Ease Sciatic Pain during Pregnancy (or anytime)

Back pain is a common aliment during pregnancy.  However not all back pain is muscular.  If you are feeling some aches in your lower back in addition to a sharp, shooting pain from the buttocks down the back of your leg, you are experiencing sciatica.  The sciatic nerve spans that same area.  When extra weight, whether from the baby shifting her position or from an expanding uterus, resides on that nerve this compression results in that sharp pain down your leg.


image courtesy of www.pregmed.org

Not everyone experiences sciatica, but for those that do it can be supremely uncomfortable. Thankfully it does not typically occur until the third trimester when the pressure is at its most intense.  But heck…we shouldn’t have to suffer through it so here’s what to do to find some relief:

  1. Hot & Cold Compresses.  Alternate using a heating pad to increase blood flow and an ice pack to reduce inflammation whenever you are sitting for longer periods.
  2. Acupuncture will improve circulation, relax muscles, and enhance the flow of energy.
  3. Prenatal Massage: If you can squeeze in a massage every once in awhile this will loosen up the muscles in the lower back and alleviate the tension surrounding the nerve.
  4. Swimming: If you haven’t tried swimming during your pregnancy start now!  A low-impact exercise that feels so great on a pregnant body making you feel almost weightless.
  5. Change up position: Lie on your side with a pillow between knees – better pelvic alignment and relieve pressure off nerve.
  6. Yoga:  Try the following poses to take the pressure off the nerve.