend steroid injections or a nerve block to help reduce the pain.

Doctors can recommend more advanced and surgical treatments for sciatica, but these are not usually appropriate during pregnancy. If the pain persists after the baby is born, a person can talk to their doctor about treatment options.

Diagnosis

Low back pain is common during pregnancy. Sciatica pain is less common, however. A doctor can help work out the cause of this type of back pain.

The doctor will first ask about a person’s history and do a physical exam. They may ask about the type of pain, what makes it better or worse, when it started, and about any other symptoms.

As part of the physical exam, a doctor may feel the painful area on the back or legs, or ask the woman to perform certain maneuvers, such as walking, squatting, or raising a straight leg. This helps to determine which nerve the pregnancy might be affecting.

Sometimes, doctors may ask for diagnostic testing to gain more information or rule out other more serious causes of the pain.

Imaging tests to help diagnose low back pain can include:

Risk factors

Besides pregnancy, people who are overweight or obese may also be at risk of developing sciatica from increased pressure on the back and spine.

Other people at risk for sciatica include:

  • people who sit for long periods
  • people who have jobs or do activities that cause a lot of twisting or heavy lifting
  • people who are older

Prevention

There is no real way to prevent sciatica. Avoiding too much time spent sitting or in the same position can help, as can maintaining a healthy weight.

Also, protecting the back through regular stretching and exercise, and avoiding lifting with the back, are important.

Sciatica, which is the most common pregnancy-related low back pain, can be caused by the hormonal changes that accompany a woman’s pregnancy and continual weight gain. Sciatica is a general term used to describe any pain that radiates from your lower back, into your gluteal legs and down the backs of your thighs. Sciatica can be very uncomfortable, especially during pregnancy.

What Helps Sciatic Nerve Pain When Pregnant

Pregnant women who have sciatic nerve pain can benefit from anti-inflammatory supplements, like turmeric, ginger, or fish oil. A heating pad or ice pack can also help to relieve sciatica pain during pregnancy. If sciatic nerve pain is plaguing you, it might be worth considering the pregnancy pillow. Not only does it keep your hips from falling out of alignment, but it also keeps the baby from smacking against your spine. These downfalls cause sciatic nerve pain, which can be caused by compression in the lower back.

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve in the lower leg. It connects the back of the lumbar spine (low back), where it travels through the buttock area and spinal canal, to muscles in the thigh, knee and foot. The nerve can be at risk of damage when pregnant women suffer from sciatica or other types of pelvic girdle pain (PGP). To help manage pain relief in these conditions, I highly recommend using an ice pack and a heat pack simultaneously as this will help bring down swelling and relieve pain. Try physiotherapy. This form of treatment uses exercises and stretches to stretch the tight muscles and tissues that contract when you’re pregnant. It also helps relieve muscle spasms, which are common in the spine and pelvis. Often times gentle stretching of the lower back and hips can relieve sciatic nerve pain.

Allow your sciatica to simmer down with just a few simple exercises. Whether you have just found out that you are pregnant, are pregnant now, or even if you’ve had your baby, stretching and doing yoga is time well spent. Pregnancy sciatic nerve pain is common and persistent, and can be pretty uncomfortable. Pregnancy weight gain, hormonal changes, and the shifting of your body’s center of gravity all contribute to an increase in pressure on the spine during pregnancy. Sciatica is often described as feeling like pain that starts in the low back and radiates down the leg with symptoms including a sharp shooting pain along your sciatic nerves (lumbar plexus), numbness or tingling in the leg, lack of appetite and frequent urination.

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